Employees of the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), which issues independent scientific advice on the state of power plants, will be on strike on March 13, for the third time in a month, against the disappearance of their institute. , announced the inter-union on Saturday.
In full revival of the French civilian nuclear industry and its main operator EDF, the government announced on February 8 its intention to merge the IRSN, watchdog and expert in radiological risk, into the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN, nuclear policeman who takes the decision to authorize or shut down power plants on the basis in particular of IRSN’s expertise).
The parliamentary debates on the reform desired by the government are continuing and our request, the withdrawal of the amendments which recommend the merger of the IRSN into the ASN, is still not heard, writes the intersyndicale in a letter to their director general. .
Also, in order to show the determination of IRSN employees against this reform, the CFDT, CFE-CGC and CGT unions at IRSN are filing a one-day strike notice on Monday March 13, continues the letter consulted on Saturday by the AFP.
Between 500 and 600 employees, out of the 1,700 employed by IRSN, have participated each time in the two previous strikes organized since the surprise announcement, on February 8, of the government’s plan to dismantle their institute.
This announcement upset all the employees who felt it as a betrayal and a destruction of the daily work in the service of the many missions assigned to the Institute for more than 20 years, continues the letter from the inter-union.
The IRSN has never failed in the execution of its missions, insist the authors.
Since the announcement, and the emotion it aroused in the research community, the government has watered down its wine by promising to keep IRSN employees en bloc within ASN , while its initial project was to split up the powers between ASN and the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), which would have hosted the researchers.
On February 28, during the last demonstration, the employees had received the support of opposition deputies but also of the former minister Barbara Pompili, a Renaissance deputy, and even of EDF employees.
The amendments to this reform, submitted by the government to the bill on the acceleration of nuclear power, are to be discussed in the Economic Affairs Commission of the National Assembly on 6 and 7 March.