Nuclear: the insult inflicted by the Assembly on Agnès Pannier-Runacher

Some silver lining. The Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, must approve this old popular adage because without the political earthquake triggered on Thursday by the activation of Article 49.3 to get the controversial pension reform adopted without a vote, it is another fiasco that could have derail the securities: its failure to merge the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), a technical expert, within the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), the gendarme of power plants, under the nuclear bill.

In fact, the Assembly rejected this controversial nuclear safety reform on Wednesday at first reading, some voices of the majority even joined the left to oppose the “dismantling” of the IRSN… Deputies approved by show of hands a amendment by Benjamin Saint-Huile, of the independent Liot group, to preserve a “dual organization” between the Institute and the Security Authority, untangling the whole of this delicate article of the nuclear relaunch bill.

A real affront for the government and the minister and a victory for IRSN employees but also for many experts and scientists who had strongly opposed this merger, fearing a loss of independence of the Institute and less transparency just as EDF faces a number of troubling rifts about its power plants. This merger, which did not appear in the text when it was widely adopted in the Senate, affected 1,800 IRSN engineers.
The government still has the “conviction” that nuclear safety needs to be reformed, underlined the minister who has not given up on asking for a second resolution…

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