French nuclear regulator ASN has decided to strengthen its oversight of the production process of nuclear equipment and components as a result of the series of manufacturing irregularities, which were detected in 2015 at the Le Creusot forge in central France. ASN said the new measures will include: reinforcing provisions to be made by manufacturers and licensees, who retain the responsibility for the quality of manufacturing and of operations; employing external inspection organisations to support the oversight of manufacturing activities; improving ASN’s inspection methods; requiring that any fraud detected by the licensee be systematically reported to ASN; and implementing of a system for collecting alerts from whistle-blowers. In April 2015, following the discovery of what Areva (now Framatome) called “methodological discrepancies” in the performance of tensile tests carried out during manufacturing, Areva began a quality audit at the Le Creusot site. Le Creusot is one of only a few facilities capable of producing the large forged parts required for nuclear power plants. Since the beginning of civil nuclear programmes in the 1970s, the facility has supplied some 3,000 forgings and castings for nuclear reactor coolant systems around the world. In September 2017, state-controlled nuclear operator EDF said it had identified 471 anomaly reports during the review of 12 reactors equipped with components manufactured by Le Creusot. Areva discovered separately that steel from Japan Casting and Forging Corporation might also have had carbon concentrations that could lead to anomalies.
Nucnet 13th June 2018 read more »