Today, Monday 13 March is an important date in the evolution of the IRSN dismantling project decided by the French government early February, in fact IRSN more united than ever is demonstrating again today against this decision considered rushed and unjustified.
A rejoicing video made by the workers of IRSN show their unity and opposition as well as their fear to see safety jeopardized as well as their vast expertise which goes beyond nuclear facilities as they also work on radioactivity with medical organisations. More than 10 000 persons have signed a petition against IRSN’s disparition.
In fact the irony wants that few days ago the French regulator ASN, meant to takeover IRSN’s main activities, responsible for monitoring the proper functioning of power plants, said it was “stepping up the pressure” on EDF after the discovery of a very deep crack in a circuit of the number one reactor at Penly (Seine-Maritime), which allows water to be injected to cool the reactor in case of a problem. In other words, serious safety problems on ageing power plants.
Meanwhile, at the French Parliament the discussion begins today on the law on the acceleration of procedures related to the construction of new nuclear facilities around existing nuclear sites and on the life-time operation of existing facilities. This new law includes the fate of IRSN with its dismantling and the government seems determined to move forward no matter what. IRSN might very well disappear during 2024 if there is no opposition to this law or amendement to it at the Parliament
In France and though out Europe various stakeholders have already raised their voice such as Nuclear Transparency Watch but also ANCCLI, the french association of local committees of information around nuclear facilities, with a statement asking to evaluate the consequences before any legislative decision, or such as the SITEX.Network, association of Technical Support and Civil Society Organisations involving among others ANCCLI, NTW and IRSN as members, expressing concerns.
Today, NTW is subscribing to SITEX.Network and ANCCLI’s positions agreeing with the last one that:
Safety is based above all on the robustness of systems and organisations and also on the women and men.
If you want to find out more about the views from ANCCLI and NTW you can read Yves Lheureux, Director of ANCCLI, presentation for NTW’s informational webinar held today on the topic.