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1,107 nuclear incidents in 2010

Nuclear watchdog reveals 1,104 accidents at lowest end of the danger scale and overall performance is 'satisfactory'

FRANCE'S nuclear power stations are in a 'satisfactory' state, despite a total of 1,107 incidents recorded in 2010, an annual safety report has revealed.

The report, by the Autorité de sûreté nucléaire (ASN), said 1,104 incidents were categorised as level one on the nuclear threat scale, the lowest level.

Three incidents reached level two: a radioactive object was touched with a hand at the station in Chinon (Indre-et-Loire), a protective glove was perforated in La Hague (Manche) and six people inhaled radioactive cobalt 60 after a source of cobalt was damaged during an operation at Feursmétal (Loire).

The ASN carried out 1964 inspections in 2010, one quarter of them unannounced and said the results has been 'satisfactory'.

The watchdog's report said that the exposure of the population to radiation was rising, not as a result of nuclear power stations, but through increasing use of scanners.

It advised that the medical establishment should make more use of MRI scanners rather than those which use ionizing radiation.

Photo: La Hague nuclear fuel prossessing plant, credit Truzguiladh.jpg

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