Beyond Nuclear Bulletin
March 12, 2010
French nuclear reactor planned for U.S. could explode
By Beyond Nuclear
Background: Confidential documents revealed to French activist groups this week show that the design for the French Evolutionary Power Reactor (EPR and known in Europe as the European Pressurized Reactor) presents a serious safety risk and could explode. The documents, leaked by a source inside the French national utility, Électricité de France (EDF), confirm that corporate profitability is being placed ahead of public safety in the rush to deliver a new reactor design at minimum cost. The documents show that the Areva-designed reactor has been approved for construction and marketed around the world, despite inside knowledge about the reactor's vulnerability to a major accident. Originally slated for six U.S. sites (and seven reactors) the EPR is currently on track only at the Calvert Cliffs site in Maryland, where it is very likely the next recipient of federal loan guarantees and is the reference application which would streamline the way for other EPRs elsewhere. It is under construction in Finland and France, where both sites are mired in huge delays, technical flaws and massive cost-over-runs. A group of scientific experts, retained by the French anti-nuclear network, Sortir du nucléaire, have analyzed the leaked EDF documents available in French, but being translated into English shortly.)
Our View: These revelations come on the heels of earlier leaked disclosures showing the EPR is structurally vulnerable to aircraft impacts and the questions raised by the British, Finnish and French safety authorities about the design issues in the computer control of the reactor. This confirms the inherent dangers that still haunt this experimental nuclear technology. We see a pattern placing nuclear economics ahead of safety margins is still rife throughout a now global nuclear energy industry. It is unacceptable to place profits over public safety given the catastrophic consequences inherent in a nuclear accident. The EPR should not be built in the U.S., or anywhere else.
What You Can Do: Please download our press release and the Sortir du nucléaire press release (in English) and distribute these to your media contacts. And please continue to use this information and our other materials on the French nuclear program to dispel the arguments in favor of replicating the French nuclear system.
Also see: 'Dr Jekyll Obama Goes Nuclear' Obama targets black community in Georgia with new nuclear reactors: