Faulty electrical equipment in French nuclear plants poses ‘heightened reactor meltdown risk’, warns safety watchdog


France’s nuclear safety agency, the ASN, has warned of the potentially catastrophic danger posed by faulty electric circuit breakers found in a number of nuclear power plants located around the country, and which could eventually cause the meltdown of their reactor cores. Recorded incidents have shown that numerous circuit breakers regularly failed to function since they were first installed four years ago. While the plants’ operator, utilities giant EDF, has played down the gravity of the problem, the ASN has ordered it to start looking for replacement equipment “as of now”. Jade Lindgaard reports.

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Malfunctioning electrical equipment installed in a number of nuclear power plants across France present a worst-scenario risk of causing a catastrophic meltdown of their reactor cores, according to France’s nuclear safety watchdog, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN).