Nuclear power critics criticize the dismantling of the Fessenheim nuclear power plant


In the opinion of nuclear power critics, the decommissioned French nuclear power plant in Fessenheim is not being adequately dismantled from the perspective of risk reduction. The operator EDF only minimally fulfills the precautions required by the supervisory authority, there are security gaps and too little transparency, says the Tri-national Nuclear Protection Association (TRAS).

On his behalf, Dr. AndrĂ© Herrmann, former President of the Federal Commission on Radiation Protection, analyzed a good 100 dossiers submitted by EDF on dismantling. According to him, it shows “that many weak points that have been criticized by the French supervisory authority since the Fukushima accident can also be accepted during dismantling without safety precautions,” says a TRAS announcement (PDF).

The association was founded in June 2005 by 48 people from Switzerland, France and Germany with the aim of shutting down the Fessenheim nuclear power plant. That finally happened in 2020. Even during the upcoming dismantling, safety regulations must be observed. In Herrmann’s opinion, EDF did not, for example, “take into account the radioactive potential of the spent fuel rods in the cooling basin until 2023”. The assessment of the seismic risk and the acceleration spectra from 2011 do not correspond to the current requirements.

According to Herrmann, the whereabouts of the six radioactively contaminated old steam generators has not been clarified. The dismantling plan was specified with safety margins of an additional nine months for the complete removal of the fuel rods and an additional six years for the validity of the decommissioning decree. The removal of the fuel rods could extend into the year 2024. By the end of the first quarter of 2021, 25 percent of the fuel rods had been removed.

Herrmann further criticizes that on the Radioactivity measurement results website only sporadic results can be seen for Fessenheim. The residents have a right to transparency.


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