Next chapter in the ‘failed horror story of an industry’. EDF’s nuclear reactors: more emergency tests

EDF, a state-owned company, now has 12 reactors out of action

nuclear-running-shoesThe French Nuclear Safety Agency has ordered EDF – the company which is to build an £18 billion nuclear power station for 21 years at Hinkley Point – to shut down 5 more reactors in France for emergency tests. In addition, 7 are already being examined by experts to determine whether they contain hidden weaknesses in their reactor pressure vessels, a key component that houses the reactor.

Read Jonathon Porritt’s earlier blog about EDF’s financial and reactor problems here.

Last year it was disclosed that that the reactor pressure vessel at a similar plant that EDF is building at Flamanville in Normandy contains unusually high levels of carbon. Experts say that this could make the structure unsafe.

And this month Porritt eloquently ends a blog about nuclear waste ( ‘no long-term solutions to the problem of nuclear waste in sight, and countless communities blighted, in one way or another, by the nuclear incubus in their midst’):

“One of the reasons why I’m still passionate about the concept of sustainable development (rather than the environment per se) is its unwavering advocacy of intergenerational justice: being explicit about what any one generation owes to all those generations that succeed it. The nuclear industry today only survives by ruthlessly ignoring those intergenerational obligations: the economics of nuclear power only ‘work’ because it dumps the intractable problems of managing its waste onto future generations.

“In other words, this is not just a managerially incompetent, technologically redundant, financially bankrupt and wilfully dishonest industry – it is inherently immoral.

“And yet, even now, there are a few misguided environmentalists who tell us that our low-carbon future depends on investing yet more countless billions of dollars in this failed horror story of an industry”.


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