A growing investigation of nuclear plant components made in France and sold in Europe and the United States is getting special attention at Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island facility. The two nuclear reactor vessels at Prairie Island are largely built of steel made decades ago at Le Creusot forge in France. The forge’s owner, Areva, has become embroiled in a controversy over quality control and decades of possible record-keeping manipulation at Le Creusot — long before Areva even owned itFrance’s nuclear regulatory agency, ASN, is investigating Areva and the Le Creusot forge. And the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission recently asked Areva for documents associated with U.S. nuclear plant components manufactured at Le Creusot, NRC filings show. “We are following the French investigation and we are in contact with Areva,” said David McIntyre, a spokesman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). “At this point, we see no safety concerns for U.S. plants.” The NRC has identified at least nine U.S. nuclear plants that contain components from the Le Creusot Forge, though it declined to identify those plants.
Star Tribune 23rd Dec 2016 read more »