One of the largest nuclear power plants in Western Europe is preparing for the worst-case scenario. Even if it indicates at the outset that “the risks of extreme climatic events are very low on the Opal Coast”, the EDF Group has just started the construction of a dike, three kilometers long and four meters high, which must protect the Gravelines (North) power plant from the risk of extreme flooding.
Built on the shores of the North Sea, in which it cools its six 900 MW reactors, the power plant is directly concerned. EDF advocates vigilance, anticipation and prevention. Within 18 months, a sheet pile wall – steel piles that interlock with each other – will be erected facing the sea while a 20 m wide embankment embankment and a firewall will complete the device. In addition to this protection, a Weather alert system is triggered in the event of an exceptional phenomenon. The power station is then stopped and the doors of the dike close.
Work that is reassuring even if the surrounding population does not seem worried when reading the report of the Nuclear Safety Authority, published three days ago, which indicates that only one in five residents obtained free stable iodine tablets believed to protect against thyroid cancer in the event of a nuclear accident.
The northern power plant should gradually lose its power since two of its reactors could be shut down by 2035 as EDF proposed to the government last month, as well as 12 other reactors throughout the territory.