The days after the extreme earthquake and the subsequent tsunami in Japan I, as well as my colleagues, EU nuclear regulators and members of ENSREG, followed with the great concern the struggle of our Japanese colleagues to cope with the accident in the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant. In addition to the natural disaster of enormous magnitude they have to minimize the consequences caused by the damage to their nuclear facilities. Our sympathy and our compassion is with our Japanese colleagues and with the victims of these tragic events.
As an immediate response EU nuclear regulators, apart from informing and advising decision makers as well as the general public, started to review the safety of the nuclear power plants under their supervision, on a national level taking into account local and national circumstances.
It is indispensible that also in the European Union we review the nuclear safety of our nuclear power plants and identify lessons to be learned from the events in Japan as well as the potential for further improvements in nuclear safety, as a matter of urgency. Nevertheless, this needs thorough analysis and proper assessment.
It is in this spirit that ENSREG stands ready to advise the European Commission, the Council of the European Union as well as the European Parliament, on nuclear safety issues as well as to provide its combined expertise, profound and impartial. More specifically, ENSREG is prepared to play a leading role in the development of the so called stress tests, extraordinary reviews of nuclear power plant safety.
ENSREG will have its next regular meeting on May 12, 2011. By then ENSREG will be able to make best use of the experience gained in national activities already initiated as well as consider activities and contributions of others. In this context, ENSREG is well aware that WENRA, the Western European Nuclear Regulators Association, has already launched a special task force. In this exceptional circumstances the combined resources and efforts of ENSREG and WENRA, but also of the nuclear industry as well as other stakeholders will be required to act swiftly and prudently.
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