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French nuclear industry needs huge safety upgrade

French nuclear industry needs huge safety upgrade
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A French nuclear safety watchdog says tens of billions of euros need to be spent to improve security at the country’s nuclear installations. It describes the necessary investment as ‘massive’ but says no facility needs to be shut down immediately.

The French Nuclear Safety Agency, (ASN), also told operators to come up with a list of measures to take to be able to deal with floods or earthquakes, such as building emergency generators and bunkers.

The recommendations follow stress tests commissioned after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant last March.

The prime minister François Fillon says all relevant government ministries are being told to make sure the recommendations are implemented within suggested deadlines.

Nuclear power is responsible for three quarters of electricity generation in France. It has become an increasingly political issue in what is now an election year.