French labour ministry orders EDF to resolve 'dangerous situation' at Flamanville nuclear plant

By Pascale Pascariello

French utility giant EDF ignored warnings issued to it by France’s supreme nuclear safety watchdog, the ASN, of dangerous faults in the machinery being used for the construction of a reactor in what will become one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants, Mediapart can reveal. Alerted to the problem, the Ministry of Labour has now ordered EDF to halt use of the machinery until the flaws are corrected. As Pascale Pascariello reports, the problem is just one of a series that have blighted the building of the European Pressurized Reactor at Flamanville, in northern France, with its completion already delayed by four years amid spiralling costs.

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In a summons issued on December 13th, the French labour ministry has ordered utility giant EDF to take “every appropriate measure to remedy a dangerous situation” at the company’s flagship European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) plant under construction at Flamanville, situated on the Channel coast in northern France, and which is due to become one of the biggest nuclear power facilities in the world.