Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Confidential EDF documents show serious accident risks with the EPR reactor

Press release 30 September 2010

On Monday 27 September, the French Nuclear Phase out Network "Sortir du nucléaire" received internal EDF documents, showing that the design and manufacture of the vessel closure head for the EPR in Flamanville could lead to a Tchernobyl-type accident.

Worse still, according to a memo written by the Head of nuclear fuel from EDF in 2001 (1), a Tchernobyl-type accident is possible on all French nuclear reactors. The EPR is also concerned.

Several EDF documents show that the number of welds and the type of steel used in some parts of the reactor vessel at Flamanville EPR may cause leaks. EDF considers that the leaks may, in turn, degenerate into a Tchernobyl-type accident. This type of steel and welds are part of the emergency shutdown system of the EPR and cover 89 points of entry into the reactor vessel.

EDF documents received by the network "Sortir du nucléaire" demonstrate that EDF engineers have designed parts of the vessel closure head for the EPR that not only endanger safety but also knowingly violate French law (2) relating to nuclear facilities under pressure.

For the Network "Sortir du nucléaire", the conclusion is obvious: in spite of all these issues, EDF persists in a policy that sacrifices security for profits! In view of the catastrophic consequences of an accident, this attitude is unimaginable and unforgivable.

Design flaws, increased toxicity of waste, untested technology, vulnerability to attacks (or even cyber-terrorism) ... Before the submission by EDF of a safety report for Flamanville the network "Sortir du nucléaire" wishes to remind everyone about all the problems with this reactor. In France, Finland and elsewhere, it is urgent to put an end to the EPR program and initiate the transition towards a future without nuclear power.

Link to EDF documentation and our detailed analysis (all in french):

More information about all the problems of the EPR:

Press Contact

Steven Mitchell: +33 952 495 022

[1] Management Activities of Hearts Physics and Fuels, SEPTEN, Andre Berthet (20.12.2001).

[2] violations of the decree of 12 December 2005 on nuclear pressure equipment.

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