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EU Nuclear Safety Repairs May Cost 25 Billion Euros, Draft Shows

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Utilities may have to spend as much as 25 billion euros ($32 billion) to increase safety at Europe’s nuclear reactors after improvements were identified during checks, according to a draft document.

Upgrades may cost between 30 million euros and 200 million euros per reactor, the European Commission wrote in the document obtained by Bloomberg News. The region has 134 nuclear reactors in operation.

The the bloc’s regulatory arm is due to publish on Oct. 4 a policy paper on safety assessment of atomic power plants in the region conducted in a response to Japan’s nuclear accident last year caused by an earthquake and tsunami. The checks covered threats from natural disasters as well as plane crashes and explosions close to atomic stations.

“On the basis of the stress tests, practically all nuclear power plants need to undergo safety improvements,” the document said.

Safety upgrading measures are unlikely to boost investment costs for new nuclear generation capacity in Europe if the best available technologies are chosen, according to the draft.

The commission will also say that the recurrence of nuclear incidents even in nations with good safety records confirms the need for “thorough safety reviews on a regular basis” and highlights the need for close cooperation and information sharing between operators, vendors, regulators and European institutions, the document showed.

The commission’s recommendations will be communicated to EU leaders at their Oct. 18 to Oct. 19 summit in Brussels. The bloc’s regulatory arm will report on the implementation of the recommended measures in June 2014 and aims to ensure that the “vast majority” of the required improvements are enacted by 2015, according to the draft policy paper.

The commission said it doesn’t comment on draft documents.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at ekrukowska@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

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