Nuclear power, once promised to America as a source of electricity “too cheap to meter,” has been revealed as a ticking time mob capable to contaminating major swatches of lands for generations.
After Three Mile Island came Chernobyl, and after Chernobyl came Fukushima.
And now comes word that one of the world’s major reactor construction firms has been falsifying records to hide flaws in hundreds of the components they use.
The “irregular” components are employed in reactors providing most of France’s electricity. They may also be found in many of the scores of plants the French firm built in other countries.
From the London Daily Telegraph:
France’s ailing nuclear giant, Areva, faced a major scandal on Tuesday after the country’s nuclear watchdog confirmed there have been “irregularities” in 400 parts produced in its reactors since 1965, and that “around 50 are currently in service in France’s nuclear power plant fleet”.
France’s independent Nuclear Safety Authority, ASN, said the “irregularities” were listed in an audit it had ordered from Areva after it detected a “very serious anomaly” in a reactor vessel in the country’s Flamanville EPR nuclear plant, the same model Britain plans to use for two new plants at Hinkley Point.
The fault in the vessel destined to house the plant’s nuclear fuel and confine its radioactivity was detected last year.
“These irregularities consist in incoherencies, modifications or omissions in manufacturing dossiers,” ASN said in a statement.
Next, a video report from euronews:
Probe indicates falsified documents in Flamanville nuclear plant construction
The investigation launched after the discovery of “anomalies” in the structure of the Flamanville nuclear plant in France have revealed inconsistencies in the production records of nuclear components manufactured at a factory in Le Creusot.
And more details from Reuters:
In a statement, ASN. . .made no comment about some of these components being in use in Areva-built nuclear plants abroad.
The ASN said it has asked Areva to provide as soon as possible a list of the relevant components and its analysis of the possible impact on security in France’s nuclear plants, in cooperation with their operators.
French utility EDF operates 58 nuclear reactors in 19 nuclear plants in France, which produce about 75 percent of the nation’s electricity.
The manufacturing problems further dented the reputation of Areva, whose flagship EPR reactor has suffered years of delays and billions of euros of cost overruns at construction sites in France and Finland.