EDF has “taken note” of the French nuclear regulator’s position indicating that the Flamanville 3 reactor pressure vessel (RPV) is fit for service, but aims to prove that regular maintenance would avoid the need to change the closure head of the RPV in 2024. Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) said yesterday it had provisionally ruled the unit can start up safely, at the end of 2018 as planned, but that the RPV head would need to be replaced once a new one has been produced. Areva NP revealed its discovery of an anomaly in the composition of the steel in certain zones of the RPV’s closure head and bottom head of the Flamanville EPR in April 2015. The engineering group initiated a test program to demonstrate that the mechanical strength of the steel is sufficient in all operating situations, including accident situations. Its conclusions were sent to ASN in December 2016.
World Nuclear News 30th June 2017 read more »