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The world’s largest nuclear plant constructor’s shares fall over systems security fears

November 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Shares in French state nuclear reactor builder Areva ( ARVCF.PK – news – people ) fell by 4% after France, Britain and Finland ordered it to modify their next-generation power plants on which it has staked future export growth. the new generation of French nuclear power reactors came under attack last week as opposition parties called for an inquiry into their security systems, after three nuclear safety bodies asked for changes to their design.

The three nuclear safety bodies cited concerns about the ‘adequacy of the safety systems’ and their independence from control systems. Keeping these areas independent helps prevent both failing together. the joint statement said.

The problems, which were first detected in June by the British Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (NII),concern the control and instrumentation (C&I) of the Areva-built EPR (European Pressurized Reactor). The C&I runs the computers and various systems that maintain the reactor’s performance, such as temperature and power output.

The concerns raised are related to the system that regulates its daily operations and the system that shuts it down in case of an incident, which are viewed as not being sufficiently independent of each other.

In its current state the software cannot guarantee the necessary safety requirements, the report noted.

Sources:
Reuters
Earthtimes

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