Spanish watchdog worried about safety of nuclear plants

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

adrid - Spain's Nuclear Security Council (CSN) will urge nuclear plant operators to invest more in their safety, the daily El Pais said Wednesday.

The CSN, which is the country's top authority on nuclear energy, has called a meeting with plant operators in September following a string of incidents at Spanish plants.

Recent accidents include a fire at the Vandellos II plant on Sunday, which led to its closure until the causes are clarified, and a radioactive leak which did not cause health damage at the Asco I plant in November.

Both plants are located near Tarragona in the north-east.

Spain's eight nuclear plants have already reported nearly 50 incidents this year, according to El Pais.

The power companies running nuclear plants, however, were not believed to be keen to increase their operating costs.

Spain's Socialist government wants to close at least the older nuclear plants in favour of alternative energies.

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