Greenpeace Criticises French Authority’s Plans to Extend Nuclear Power Plant Life

Greenpeace has criticised the prescriptions published today by the French Nuclear Safety Authority (Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire – ASN) regarding the life extension of nuclear power plants.

On Thursday 25 February 2021, the ASN published its instructions for the continued operation of 900 MWe reactors beyond 40 years. This comes one month after the end of the public consultation. Greenpeace has argued that this “very short deadline” is evidence that this consultation was “purely formal”.

The environmental NGO also maintained that specific requests aimed at improving the safety and security of reactors, formulated by NGOs or independent experts within the framework of the consultation, were not taken into account.

On the contrary, the ASN mentioned that it “postponed some of the deadlines due to particular industrial and operating constraints when the postponement was acceptable from the point of view of safety”.

For Roger Spautz, Nuclear Campaigner at Greenpeace France, “it is EDF’s industrial capacities that dictate the timetable for implementing the prescriptions and not the need to improve safety. As with the measures to strengthen the post-Fukushima nuclear fleet in France, ASN constantly chooses to postpone it, with no regard for the protection of populations and the environment ”.

Greenpeace recalled that the upgrading of the 900 MWe reactors does not make it possible to meet the fundamental safety requirements arising from the rules currently in force, both in France and internationally.