French nuclear regulator ASN said it has told EDF to improve the running of the construction of the Flamanville nuclear reactor, which is years behind schedule and billions over budget. The ASN has repeatedly said a schedule to load nuclear fuel at the EPR reactor in Flamanville, which is the same type as EDF is building in Britain’s Hinkley Point, by year-end is tight. ASN said EDF must improve the follow-up of pre-startup test as well as the treatment of any flaws, and to improve the information flow to the regulator. “EDF has promised to put in place an action plan to remedy these dysfunctions,” ASN said in a statement on Friday. The ASN also said it had questioned EDF and Framatome, the company formerly called Areva, about flaws in the welding of the Flamanville reactor’s steam pipes. EDF said on Thursday some weldings on the reactor did not meet specifications but said this would not affect safety or the schedule to load fuel. ASN said it had asked EDF to send it a complete study about the discovery and impact of the weldings problem and that it would consult experts about it in the second half of 2018. In June, the ASN ruled that the reactor vessel’s cover was fit for service despite weak spots in its steel, but would have to be replaced by 2024. Any further delay to Flamanville would be another blow to the image of the EPR reactor. Three others have been under construction for years in Finland and China and are all over budget and schedule.
Reuters 23rd Feb 2018 read more »
[Machine Translation] The ASN college questioned EDF and Framatome (formerly Areva NP) about the deviations in the welding of the main steam drainage pipes. The first discrepancies were brought to the attention of the ASN in early 2017. These pipes are affected by a so-called “rupture exclusion” approach, which implies a strengthening of design, manufacturing and service monitoring requirements. This reinforcement must be sufficient to consider that the rupture of these pipes is extremely improbable. It allows the operator not to fully study the consequences of a rupture of these pipes in the safety demonstration of the installation. In order to achieve the expected high quality of production, strengthened requirements including mechanical properties were defined by the operator (EDF) and the manufacturer (Framatome). However, these reinforced requirements have not been specified to the subcontractor in charge of producing the welds. The controls carried out during manufacturing in the factory have shown that they are not all respected for certain welds. As a result of an ASN inspection, this observation has been extended to other welds of these pipelines made at the Flamanville site.
ASN 23rd Feb 2018 read more »
10 months fom startup, a weld problem discovered on the Flamanville EPR nuclear reactor. The EPR nuclear reactor under construction in Flamanville (Manche) is facing a “significant anomaly” of welding on its secondary circuit, announced Thursday, February 22 the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN). EDF ensures that there is no safety issue or timetable.
Novethic 22nd Feb 2018 read more »
The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) said Friday that “significant work remains to be done by EDF and Framatome” before the start of the Flamanville EPR nuclear reactor, officially scheduled by EDF end 2018. “Significant work remains to be done by EDF and Framatome before loading fuel into the reactor to justify” in particular “the performance of safety systems,” writes the nuclear policeman in an information note published Friday on its website.
Ouest France 23rd Feb 2018 read more »