Nuclear plant risk checks 'essential', UN atom chief says

20 June 2011
By Sofia Mitra-Thakur
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International response to public anxiety about nuclear power is needed
International response to public anxiety about nuclear power is needed

Countries with nuclear plants must carry out a "thorough and transparent risk assessment" of all reactors within 18 months, the UN nuclear chief has urged.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano said an urgent international response was needed to help address public safety concerns caused by Japan's atomic crisis.

"We need to respond urgently to the public anxiety," Amano said at an international meeting on strengthening nuclear safety following the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

"An international response is essential."

The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has been described as the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

IAEA officials are reviewing safety standards at nuclear plants across the world and will report back to Amano in 12 months on how to strengthen them.

"Nuclear safety will remain the responsibility of states," he said, adding that IAEA will play a leading role in shaping improvements.

Further reading:

See E&T's feature on Germany's decision to decommission its nuclear power plants

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