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Swiss back binding global nuclear safety rules

Switzerland will call for mandatory nuclear safety regulations at a high-level gathering being held in Vienna in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The weeklong conference started on Monday and brings together delegates from most of the 150 members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Switzerland says binding nuclear safety measures should be introduced as a result of Fukushima, in which an earthquake and tsunami caused explosions and radioactive leaks in power plants. However a majority of countries would prefer them to be voluntary.

In his address to the plenary on Tuesday, the leader of the Swiss delegation will call for greater international cooperation on nuclear safety and an exchange of information among national authorities, power station operators and researchers, with a view to developing a common strategy.

Global cooperation should also be strengthened in crisis situations, Switzerland will say. This can be achieved through merging crisis management ideas and institutionalising international relief efforts. The IAEA already has measures in place that could be adapted, such as safety standards and peer reviews.

Switzerland will also call for an international study into the factors contributing to the explosions and radiation leaks at the Fukushima plant,  and for the results to be shared.

The Swiss delegation includes members of the Federal Energy Office and Nuclear Safety Inspectorate and the foreign ministry. and agencies


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