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French regulator starts investigation into nuclear safety fraud

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PARIS (Reuters) – France’s ASN nuclear regulator said it had launched an investigation into elements of fraud regarding nuclear safety, after it received several warnings from whistleblowers.

Following a scandal over falsified manufacturing documents at former nuclear reactor maker Areva (now part of state-owned utility EDF and renamed Framatome) and a string of problems with weldings and components at EDF nuclear reactors, the ASN launched last November a website where the public can signal irregularities regarding nuclear safety.

The ASN said in a statement that since then, it had received 22 warnings and had launched an investigation into a small number of these as they were characteristic of a potential case of fraud.

It also said it had already referred four cases to the criminal court. It declined to give more details about these cases.

(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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