France investigating nuclear ‘cover-ups’

French officials are probing allegations that a state-run utility agency attempted to conceal safety issues at a nuclear power plant Read Full Article at RT.com

France investigating nuclear ‘cover-ups’
10 Jun, 2022 03:34 HomeWorld News

France investigating nuclear ‘cover-ups’

The probe comes after the country was forced to shut down half of its reactors amid a mounting international energy crisis

The French government is looking into whistleblower allegations that a state-run utility agency attempted to conceal safety issues at a nuclear power plant, with prosecutors confirming they are following up on complaints filed late last year. 

“endangering the lives of others,” French newspaper Le Monde reported on Wednesday.

“harassment,” as well as “violations of the criminal code, the environmental code, the labor code and the regulations relating to nuclear installations.” While they said they had repeatedly warned superiors of those issues – including a mysterious power surge at one reactor in 2017 and a flood inside the same station one year later – no action was taken.

The largely state-run firm which operates the plant, Electricite de France (EDF), confirmed the ongoing investigation to the Wall Street Journal, saying it is aware of the probe and would help to “shed all necessary light on the alleged facts and thereby show the truth.”

Speaking to Reuters on Thursday, a lawyer for the whistleblower, William Bourdon, said the complaint was initially filed in November, but noted that the subsequent investigation is not yet targeting EDF directly. Instead, a probe “against X” has been launched, allowing prosecutors to look into the actions of multiple different parties.

Prior to the whistleblower filing, the Tricastin nuclear site had encountered some safety issues in the past, including two separate uranium leaks within a matter of days in July 2008, which led to a temporary ban on the use of water from the area for drinking, swimming and agriculture and contaminated 100 employees at the plant.