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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #303 - Nuclear: The urgency to close the golfech power station (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Sat, 4 Apr 2020 11:17:05 +0300

In all nuclear power plants, even those that do not reach the 40 years of life originally planned, incidents and operating anomalies are legion. The example of the Golfech power station reminds us of the danger that threatens us. ---- Thirty years after the Golfech nuclear power plant (Tarn-et-Garonne) was commissioned, the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), during a press conference organized in Bordeaux on September 25, 2019, pointed out the deterioration of its operation, in particular following the turnover " in five years of half the workforce " of the plant. " This is a new phenomenon with an increasing number of incidents " testifying to " problems of competence and behavior ". ---- Many incidents had to be reported, including in 2018 four level 1 anomalies on the international scale of severity of nuclear events [1].

Since then, the malfunctions have continued: Since Saturday October 5, production unit no. 2 has been shut down to renew part of its fuel and carry out maintenance operations [2]. But a banal oversight during the procedure dangerously brought the installation of an accident situation [3]and " led the management of the Golfech nuclear power plant to declare a significant safety event on October 11, 2019 ".

The Sortir du nuclear network also reacted with a press release: " It is indecent that the company, in its press release, blames" an employee "to divert attention from a more global problem that is already generating risks.[...]The race for profitability led by EDF, to the detriment of the safety and security of populations and workers, can only lead to serious problems. "

However, not all the operating difficulties of the plant are attributable to the employees. Thus, a steam leak on a pipe located in the engine room led to the shutdown once again, on December 2, 2019, of production unit No. 2 of the power plant [4].

Incidents: structural causes
Golfech seems to be in the crosshairs of ASN: the latter has just convened its director, after having " noted deficiencies in the implementation of reactor operating operations and a lack of systemic rigor in the recording and traceability of activities relating to the maintenance of installations " [5].

After the commissioning of the power station, the anti-nuclear association VSDNG (Vivre Sans le Danger Nucléaire de Golfech), engaged in a double fight: to obtain its closure, but also to organize by then surveillance of the power station and in particular of its discharges, and mobilize the population for each dysfunction noted.

Obviously, it is not enough to rely on ASN's official controls. Strengthening local anti-nuclear committees over time remains a necessity, concerning the two facets of their fight.

Jacques Dubart (UCL Nantes)

[1] The Ines scale (International Nuclear Event Scale), which is mainly used for communication to the population and the media, is composed of 8 levels, from 0 to 7. Levels 1 to 3 correspond to "incidents", levels 4 to 7 to "accidents". Source: irsn.fr .

[2] Press release from the management of the Golfech power plant on October 11, 2019.

[3] The description of the incident is available on the journaldelenergie.com website .

[4] A reactor at the Golfech nuclear power plant shut down after a leak , France 3 Occitanie on December 2, 2019.

[5] Tarn-et-Garonne: the director of the Golfech power station convened by the Nuclear Safety Authority , France 3 Occitanie on February 8, 2020.

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