Monday, 19 August 2013

Atomic kitchen: French research center stores plutonium in pressure cookers

Atomic kitchen: French research center stores plutonium in pressure cookers: "A French nuclear research center has been using ordinary pressure cookers to store and transport plutonium and other “sensitive materials” for 50 years, it has been revealed. The news leaked as the center posted a public tender for 4,000 pressure cookers.
“We are seeking 4,000 stainless steel pressure cookers with a volume of approximately 17 liters,” the tender read, in an announcement more akin to a restaurant chain looking to upgrade its casseroles than a nuclear facility.
The center insists that pressure cookers have been safely holding atomic material for the last five decades, pointing to their secure fastenings that ensure contents don’t escape – even if dropped from a considerable height.
Conveniently, pressure cookers are also cheaper than specialized containers.
“The pressure cooker… provides the best value for money,”Bugaut François, the head of the research center in Valduc, told ‘France Info’ radio. “This is perfectly normal, we’ve done this for decades.”
And the practice is even more widespread, it seems.
A representative of French household goods manufacturer SEB claims to have sold thousands of pressure cookers to the country’s nuclear industry."

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