The French nuclear watchdog, the ASN, has ordered state-owned EDF to repair eight faulty weldings in the containment building of its EPR reactor at the Flamanville nuclear plant on the Channel coast, adding further woes to a project already well over budget and deadline, and which raises further questions over its EPR contracts in Finland and for the nuclear plant of Hinkley Point in south-west Britain.
A group of eight Greenpeace militants broke into a nuclear plant at Cattenom in north-east France early on Thursday, where they let off fireworks in a filmed protest to highlight what the organisation says are inadequate security measures to prevent malicious attacks.
French nuclear safety inspectors have discovered numerous faults with crucial safety valves in the cooling system of what will be one of the world’s biggest nuclear power plants under construction at Flamanville, on the Channel coast, Mediapart can reveal. The malfunctioning valves for the Areva-designed, third-generation European Pressurized Reactor could cause its meltdown, in a similar scenario to the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the US. The inspectors’ damning confidential report, obtained by Mediapart, follows the revelation last month that the Flamanville EPR reactor’s vessel contained excessive amounts of carbon that could cause it to crack. Pascale Pascariello reports.