Alarm Spreads Over Meltdown at French Nuclear Plant

Wednesday, June 10, 2015
By Paul Martin

The French nuclear safety watchdog says it has found “multiple failure modes” that carry “grave consequences” on crucial safety relief valves on the Flamanville nuclear plant in northern France, which could lead to meltdown.

The new-build facility, that has been beset by problems for years, will be one of the world’s biggest nuclear power plants. It was designed by French nuclear giant Areva and is being operated by energy giant EDF.

Now, the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) has found that malfunctioning safety valves could cause its meltdown in a scenario similar to the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the US, according to documents obtained by investigative French website Mediapart.

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