Thursday, December 20, 2007
NORWAY: INTERNATIONAL EMBARASSMENT! Poor Reactor Safety in Halden!
Norway Urged to Boost Nuclear Security
No Restart for Halden Reactor
Nuclear Waste Languishes
20 Dec 2007
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has criticized the safety at Norway's nuclear research reactor in Halden.
The IAEA report, from an inspection carried out last summer, points out several lapses in fire safety, NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting) reports.
The news does not surprise nuclear physicist Nils Bøhmer from environmental group Bellona.
"Some things about the Halden reactor are reminiscent of an old Russian atomic energy plant. We have always said that this is an old facility that should have been closed long ago," Bøhmer said.
The IAEA report does not consider the facility obsolete but pointed out that poor sectioning of the plant made the chance of contamination spread more likely in the event of an accident.
The security chief at the Institute for Energy Technology, Atle Valseth, said that improvements would now be examined.
The IAEA report was commissioned by the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) in connection with work needed to extend the facility's use from 2009.