Mittwoch, 11. April 2012

Serious incidents in France and South Korea leave many questions:

On April 5th, 2 fires in reactor 2, in the French Nuclear Power Plant “Penly” provoked a radioactive leak in the primary pumping system releasing 2300 litres of radioactive cooling water per hour. In a first reaction, Bruno Chareyron, senior researcher at the independent nuclear institute CRIRAAD announced that the accident is to be taken very seriously. A serious damage in the primary circuit on the pumping system that allows the reactor to be cooled down is a very serious matter. He asks how is it possible to have a malfunctioning pump with oil leaks, and what is the cause of it? Poor maintenance or low quality material? Furthermore the French Nuclear Safety Agency ASN has not yet commentated on the health state of both firefighters and workers who intervened at the NPP Penly. They can very well protect themselves against radioactive contamination but not against the irradiation from the source. In the case of Penly, regarding the fact that highly radioactive cooling water containing many sorts of radioactive isotopes escaped from the primary system, the irradiation of the workers and firefighters must have heen important. Furthermore the question of the consequences for the environment have not (yet) been addressed by French authorities: EDF, who exploit the NPP Penly reassured that all of the leaking water was caught in special buckets. The question remains how much more these containers could have retained if the leak had not been stopped. These waters will be treated and most probably thrown into the ocean. Knowing that tritium cannot be processed, an important tritium amount will thus be liberated into the Channel. (The nuclear power plant in Penly has already a certificate issued by ASN to drop 72 000 000 000 000 bequerels per year into the Channel) Saying that the impact on the environment is not a risk, is thus a very quick and false conclusion by French authorities. In the next weeks and months it is up to the authorities and also us to check if the tritium readings in the Channel by have substantially risen or not. In another reaction Greenpeace France calls for an immediate stop of all French Nuclear reactors and an urgent petitions EDF and ASN to quickly check all the pumping systems in the “French nuclear park”. The French blog “Le Blog de Fukushima” has published an not really scientific nor representative but yet interesting map of the fallout of Chernobyl and Fukushima applied to Penly. Possible scenarios would imply the evacuation of Bruges, Brussels, London, Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Paris, or important parts of France's Northern seaboard, South East England or entire countries like Belgium or Luxembourg.

Penly, was without any doubt a very close call. Another near accident happened several weeks ago in the South Korean nuclear power plant in Kori the country's oldest station. The incident itself had been kept in the dark for several weeks before South Korean authorities decided to publish it. On February 9th 2012, the reactor was shut down for inspection. After that, the whole reactor system lost all power and diesel generators failed. The plant was without power for 12 minutes. This is a very serious incident. Electricity failures and problems with energy supply are the most critical events that can happen at a station: No power meaning that neither the reactor can be cooled nor can the chain reaction be controlled. After 12 minutes the electricity in Kori was restored and the workers could stabilize the reactor. One doesn't want to imagine what could have happened in South Korea if the workers hadn't had managed to reestablish the energy supply.

What do these incidents teach us? Especially the incident in Penly shows us that the E.U stress tests did not improve the security of French nuclear power stations. The disastrous state of some plants remain the same. A serious incident seems in France likely and only a matter of time.


- Getty Images 2012 (c)
- (c) Fukushima "Le Blog"


  1. Thank you so much. Saw you at Fukushima Watchdogs. Spreading this link around.

  2. Tweeted:
    #Fukushima: Good Night, and Good Luck!: Serious incidents in France and South Korea leave many questions!!

  3. Thank you for Sharing! keep up the good fight!

  4. thankyou phil for sharing this! unfortunately we heard not much about Kori and Penly accident in the news!

  5. Was für eine grandiose suchen persönliche Website, die Sie laufen! Haben Sie diese Domain von sich selbst?


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