Minister Pekkarinen: Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority’s report defines guidelines for enhancement of nuclear safet
Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) has submitted a report to the Ministry of Employment and the Economy on the safety of Finland’s nuclear power plants and their preparedness for the impacts of extreme natural phenomena on the functioning of their facilities. Submitted on 16 May, the report also contains proposals on enhancing the safety of plants.
– It is extremely important for Finland that we were able to complete this report on such a tight schedule. STUK’s exhaustive report confirms that Finnish nuclear power plants have high safety levels. On the other hand, after the tragic events in Japan, it goes without saying that the industry requires continuous development, in order to minimise even the slightest risks of a nuclear accident, comments Mauri Pekkarinen, Minister of Economic Affairs.
– I am convinced that this report will set a process in motion that leads to concrete safety improvements in Finland and which motivates the industry to ponder new solutions for the continuous enhancement of nuclear safety. The report also provides answers to issues being discussed across Europe and in the EU concerning a stress test for nuclear power plants, emphasises Minister Pekkarinen.
After the nuclear accident in Japan, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy asked on 15 March 2011 Finland’s Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority STUK to draw up a report on the preparedness of the nation’s nuclear power plants. The report was required to pay particular attention to provisions for the external and internal power supply of nuclear power plants in the event of incidents or accidents, and how continuity of power supply to systems will be secured in the absence of external power sources.
The European regulation authorities’ forums ENSREG (European Nuclear Safety Regulator Group) and WENRA (Western European Nuclear Regulators’ Association) are specifying joint principles for so-called stress tests for nuclear power plants. In particular, these assessments concern preparation for natural disasters and power supply problems. They will be completed in the coming months and summary report is expected towards the end of the year.
Nuclear power is used in a total of 14 EU Member States, within 143 nuclear power plant units. The possible need for new EU legislation will be assessed in 2012. The report prepared by STUK will be completed as required, as soon as the European stress tests are specified.
STUK will present the report to the media at a briefing held at 3.30pm on 16 May 2011. The event can be viewed live on-line as a webcast at: http://qsb.webcast.fi/s/stuk/stuk_2011_0516_tiedotustilaisuus/
STUK report on the preparedness of Finnish nuclear facilities for exceptional natural phenomena is available on-line at (in Finnish) www.tem.fi -> Energy -> Nuclear energy -> Nuclear safety
For further information, please contact
Mauri Pekkarinen, Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 (0)10 606 3500
Jorma Aurela, Senior Engineer, MEE, tel. +358 (0)50 592 2109