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French nuclear body approves Atmea reactor safety options
by Staff Writers
Paris (AFP) Feb 7, 2012

France's ASN nuclear safety body said on Tuesday it had approved the safety options for the Atmea1 reactor project being carried out by France's Areva and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

"Following a review process lasting 18 months, ASN issues a positive opinion on the safety options for the Atmea1 reactor project," the ASN said in a statement.

"The safety options adopted by the Atmea company for its reactor project on the whole satisfy the French requirements," it said.

Areva and Mitsubishi have launched a joint venture to build the third-generation, 1,100-megawatt Atmea reactor, aimed for export to countries whose energy grids are not compatible with more powerful reactors such as Areva's EPR.

The design is in competition with Russian and Canadian manufacturers for a contract to build Jordan's first nuclear power station. The country is to choose a winner of the contract on March 15.

In its report, the ASN urged Atmea to "be particularly vigilant in optimising worker exposure to ionising radiation".

It also urged the project "to take into account the lessons learnt from the accident which occurred on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant" in Japan.

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