The four largest energy utility companies in Germany, EnBW, E.ON, RWE and Vattenfall, have been summoned to the Environment Ministry for talks with environment minister Sigmar Gabriel over the state of the country’s nuclear industry.

The meeting agreed that a raft of measures for improving the safety culture at Germany’s nuclear power plants within the coming twelve months should be adopted and that the implementation and development of the safety management system already in place will have a key role to play.

Both parties agreed that safety is the top priority for nuclear power plant operators and that the operators will take any additional action or make any improvements that may be necessary within the next twelve months. In addition, operators agreed that periodic safety reviews must be handled faster in future, nuclear power plant control rooms should be protected more effectively against gases leaking in from the outside, and that the principles underlying communications in the plant control rooms must be reviewed and if necessary revised.

These measures are to be co-ordinated with state regulators. The operators proposed working with both federal and state governments on the development of an operators’ code to improve the flow of information to those in positions of political responsibility, and to the public at large.