Year 1998

Four More French PWRs Licensed for MOX Use


[Posted 1998]

Taking advantage of the summer time - a well known political practice in France: taking controversial decisions when Paris is left to the tourists - on 21 July 1998 the French government has signed two decrees modifying the license for the four 900 MWe pressurised water reactors (PWRs) at the Chinon plant. The first decree concerns the B1 and B2 units of the Chinon plant, the second units B3 and B4. The decrees do not give any detail on the specifications for MOX use; they only state that the electricity utility EDF is authorised to introduce MOX fuel under the characteristics as defined in the licensing request and the accompanying dossier. Prime Minister Lionel Jospin (Socialist), Secretary of State for Industry Christian Pierret (Socialist) and Environment Minister Dominique Voynet (Green) have gone against the pre-election agreements their parties have signed in Spring 1997. This agreement notably called for a "moratorium [...] on the fabrication of MOX until 2010" [Cf. Plutonium Investigation n°1 no. 1]. Now EDF has a total of twenty units licensed for MOX use, out of its fifty-seven operating PWRs. This constitutes the highest number of reactors licensed for MOX use in any given country.

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