French safety standards for nuclear reactors need updating says study

Nov 18, 2011
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After the tragedy that happened this year in Japan with the flooding and tsunami that caused the Fukushima nuclear reactor to leaked radiation, many countries in Europe including France are working to test their nuclear reactors. The tests are to be sure that the plants could withstand a natural disaster without leaking radiation.

The French were testing their reactors for the ability to resist flooding, earthquakes, power outages, and the failure of the cooling system. The final results for the testing will not be offered until June. However, a preliminary report says that the French need to add a layer of protection mechanisms in reactors to safeguard the reactor's cooling functions and electric power.

One thing the findings urge is an extra diesel generator placed out of the way so it can't fail in the event of a strong earthquake. The older French reactors were built in twos on the premise that nothing would harm both at once. A massive natural disaster like the one in Japan could certainly harm them both. The French are being urged to make safety enhancements. So far, the French are saying there is no need to shut any of its reactors down.

[via Reuters]


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