French Government Effort to Dissolve IRSN Fails

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France’s National Assembly this week voted against an amendment that would have dissolved the Institute of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) into the country's Nuclear Safety Authority. A Feb. 8 government proposal to dissolve the state-funded technical service organization, which is tasked with providing independent expert technical analysis of nuclear and radiological risks, in order to “streamline” oversight processes, met with immediate strikes from IRSN employees. The National Assembly rejected the proposed reform on Wednesday, and instead adopted an amendment that preserves a “dual organization.” Several members of Macron’s party voted with the opposition against the proposed dissolution of the IRSN, which has yet to be debated in the Senate. "I’m really shocked by the choice of moment and the choice of method," said Barbara Pompili, a member of Macron's party who served as Minister of Ecological Transition from 2020-22. Pompili added that in her time as minister a dissolution was never seriously considered. Multiple deputies criticized the lack of studies or discussions prior to the amendment’s introduction.

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