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Frannce govt calls for improvements in the safety of the country’s nuclear power plants

FT 6th July 2018 , A French government commission has called for improvements in the safety of
the country’s nuclear power plants, including their ability to withstand
terrorist attack, putting further pressure on state-backed power utility
EDF.

The parliamentary commission set up to look at the safety and security
of nuclear installations in France said, in a report published on Thursday,
that the fleet remain vulnerable to accident and attack. The report comes
at a time of heightened political pressure for heavily indebted EDF, which
operates France’s nuclear fleet and faces a multi-billion euro bill to
extend the life of ageing plants.

Although an EPR is now coming online in
China, EDF is waiting for its Flamanville plant in France, which is seven
years late and €7bn over budget, to start up. A recently discovered
problem with weldings has increased uncertainty. EDF’s EPR projects in
Finland and at Hinkley Point, south-west England, are also running late and
over budget.

According to the parliamentary report, the NGO Greenpeace has,
over the last 30 years, “conducted 14 intrusion attempts in order to
demonstrate the vulnerability” of the French nuclear sites. The commission
put forward 33 suggestions to improve the situation – including reducing
reliance on subcontractors, putting more police on the ground at nuclear
sites, reconsidering waste disposal methods, being clearer on the timeline
for shutting down plants and strengthening the powers of the French nuclear
regulator, the ASN.
https://www.ft.com/content/347980d2-8067-11e8-bc55-50daf11b720d

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July 7, 2018 - Posted by | France, safety

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