A long-awaited report on the safety of the nuclear reactor EDF is building in Flamanville, north-western France, declares the reactor vessel fit for purpose, two sources with direct knowledge of the report told Reuters on Friday. A negative report from the IRSN, the technical arm of French nuclear regulator ASN, would have been a major setback for EDF, costing billions of euros and years of delays as the reactor vessel has been welded in place and the reactor dome was sealed in 2013. Its safety was under scrutiny because of excessive carbon concentrations – which can make steel brittle – in its base and cover. But the report, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, says the reactor will be able to operate safely, although it will need extra monitoring over its lifetime. A favourable ruling by the nuclear safety authority is also a European Commission condition for its approval of EDF’s takeover of state-owned Areva’s reactor unit, which has designed the Flamanville European Pressurised Reactor (EPR). EDF also plans to build two EPRs in Hinkley Point, Britain “The (ASN and IRSN) consider that the anomaly does not put into question the fitness for service of the reactor vessel base, on condition that tests scheduled by EDF are adapted so as to detect any faults,” the report said in its conclusion.
Reuters 24th June 2017 read more »