EDF to continue construction on French nuclear facility despite ‘anomaly’ concerns

19 April 2015 (Last Updated April 19th, 2015 18:30)

Construction works at Flamanville 3 nuclear plant in western Normandy will continue as planned despite the recent rumours and scepticism about the anomalies found, the French nuclear power developer EDF has said.

EPR

Construction works at Flamanville 3 nuclear plant in western Normandy will continue as planned despite the recent rumours and scepticism about the anomalies found, the French nuclear power developer EDF has said.

The anomalies were discovered by Areva, which is the developer for the facility.

EDF, which is the operator for the nuclear facility, is responsible for installation of European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) at the plant.

Areva has informed the country’s nuclear regulator Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) about the defects identified in the steel composition of the reactor vessel of the EPR.

" EDF is responsible for installation of European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) at the plant."

The defects are likely to have been formed after chemical and mechanical tests on a reactor model vessel’s head and bottom were conducted in 2014.

According to ASN, the anomalies are indicators of a zone having high carbon concentration which affects the mechanical toughness values of the reactor vessels.

Further tests will be conducted on the vessels to identify the spots which have been affected.

EDF and Areva jointly said: "Teams are working to perform the additional tests as soon as possible, following approval by the French Nuclear Safety Authority on the test conditions, and to provide the safety authority with all the necessary information to demonstrate the safety and quality of the corresponding equipment."

The firms had, however, been compliant with all safety regulations during the manufacturing process.


Image: Anamolies were found in the vessel bottom and head of the EPR. Photo: courtesy of ASN.