French nuclear regulator prescibes hard core measures post Fukushima

Post Fukushima it will not be business as usual for the nuclear industry. France’s nuclear safety authority has called for enhanced safety measures at the country’s 58 reactors in light of last year’s
Fukushima-Daiichi accident in Japan, but has ruled out any immediate shutdowns, NucNet news agency reported yesterday

In a 500-page report published yesterday the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) said all French nuclear facilities could continue operation, but their safety level must continue to be improved. The report was on “complementary safety evaluations” and was carried out by Franceindependently of stress tests required by the European Commission.

The report clarified that no nuclear facilities need to be shut down immediately, but investment is essential to increase their resistance to extreme events.

Measures directed for implementation include install flood-proof diesel generators and bunkered remote back-up control rooms at its 19 plants across the country. If these measures are not done some of its 58
reactors will have to be shut down, ASN added.
State-controlled EDF will also have to set up an emergency nuclear task force to intervene on the site of an accident within less than 24 hours.

“Following additional safety evaluations of priority nuclear installations, ASN believes that the installations that have been assessed have a sufficient level of safety to warrant it not to request any
immediate shutdown,” an ASN statement said.

“At the same time, ASN believes that continuing operations requires existing safety margins to be strengthened as swiftly as possible.”

ASN gave plant operators six months to itemise work to strengthen safety measures in response to natural threats such as floods and earthquakes.

A date has been set of 30 June 2012 for operators to propose “hard core” measures for each facility. These measures will cover “basic safety in extreme situations”.

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About ksparthasarathy

I am a former Secretary of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. I am a former Raja Ramanna Fellow in the Department of Atomic Energy. Free lance journalism is my hobby
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