Europe’s energy commissioner voiced support for tougher insurance requirements for nuclear operators as he announced that “stress tests” had revealed nearly all of the EU’s 132 reactors could benefit from safety upgrades.
Günther Oettinger, the EU’s energy commissioner, said nuclear operators should have to buy liability insurance to cover damages from accidents – just like automobile drivers – even though this might push up energy costs.
“The obligation to have insurance cover will lead to costs that will be reflected in the costs to the consumer of buying electricity. Certainly this will not lead to nuclear energy becoming more competitive,” said Mr Oettinger.
The German commissioner later observed that, in the event of accidents, costs would be borne by taxpayers if insurance arrangements had not been made, and said it was not his task to “make nuclear cheaper”.