French nuclear watchdog calls for safety upgrades

France’s nuclear watchdog today said the country’s reactors were safe but would need improvements to avoid a Fukushima-style scenario following a natural disaster.

At a press conference, Andre-Claude Lacoste, president of nuclear safety authority Autorite de Surete Nucleaire, said: “There is no imminent danger. However this is not the end of the safety evaluation process.”

The ASN inspected all 58 reactors in France following the Fukushima incident in March and is due to publish its findings in full in January 2012.

However it has already highlighted the need to increase levels of defense against natural disasters.

“Nuclear safety is not static, we must always look to improve it,” Jacques Repussard, director of The French Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety, told the Wall St Journal.

He said a series of measures were needed to ensure that should a natural disaster occur, reactors are kept cool with a steady water supply, perhaps supplied by diesel pumps.

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