Terrifying Admissions by the President of France’s Nuclear Regulator before the National Assembly

By Jean Revest

Southeast [France] Antinuclear Coordination
December 5, 2017
Translation by Dennis Riches

Original source:
Jean Revest,  Aveux du Président de l'ASN devant l'Assemblée Nationale 
Coordination Anti-Nucléaire du Sud-Est
5 décembre 2017

Pierre-Frank Chevet, president of France’s ASN (Autorité de Sureté Nucléaire), attended his confirmation hearing in November in front of the National Assembly’s Commission for Energy and Sustainable Development (Commission Energie et Développement Durable). Feeling uneasy and wanting to save the nuclear industry at all costs, at the end of his talk he nonetheless described a frightening state of affairs that is catastrophic and menacing. Nothing is under control, accidents are multiplying, personnel are demoralized and downsized, professional skills are not up to par, the installations are obsolete or aging, rules are not respected, safety is not assured, and at every level all seems to be just cobbled together. It was an anthology of stark admissions that chilled one’s spine.

The ASN opens an umbrella and rushes into the storm as if in desperation to get through the atomic catastrophe that is coming, all the while pledging allegiance to the nuclear lobby—to maintain the existence of nuclear and its pretended role as an “independent” enterprise which is actually financed by the State. The ASN president was appointed after having made a few confessions at the end of his hearing before elected representatives of the National Assembly on November 8, 2017. He concluded by describing:

 -the dilapidated state of a good part of the nuclear reactors on French soil -the financial failure of the atomic industry (Areva, EDF, CEA)

-the impossibility of completing the work to be done in repairing and securing nuclear facilities

-the non-existence of professional competence and technical skills necessary to carry out the “great overhaul” [renovation of the aging fleet of reactors built in the 1970s-1980s].

-the broken patchwork of the regulatory system

-the mismanagement of files by nuclear enterprises

-falsifications of records by enterprises regulated by the ASN

-the runaway costs of the new EPR reactor construction, now known to be not nearly as reliable and safe as its promoters once said it was

-a lack of manpower and technical skill that would enable the ASN to actually control what is happening in the very closed circles of the aficionados of atomic destruction.

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