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Inherent design flaw in EPRs (European Pressurised or Evolutionary Power Reactors) casts doubt on future of UK’s Hinkley and Sizewell nuclear projects.

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities network (NFLA) has been alarmed to
receive a French scientific report that a radioactive leak recently
reported by the operators of a Chinese nuclear power plant could signify a
potentially fatal design flaw in new reactors planned for the UK.

In June 2021, nuclear operator, Framatome, a subsidiary of French-state owned power
utility, EDF, reported a leak of radioactive gas at the Taishan 1 nuclear
power plant in China. It is still unclear what the cause was, but a rupture
of the uranium rods within the reactor core as a result of abnormal wear
and tear was suspected.

Now the French Commission for Independent Research
and Information on Radioactivity (Criirad) has reported to the French
Nuclear Safety Authority that a problem with the design of the vessel
causes early wear in the reactor, that this inherent design flaw is common
to all EPRs (for European Pressurised or Evolutionary Power Reactors), and
that the accident at Taishan ‘raises serious questions in terms of
nuclear safety and radiation protection, both for plant workers and for

Although French worries revolve around the future safety of the
Flammaville 3 EPR, the NFLA is also gravely concerned that the latest news
puts into question the future safety of EPRs planned for the UK. An EPR to
the same design is currently under construction at Hinkley Point C in
Somerset and there is a further proposed plant at Sizewell, Suffolk.

 NFLA 7th Dec 2021

December 9, 2021 - Posted by | France, safety, UK

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