- France - Fukushima - nuclear power
French nuclear plants urged to improve safety
France's nuclear authority has called for enhanced safety measures at the country's 58 reactors in light of last year's Fukushima disaster in Japan, though ruling out any immediate plant closure.
AFP - France's nuclear watchdog on Tuesday called for the country's power plants to beef up safety in response to the risk from natural disasters but ruled out any immediate reactor shutdown.
The recommendations were made by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) as part of a post-Fukushima inspection of France's nuclear industry.
"Following additional safety evaluations of priority nuclear installations, the ASN believes that the installations that have been assessed have a sufficient level of safety to warrant it not to request any immediate shutdown," it said.
"At the same time, the ASN believes that continuing operations requires existing safety margins to be strengthened as swiftly as possible."
It gave plant operators six months to itemise work to strengthen safety measures in response to natural threats such as floods and earthquakes.
France is the most nuclear-dependent country in the world, deriving 75 percent of its electricity needs from 58 reactors, most of which were built in response to the oil shocks of the 1970s.