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Some EU nations mull improving safety margins of nuclear plants

(Xinhua)

08:42, November 25, 2011

BRUSSELS, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Some member states of the European Union (EU) are considering raising the safety margins of nuclear power plants to enhance their ability to withstand natural disasters and accidents, a report released by the European Commission said on Thursday.

According to the interim report on nuclear stress tests, none of the EU nations reported the need for taking immediate measures or stopping the operation of nuclear power plants.

However, while the stress tests are on track, some nations have already considering revising the safety margins of their nuclear power plants to improve capabilities against flooding, power failure, cooling system malfunction, as well as earthquakes, the report said.

The report suggested that the EU nations should work on common criteria for siting, design, construction and operation of nuclear power plants.

The EU started stress tests on their 143 nuclear power plants on June 1 this year, which aims to avert an accident like the one at Japan's Fukushima plant.

The tests will check nuclear power plants for their capabilities to withstand natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods, as well as for man-made failures such as airplane crashes and explosion.

The final report is to be completed by the end of April 2012 and will be made public.

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