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Security at Norwegian nuclear plant 'inadequate': report

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Security at Norwegian nuclear plant 'inadequate': report
The JEEP II reactor at Kjeller. File photo: Morten F. Holm / SCANPIX
14:20 CEST+02:00
International security regulations are being breached at Norway's nuclear power plant at Kjeller, according to a new review.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) described conditions at the Norwegian Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) facility at Kjeller as ‘inadequate', reports broadcaster NRK.

The JEEP II reactor at Kjeller is one of two nuclear reactors in Norway, with the other located at Halden.

IAEA has spent a week examining the Kjeller facility's reactor and completed its work yesterday, according to the report.

Nuclear physicist and manager with environmental NGO Bellona Nils Bøhmer told NRK that the reactor was a cause for concern.

“It is alarming that both the Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency (NRPA) and IAEA have highlighted a number of these issues [noted in the new report, ed.] in the past, and that the list of inadequacies is so comprehensive. There is a list of over 30 more or less serious issues that must be dealt with,” Bøhmer told NRK.

Belloma has been engaged in monitoring operation of the reactor and nuclear fallout related to it over the last two decades.

The most serious issues in the report show that international safety standards are currently being breached in a number of areas, Bøhmer said.

Fire safety, alarm and safety checking systems are also criticised in the report.

“Something must be done about the fact it is not possible to manually close down the reactor outside of the control room,” the Belloma leader said.

The NRPA said it was also following developments regarding the plant closely.

“The NRPA has had IFE under intensive observation since 2014. It is a positive follow-up initiative that IFE has arranged this new review,” NRPA department leader Per Strand told NRK.

IFE's leadership told the broadcaster that the latest report was not the result of an inspection, but an IAEA expert review requested by the Kjeller nuclear plant.

“The expert group stressed at Tuesday's concluding meeting that the reactor at Kjeller is in good technical condition and is well-maintained. According to the group, there are fewer areas of improvement than usual in reviews of this type,” IFE administrative director Nils Morten Huseby said to NRK.

READ ALSO: Radioactive leak reported at Norway facility

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