The Paris prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the suspected falsifying of documents at Areva’s Le Creusot foundry that manufactures parts for nuclear reactors, a judicial source said on Thursday. The case, which alleges forgery, use of forged documents, endangerment of lives and aggravated deception, will be put in the hands of the police, the source said. French nuclear safety regulator ASN said in October that it had asked the courts to step in to investigate after nuclear group Areva sounded the alarm in May over documentation irregularities involving 6,000 nuclear component manufacturing files. Thousands of such documents used in the French nuclear sector dating back to 1965 are being looked at. “We have not been informed (of the investigation) at this point,” a spokeswoman for Areva told Reuters, adding that the group would cooperate with the investigation and hand over all information at its disposal. The discovery of weak spots in the reactor vessel of the EPR reactor under construction in Flamanville in 2014 led Areva to review manufacturing procedures at its Creusot steel forging plant. ASN said in September that Areva had identified 87 irregularities related to reactors operated by state utility EDF, 20 concerning equipment for the Flamanville reactor, and one related to a steam generator for EDF’s 900 MW Gravelines 5 reactor on halt since April.
Reuters 8th Dec 2016 read more »
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd. are making final arrangements to invest tens of billions of yen in atomic energy company Areva, which is being bailed out by the French government, sources close to the matter said Thursday. Through the investment, the heavy machinery manufacturer and the spent-fuel reprocessing firm hope to improve technical cooperation with Areva on decommissioning reactors and reprocessing nuclear fuel. Areva has been reeling from weak global demand since the 2011 Fukushima disaster triggered a slump in the nuclear power industry. Areva is being bailed out by the French government, which has been asking Mitsubishi Heavy to invest since last year.
Japan Times 8th Dec 2016 read more »