Nuclear watchdog proposes rapid reaction force to prevent French Fukushima
France’s nuclear watchdog has ordered 10 billion euros’ worth of changes to be made to the country’s nuclear power stations to avoid a Fukushima-style disaster. It wants a rapid reaction force to be set up by the end of the year.
“A lot of people think that Fukushima is behind us, in fact it’s ahead of us,” declared Jean-Christophe Niel, the boss of the nuclear safety authority, ASN, when presenting nearly 1,000 recommendations aimed at preventing a similar tragedy in France.
Its most urgent proposal is to set up a rapid reaction force capable of sending specialised teams and equipment to the scene of an accident anywhere in the country within 24 hours. That should be up and running by the end of this year;
In the longer term, a bunker housing a command post will be built in all France’s nuclear reactors so as to keep the site running even if it is hit by earthquake or flood.
An extra emergency reserve electricity supply will also be established by the end of the year.