France&#039s nuclear spent-fuel pools key safety risk: Greenpeace

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The spent-fuel pools of French utility EDF’s nuclear reactors are very susceptible to assaults, Greenpeace said in a report released on Tuesday.

The symbol of Electricite de France (EDF) is seen at the entrance of the nuclear electricity plant as steam rises from the cooling towers in Nogent-sur-Seine, France, Oct twenty, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Image

PARIS: The spent-fuel pools of French utility EDF’s nuclear reactors are very susceptible to assaults, Greenpeace said in a report released on Tuesday.

Penned by a team of nuclear gurus and delivered to French authorities, the report suggests that spent-fuel pools, which usually have the equal of one to 3 nuclear reactor cores, have not been created to withstand exterior aggression.

An attack primary to a loss of cooling h2o could spark a spent-fuel fire that could contaminate regions as far as 250 kilometres absent, Greenpeace’s Yannick Rousselet said.

“EDF must handle this concern and reinforce its spent-fuel pools,” he said.

EDF, which operates fifty eight reactors, denied its spent-fuel pools are at risk and said they have been created to withstand earthquakes and flooding as perfectly as terror assaults.

“Our nuclear fleet is safe and EDF, in near cooperation with the authorities, forever evaluates the risk of terror assaults,” and EDF spokeswoman said.

After uranium fuel is burned, the waste – which stays radioactive and quite incredibly hot for yrs – usually is cooled in pools two-3 yrs just before becoming transported to processing vegetation.

Greenpeace gurus estimate the price of upgrading the pools’ security at about one billion euros (893.69 million kilos) per reactor.

The team said that considering the fact that France has developed quite a few nuclear vegetation proper by its borders, citizens of Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg are at risk.

“Nuclear amenities could be an appealing concentrate on for a terror organisation,” said German nuclear qualified Oda Becker.

Becker said the greatest risk is a comprehensive loss of cooling h2o, which could come about if the building’s walls are strike by an airplane, a helicopter loaded with explosives or wall-penetrating rocket-propelled grenades.

Areva’s La Hague plant is seen as notably susceptible.

“With the equal of about 114 reactor cores in its pools … La Hague is the nuclear facility that provides the optimum risk in Europe,” said Yves Marignac, one of the gurus.

Areva said that considering the fact that the Sept. 11 assaults in 2001, Areva and French authorities have been vigilant about terrorism risk.

A lot of the fuel at La Hague has largely cooled immediately after yrs in storage and the web-site is very secured, Areva said.

It has long lasting radar protection in cooperation with the air force and no planes are authorized to fly about it at altitudes of fewer than two,000 metres in a 3 kilometre radius. La Hague’s pools are also surrounded by substantial buildings that guard from airplane assaults, Areva said.

Condition secretary for the environment Sébastien Lecornu said the federal government would analyze the Greenpeace report.

“France has the most strong nuclear security and safety measures in the globe,” he said on RTL radio.

(More reporting by Simon Carraud Composing by Geert De Clercq Editing by Bate Felix and David Evans)

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