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National safety

Luxembourg participates in Cattenom incident test



In the case of a technical accident in Cattenom, Luxembourg would have to activate a crisis and radiological assessment unit to manage the impact on its territory. Photo: Maison Moderne //Archive

In the case of a technical accident in Cattenom, Luxembourg would have to activate a crisis and radiological assessment unit to manage the impact on its territory. Photo: Maison Moderne //Archive

The nuclear plant of Cattenom in France on 11 May ran a simulation of a technical incident, to go over the tasks of all actors implied.

In Luxembourg, the High Commission for National Protection, the Radiation Protection Division of the Health Directorate, the Grand Ducal Fire and Rescue Service and the Crisis Communication Service came together in Senningen for the exercise.

The scenario played out during the exercise included a water leak and potential nuclear waste reaching Luxembourg’s territory. The fictional spread to the grand duchy was avoided during the simulation, a press release by Luxembourg’s government states, as the administrations and departments that make up the crisis unit discussed the safety measures to put in place at a national level. These measures were decided in tandem with those set in place by French authorities.

The nuclear accident simulation is carried out every five years to test out the emergency plans both of the facility and local authorities. Due to Luxembourg’s proximity, an accident at Cattenom would seriously affect the country. A radiological assessment cell would be needed if it happened.

This exercise comes only a month after signs of corrosion were confirmed in Reactor n°3 of the Cattenom power plant. Initially denying any issues, the nuclear site in a press release shared that signs had been found. Luxembourg’s environment and energy ministries had called for more clarity regarding checks. The environment ministry had also called for Cattenom’s lifespan to be reviewed as they have been prolonged 4 to 9 years past their planned lifespan to 2035.