Inspection at nuclear plant raises questions

SAFETY measures at a French nuclear reprocessing plant about 35 miles off Jersey’s coast have been deemed insufficient against the risk of explosion.

The La Hague nuclear reprocessing plant
The La Hague nuclear reprocessing plant

The Areva plant at La Hague was given an impromptu inspection by the French nuclear safety authority ASN which found that the protection against explosions was not up to scratch and that back-up scans could not be completed in the one hour 36 minutes needed to comply with safety standards.

According to ASN, the condition of one of the gas parks – known as T3 – is ‘unsatisfactory’ and operating valves of the gas station have been found in a state of ‘generalised corrosion’.

Meanwhile at the T4 park, ASN found that a back-up air scanning system – used to dilute the quantities of hydrogen produced in order to limit the chance of an explosion – was not able to be completed within the maximum permitted time.

The La Hague site treats nuclear waste from stations across the globe and is one of the world’s biggest nuclear reprocessing sites.

Almost 3,000 employees work at the site.

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