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The events in Japan are a reminder that we must never let down our guard. It is essential to ensure the safety of Swiss nuclear power plants right up until their final days of operation. Moreover, the accident in Japan shone a light on another important aspect: emergency preparedness.

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At the time of the fateful accident in Fukushima, Doris Leuthard was head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC). To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the nuclear disaster, the former Federal Councillor explains why it was essential to provide political support for nuclear safety after the accident.

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After the accident at Fukushima, there was an increasing demand for international safety standards and their international monitoring. Switzerland, and in particular ENSI, was committed to mandatory backfitting on a global basis. Even if such safety principles are still not legally binding, the reactor accident acted as a booster for a new safety awareness amongst the international community.

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The tests at the time confirmed that, in international comparison, Swiss nuclear power plants have a high safety level. Despite these learnings, it is important to remain attentive at all times, to keep the proofs of safety up to date, to live a strong safety culture and to systematically analyse events.

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Oskar Grözinger has spent most of his working life in nuclear regulation. During the EU stress test, the physicist was deputy chairman of the “Topic 1 – External Influences” division. As team leader of the review experts, he has participated in inspections in the Netherlands, Slovakia and Spain and supervised peer reviews in Taiwan, Armenia […]

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