From within EDF, A Charge that the EPR Is an “Explosive Technology”

From Nuclear France:

The safe energy alliance, Sortir du Nucléaire, made public March 6, a group of confidential documents from EDF, which, the alliance states, demonstrate that the EPR (European/Evolutionary Pressurized Water Reactor) will risk exploding.  The documents were sent to the organization “very recently” by an anonymous source within EDF.  Sortir du Nucléaire has given them to a group of unnamed experts for in-depth analysis, and has posted them on its Web site, http://www.sortirdunucleaire.org,  for downloading.

The first of the EDF documents is an unsigned and undated, but documented, summary, “Une technologie explosive: the EPR.”  This document, which Sortir du Nucléaire apparently relies on for a press release states that the danger lies in the arrangement of the control rods (which allow the power of a reactor to be increased or decreased) and the operation of the reactor in a mode known as RIP (instant return in power), a type of “load following,” allowing rapid changes in power to respond to changes in the demand for electricity on the grid. At very low power, control rods may be ejected and may rupture the covering surrounding the mechanism controlling the rods, the summary says.  The rupture of the covering could let cooling water escape the reactor vessel, which would in turn allow some of the fuel rods and cladding to overheat and release extremely radioactive steam inside the confinement structure.  This, in turn, would make possible a critical excursion resulting in an explosion.

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