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Sweden launches review of nuclear security

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Sweden launches review of nuclear security
14:47 CEST+02:00
Security at Swedish nuclear power stations is set to undergo a comprehensive review, the nuclear industry and the Radiation Safety Authority (Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten - SSM) announced on Wednesday.

The review, announced in response to the incidents at the Fukushima plant in Japan, will include stress tests on contingency plans to cope with a total loss of electricity supply.

"We will also look at what would happen in the instance of extreme weather events, such as ice storms," said SSM director-general Ann-Louise Eksborg.

The launch of the stress tests are in part a result of an EU decision to open a similar initiative. Further instructions on how the tests are to be conducted will be presented closer to the summer, according to SSM.

"But we don't want to wait. We have already decided on most of the details we will look at, partly based on what we know about the events in Japan," Eksborg said.

Key issues under consideration will include how the cooling of the reactors can cope with an extreme event, as well as how safe the pools for spent fuel are.

"We can't rule out a situation with a long term power outage. We already have mobile devices that use diesel generators, but we will look at all this again," said SSM security expert Lennart Carlsson.

In a separate statement on Wednesday, the Radiation Safety Authority, confirmed that there is no reason for concern over levels of radioactivity in Sweden.

Levels of iodine and cesium were found to be too low to pose any risk to humans or the environment.

SSM has tasked the Defence Research Agency (Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut - FOI) with measuring radioactivity in the Swedish air.

Following the nuclear accident in Japan, measurements are carried out on a more regular basis. As expected the latest analysis indicates very low levels of iodine 131, cesium 134 and cesium 137.

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