EU presents tougher nuclear safety rules amid concerns about aging plants, future of energy

BRUSSELS – The European Commission is proposing tougher nuclear safety rules, amid international debate about the future of nuclear energy and how to secure aging plants.

Stress tests on European nuclear plants prompted by the 2011 disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant showed that almost all of them needed safety improvements.

The new rules would include EU-wide safety reviews every six years, and the threat that the EU would send in inspectors if countries don’t do enough to ensure nuclear safety. It would also include EU-wide safety goals and a system of peer reviews.

The rules would need approval by the individual member states before coming into effect.

Environmental group Greenpeace said the new plan doesn’t go far enough.