A group of experts in Tokyo suggested pouring radioactive water from Fukushima into the open sea. A marine biochemist explains the consequences of this absurd decision.
Why a Fukushima-like disaster could happen in Europe
L’allarme del presidente dell’Autorità francese per la Sicurezza Nucleare, a cinque anni dal disastro di Fukushima. Ecco le centrali transalpine a rischio.
“A Fukushima-like disaster could happen in Europe. I can’t tell the odds, but the first step is assuming that it is possible”. These words weren’t pronounced by any Greenpeace activist, but by France’s Nuclear Safety Authority President Pierre-Franck Chevet who, during an interview with the newspaper Libération, made clear that catastrophic scenarios cannot be excluded.
The French newspaper asked Chevet why he talked of a “particularly worrying situation as far as nuclear security is concerned”. Chevet said that his statements come from three facts: “Firstly, the maintenance of 40-year-old plants is technically complicated. EDF – France’s main electricity company – estimates that 55 billion euros are needed to carry out such maintenance works”.
The financial conditions of EDF and AREVA are worrying
Secondly, continued Chevet, “security standards are higher, while our nuclear power stations date back to the 1980s. This is anything but a secondary problem”. Lastly, what’s also worrying is “the financial condition of nuclear industry’s main actors. EDF, Areva, and CEA (Atomic Energy Commission) are going through economic difficulties. When companies lack means, there’s a higher risk as for security”.
“In any case, we’ve set goals and deadlines. And we’re going to monitor them in order to be achieved. We carry out many inspections and law allows us to impose financial sanctions if needed”.
Dated nuclear power plants
The newspaper 20 Minutes mapped the existing risks in France, home to 58 nuclear reactors divided in 19 sites. EDF assured that “reactors’ security levels are systemically assessed in compliance with international standards”. Reactors underwent “stress-tests” in order to verify their resistance to extreme conditions, including earthquakes, floods, or terror attacks.
However, according to expert Yves Marignac, “even if reactors are classified according to their security levels, nothing can guarantee that a Fukushima-like disaster won’t take place in those sites considered to be the most reliable”.
Greenpeace: two nuclear power stations at risk are close to Italy
The nuclear power stations that are mainly cause for worry are Fessenheim, Alsace, built 40 years ago and located in a seismic region; Civaux, Central-western France; Chooz, Ardennes; and the under-construction Flamaville reactor.
Moreover, according to Greenpeace, there are two sites at risk, Tricastin and Bugey, that are not far from the Italian border.
Cover photo © Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Quest'opera è distribuita con Licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 4.0 Internazionale.
A federal court in Washington, D.C. has struck down the Dakota Access Pipeline, following years of campaigning by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
We visited Fukushima to speak to those working hard to rebuild their lives after the disaster of the 11th of March 2011. These are their stories, in a video reportage produced by LifeGate.
The Scottish island of Eigg is self-sufficient for its energy needs, relying almost entirely on renewable sources, especially thanks to a coordinated community effort.
President Magufuli in unmovable in going ahead with the Stiegler’s Gorge dam despite conservationists’ warnings of the damage it will cause the Selous Game Reserve’s ecosystem and wildlife.
A large dam along the Luangwa River in Zambia would have posed a serious risk to local people and wildlife, leading hundreds of thousands to oppose it. A call to which the government responded by halting plans to build it.
The first one megawatt solar power plant in the Chernobyl exclusion zone has become operational. This is the first step in a renewable energy development project promoted by the Ukrainian government in the area.
Gas explosions are frequent in Nigeria, where safety standards are poor. In the latest incident, a gas tanker blast killed 35 people in Nasarawa state.
The largest tidal power plant in the world will be built in the Larantuka Straits. It will serve 100,000 people and help overcome some of the challenges of energy provision in Indonesia.