Hinkley Point builder feels heat for French reactor failings. EDF has been rebuked by French safety regulators for failings in the construction of a prototype reactor in Normandy. Flamanville has been beset by problems and delays that critics say cast doubt on EDF’s ability to deliver power from the British plant by 2025, as promised. The Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire, the French nuclear regulator, said yesterday that EDF may need to carry out more repairs than had been estimated initially on faulty weldings at the French reactor and ordered it to carry out a wider review of the quality of materials in the project. The watchd og said that it believed the company had “failed to properly oversee certain activities” at Flamanville and had failed in its handling of the welding problems when they were discovered, taking a year and a half to inform the regulator. Flamanville originally was due to start up in 2012, but it has been delayed repeatedly. This summer, EDF said that the start date had slipped again to early 2020 as it needed to repair “quality deficiencies” in the welding in part of the plant that carries steam to the turbines. The costs of the project are estimated at €10.9 billion, more than three times its original budget. The company has blamed the welding issues on a contractor that had signed off on the work despite the failings. It said in July that it needed to redo 53 weldings at Flamanville, but was confident that a further ten were fit for service. However, the watchdog said it was not certain that this was the case and that EDF should “start preparing for possible repair work on the weldings”. It said that the company had informed it only early last year, despite identifying the issue in July 2015. This year the British nuclear regulator raised concerns about poor quality control checks on EDF’s supply chain for Hinkley Point C and said that improvements had to be made. Kate Blagojevic, head of energy and climate at Greenpeace, said: “The French nuclear regulator has given a pretty damning verdict on EDF’s attempt to build the new nuclear power station at Flamanville . . . Nothing in the latest statement from the French nuclear regulator could possibly inspire confidence that Hinkley will be built on time or budget.”
Times 4th Oct 2018 read more »
Cian Ciarán, member of the Welsh band Super Furry Animals, on fight against dumping of “nuclear mud”
Russia Today 3rd Oct 2018 read more »
‘People’s flotilla’: Campaigners threaten to blockade ships set to dump 300,000 tons of ‘nuclear mud’ off the British coast claiming it could contain radioactive particles that cause cancer
Daily Mail 4th Oct 2018 read more »
A group of activists had sought an injunction to stop about 300,000 tonnes of mud from the site of two new power stations being dumped off the coast of Cardiff. Objectors withdrew their application just hours before they were due to appear at the High Court in Cardiff on Tuesday to hear if their legal challenge had been successful. Campaigner and independent Welsh assembly member Neil McEvoy said the issue would be debated on October 10 at the National Assembly.
Bridgwater Mercury 3rd Oct 2018 read more »