Why Are The US & Russia Blocking European Nuclear Safety Upgrades?

The European countries proposed new nuclear safety upgrades to be put in place after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster to a semi-official international nuclear pact. Yet the two countries want to derail a plan to improve safety.

The European proposal would take costly safety upgrades already approved in the EU and make them into international standards. Both the US and Russia are completely against this. Bloomberg did extensive research into this issue including FOIA requests for records related to the issue.

The core reasoning for the US and Russia to try to prevent new standards appears to be money. Better safety standards would be extremely costly for their older reactors to comply with. Currently the US has avoided mandating any substantial safety upgrades post Fukushima and has let the industry dictate changes (or the lack of) to the NRC.

This new effort to prevent better international standards exposes the US and Russian position on safety. Running unsafe old reactors is profitable, running ones that are safe or at least meet international safety standards would put the US nuclear industry out of business.

2/3rds of the countries would need to vote for the safety rules for it to pass. The US & Russia each get one vote. Reuters is reporting that Canada has joined with the US & Russia. No word on how Japan plans to vote.




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