UN atom chief defends safety plan against critics

September 12, 2011 21:32

VIENNA - The UN atomic agency chief defended on Monday his proposals to boost global nuclear safety against criticism that they had been watered down, insisting the measures would help lead to a significant improvement in standards.

Japan's Fukushima reactor disaster six months ago spurred a rethink about nuclear energy worldwide and calls for more concerted measures, including beefed-up safety checks of reactors, to make sure such an accident does not recur.

But divisions have since emerged between countries advocating stronger international commitments and others who want to keep safety as a strictly national responsibility.

One group of nations, including Germany, France, Switzerland, Singapore, Canada and Denmark, have voiced disappointment about the final draft of a safety action plan put forward by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency.

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