EdF documents show new nuclear safety risk

by Jim Duffy
on Friday 01 Oct 2010

type: Opinion/Analysis
topic: The Environment
region: South West
The EPR is the reactor design proposed by EdF at Hinkley Point. The news breaks just as the second stage of the EdF consultation is about to close (on Monday).

The documents reveal that a combination of eighty-nine penetrations to the reactor pressure vessel and the type of metal used could produce leaks in the crucial component and lead to a devastating nuclear accident.

The revelations will cause more headaches for EdF. The reactor design has been criticised by UK, US, French and Finnish safety regulators over the complex control and instrumentation system which if impaired, could result in the failure of the shut-down system. EdF has also been slammed for its safety failures leading in one case to the contamination of a hundred nuclear workers.
100 Tricastin EdF workers contaminated, 15 at Saint Alban, another leak at Romans-sur-Iseres (most detailed report):

As the reactor would use high burn up fuel, the results of a serious accident could lead to the release of eleven times more radioactivity than from a standard Pressurised Water Reactor such as Sizewell B with obvious implications for public health.

Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley Coordinator said: "EdF keep repeating their mantra about safety being their priority but actually these documents reveal they are prepared to allow a potentially dangerous reactor to be built. They were criticised two years ago for safety shortcomings that led to a hundred French workers being contaminated, leading to industrial unrest. I'm worried we'll see a repeat of these safety breaches over here."