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Lobby groups file challenge to France’s Flamanville nuclear reactor via Reuters

A group of activists has filed a legal challenge with the French prime minister’s office against the extension of EDF’s license for construction of the Flamanville nuclear reactor in northern France.

The move by Greenpeace and other anti-nuclear groups is in response to safety concerns over the Flamanville reactor and is a precursor to elevation of their challenge to the State Council, the country’s highest administrative court.

The lobby groups said in a statement that the license, issued in 2007 and renewed this year, should not have been granted because EDF and reactor supplier Areva were aware of technical shortcomings at Areva’s Creusot Forge nuclear foundry since 2005.

[…]

One member of the group, l’Observatoire du Nucléaire, said in a separate statement that the ASN had committed a major error in December 2013 by allowing EDF to install the reactor containment vessel in the reactor building despite being aware of the problems.

It said that today the vessel could only be extracted by destroying part of the reactor.

“This is an unacceptable option for EDF, which is putting maximum pressure on the ASN to force it to validate the use of this faulty vessel,” l’Observatoire du Nucléaire said.

[…]

The regulator has repeatedly delayed its ruling on Flamanville since the end of 2015 and last month said a decision would be made by Sept. 21 at the latest.

EDF’s planned takeover of Areva’s reactor unit Areva NP — part of a government-led rescue of virtually bankrupt Areva — is conditional on the ASN’s green light for Flamanville.

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