The national nuclear power regulator in France, Autorite de Surete Nucleaire (ASN) has opened a public review of an order that would force utility giant EDF to review records involving any of the components in active nuclear power plants that were fabricated at the Le Creusot forge, which is owned by Areva. The forge is at the center of a controversy that began in April 2015, when the ASN revealed that metal-weakening anomalies created by areas of high-carbon concentrations in the steel, had been found in two of the already installed major structural components of the pressure vessel head at the Flamanville nuclear power plant expansion project.
Nuclear Street 18th Aug 2017 read more »
Stephane L’Homme: In his recent column published by the Circle, Mr. Prudhomme lists various arguments to try to rehabilitate nuclear energy and challenge the announced closure of many reactors. The problem is that the author argues as one could still do 15 or 20 years ago, invoking a mythical atom: “France is a nuclear giant”, “Our considerable nuclear know-how”, and so on. Mr Prudhomme thus seems to be unaware that the nuclear industry in France and in the world is in a catastrophic situation, illustrated by the bankruptcy of the two of its emblematic companies, French Areva and American Westinghouse, Choke its main shareholder, the Japanese Toshiba. If it is impossible to know today what other bad surprises – counted in billions – reserves the Areva case, what about the EDF file? The national electrician is not only confronted with the advanced disintegration of the 58 current reactors, whose ruinous renovation is certainly impossible to finance, but also the disaster of his own EPR in Flamanville (Manche).The situation is so dramatic that the Nuclear Safety Authority is being urged to validate the reactor vessel despite the serious defects it presents. It is also an opportunity to remind Mr. Prudhomme that, by way of “Considerable nuclear know-how”, the French atom is involved in one of the worst industrial scandals of all time: thousands of nuclear parts – including the famous tank of the EPR – were poorly manufactured in Areva forges At Le Creusot, and often covered by falsified security certificates.
Les Echos 21st Aug 2017 read more »