France calls for nuclear safety upgrades

France calls for nuclear safety upgrades

A French Government commission has increased pressure on its state supported power utility EDF to increase safety precautions at its nuclear power plants, including protection against potential terrorist attacks.

A parliamentary commission has been established to investigate the safety and security of nuclear installations in France has described the country’s existing fleet as vulnerable to accidents and attacks.

The commission’s report said: “French nuclear installations seem to suffer from an original flaw that will be difficult to remedy: they were not designed to withstand terrorist-like aggression.”

The report increases already heighten pressure on EDF, which is heavily indebted and operates France’s nuclear fleet and will have to pay billions of euros to extend the life of its current fleet.

The commission proposed 33 suggestions to improve the situation, including putting more police around nuclear sites, strengthening powers of the French regulator ASN and reducing the country’s reliance on subcontractors.

The nuclear centred company is struggling to prove the worth of its next generation European Pressurised Reactor as France has called for the acceleration of its shift away from the power source.

Following the 1986 meltdown at Chernobyl nuclear reactors and that in 2011 at Japan’s Fukushima plant, nuclear companies have struggled to demonstrate the safety of their reactors, causing further doubts over the long-term future of the industry.

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