Local fishermen have still not agreed to any discharge of water collected from the reactor buildings even after it is filtered.
Of Japan's 25 reactors at 15 plants for which operators have applied for permission to restart, only five at three plants have been cleared for restart.
Mr Chevet confirmed that the same "production process" as for Flamanville had been used on reactor vessels destined for the British-based plants, along with two in China and one in Calvert Cliffs, Maryland, in America. "Errors have been made," he said, adding that France risked losing its nuclear expertise as the "last nuclear plant built in the country dates back 15 years". "If the weakness of the vessel is confirmed, I wouldn't hold out much hope for EPR's survival," a former nuclear safety official told Le Parisien.
The company did not say whether it would send another robot into the vessel on Monday, as previously planned. TEPCO's ultimate goal is to use the robot to inspect the melted fuel inside the vessel.
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