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Collapsed Terminal 2E at Charles de Gaulle Airport, June 2004 CC-BY-SA-3.0 by Andrewgprout via Wikipedia
Collapsed Terminal 2E at France’s Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport, June 2004, CC-BY-SA-3.0 by Andrewgprout via Wikipedia

Aéroports de Paris (ADP), a French State owned (51%) entity was finally indicted this year in relation to the collapse of the Charles de Gaulle-Roissy Airport terminal in 2004, on charges of involuntary homicide and involuntary injuries, as owner, project manager, and architect.

The actual architect, Paul Andreu, director of architecture and engineering for ADP attended France’s elite École polytechnique (l’X), as did the CEOs of 85% French State owned EDF and 40% French State owned GdF-Suez, who want to build new nuclear reactors in the UK at Hinkley Point and at Moorside.

The US NRC, and others, have documented various failures at nuclear construction projects on which 89% French State owned AREVA or 85% French State owned EDF are principal contractors – in the US, France and Finland.

All of these French State entities are administered by the Agence des participations de l’État, making them siblings of a sort.

In the case of the ADP managed terminal collapse: “Technical experts investing the collapse found both procedural and structural problems to be the cause of the failure“. http://matdl.org/failurecases/Building_Collapse_Cases/Charles_de_Gaulle_Airport.htmlPaul Andreu denounced the building companies for having not correctly prepared the reinforced concrete.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_de_Gaulle_Airport

In the case of (AREVA-EDF’s) “problems in nuclear construction” in the US, Finland and France, the US NRC states: “Although the technical issues vary, inspections repeatedly identify a lack of contractor oversight and poor quality control in concrete placement.” (“NRC INFORMATION NOTICE 2008-17: CONSTRUCTION EXPERIENCE WITH CONCRETE PLACEMENT“)

Construction started at Flamanville in 2007 and will continue to 2017!

85% French State owned EDF is the owner-architectural engineer for Flamanville and 89% French State owned AREVA is the main contractor for the nuclear island, and reactor vendor.

Here are some of the contractors – name them and shame them!
Flamanville contractors

Summary of New Nuclear Construction problems, as of 2008, below, followed by more information on the terminal collapse.
US NRC on New Build Concrete problems 22 Oct. 2008, p. 1
US NRC on New Build Concrete problems 22 Oct. 2008, p. 2
US NRC on New Build Concrete problems 22 Oct. 2008, p. 3
US NRC on New Build Concrete problems 22 Oct. 2008
http://pbadupws.nrc. gov/docs/ML0818/ML081850581.pdf (puke nuclear yellow and red highlights added).

It would be nice to say that the French have the monopoly on these new build problems. However, the new Vogtle nuclear reactors involve Toshiba and its subsidiary Westinghouse, and have had similar problems. It is not clear if they are the principal contractor of the project or not, however. As discussed above, there were problems with shoddy construction in the first round of nuclear build. At least one did not go online in the US as a nuclear power station due to shoddy construction. It ran off of either natural gas or coal.

Nonetheless, these State owned firms have the power of the French State behind them, and protection from bankruptcy by the French taxpayer. Unlike Russia’s Rosatom, which can neither go bankrupt, nor be held accountable in parliament, the French State entities can be held accountable to French parliament.

More on the terminal collapse:
Technical experts investing the collapse found both procedural and structural problems to be the cause of the failure. Chief independent investigator, Jean Berthier questioned the existence of proper design and construction processes in a project where the owner, project manager, and architect, were essentially the same. The terminal was designed by renowned French architect Paul Andreu, who was Director of Aeroports de Paris (AdP) at the time of the design. State owned AdP not only designed the building but they managed the construction, virtually eliminating the distinction between architect and client in this particular case….

In February of 2005, the results of a technical investigation commissioned by the French Minister of Transport indicated that the design process was not rigorous for a structure of this complexity and identified problems at various stages in the design process including:
Lack of redundancy
Inadequate or badly positioned reinforcing
Steel support struts embedded too far into the concrete shell
Weakened concrete shell support beams due to the passage of ventilation ducts
Poor design and response to temperature variations that existed in the outer metal part of the structure
Beyond the technical items noted above, the lesson learned from this collapse is not new. The need for independent peer review, robust analysis, and more redundancy in unique one-of-a-kind structures that introduces new technology or the combination of technology in different ways has been recognized by the industry for years.
http://matdl.org/failurecases/Building_Collapse_Cases/Charles_de_Gaulle_Airport.html (CC-BY-NC-SA-3.0)

On 23 May 2004, not long after its inauguration, a portion of Terminal 2E’s ceiling collapsed early in the day, near Gate E50, killing four people. Two of the dead were reported to be Chinese citizens and another a Czech. Three other people were injured in the collapse. Terminal 2E had been inaugurated in 2003 after some delays in construction and was designed by Paul Andreu. Administrative and judicial enquiries were started. Andreu also designed Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport, which collapsed while under construction on 28 September 2004.

In February 2005, the results from the administrative inquiry were published. The experts pointed out that there was no single fault, but rather a number of causes for the collapse, in a design that had little margin for safety. The inquiry found the concrete vaulted roof was not resilient enough and had been pierced by metallic pillars and some openings weakened the structure. Sources close to the inquiry also disclosed that the whole building chain had worked as close to the limits as possible, so as to reduce costs. Paul Andreu denounced the building companies for having not correctly prepared the reinforced concrete.

On 17 March 2005, ADP decided to tear down and rebuild the whole part of Terminal 2E (the “jetty”) of which a section had collapsed, at a cost of approximately €100 million. The reconstruction replaced the innovative concrete tube style of the jetty with a more traditional steel and glass structure. During reconstruction, two temporary departure lounges were constructed in the vicinity of the terminal that replicated the capacity of 2E before the collapse. The terminal reopened completely on 30 March 2008.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_de_Gaulle_Airport

It has been widely reported that Aéroports de Paris (ADP), GTM (currently a subsidiary of Vinci) who was responsible for constructing the roof, and the Engineering Group Ingerop, as well as the inspection-certification group Bureau Veritas have been called before the courts in this matter.

French State owned entities managed by Agence des participations de l’État, relevant to this case and the Nuclear Industry:
Aéroports de Paris 50.6%
GDF Suez 36.71+2.9%
Électricité de France (EDF) 84.5%
Areva 21.7+67%
Thales 0+26.63 % http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agence_des_participations_de_l%27État http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agence_des_participations_de_l%27État (Some of the percentages may be a bit higher because in some cases the French State owns entities which own parts of these).

Paul Andreu, terminal architect: After having gotten his diploma at École polytechnique (l’X), promotion 1958, in France, he received a degree in engineering from the École nationale des ponts et chaussées, 1963, and received his degree in 1968. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Andreu

There is a list of his architectural works on wikipedia. If you choose to enter and hear a cracking noise – run for it!