France’s nuclear safety authority has lifted the reinforced surveillance under which the Dampierre was placed one year ago. The surveillance order was issued because the country’s director of safety for nuclear installations, Andre-Claude Lacoste, said he was concerned there was a “lack of operating vigour” at the plant. The measure was imposed for six months and renewed in March 2001 until the end of the year.

In a recent letter sent to Dampierre, Lacoste wrote that he had seen a sustained improvement in operations at the plant, but that there remained “weak points” in the “flow and quality of human and social relations,” which were crucial in safety matters.