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The stress corrosion problem could be affecting all of France’s nuclear reactors

 Nuclear: the stress corrosion phenomenon could affect all of France’s reactor models.
Four additional reactors, including one of 900 megawatts (MW), could be affected by the “stress corrosion” phenomenon detected on portions of auxiliary piping in the primary circuit of certain EDF nuclear reactors.

This announcement is part of the review of certain welds initiated at the end of 2020 and which should be completed in 2024. The company is continuing its discussions with the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) “on the overall strategy of controls, expertise and treatment of this phenomenon”.

On April 14, when updating its information note on the subject, EDF announced that “indications were detected during the performance of non-destructive ultrasonic testing” on portions of the pipes of the B3 reactors at Chinon (Indre-et-Loire), reactor 3 at Cattenom (Moselle), reactor 2 at Flamanville (Manche) and reactor 1 at Golfech (Tarn-et-Garonne).

The company is continuing its investigations to characterize the nature and origin of the problem. The discovery of these signs of stress corrosion in Chinon marks a turning point, since it is the first time that a 900 megawatt (MW) reactor is concerned. If the indications are confirmed, the 33 reactors in this series could be affected.

Until now, the stress corrosion phenomenon was limited to more powerful and recent reactors. Initially, the problem was detected, at the end of 2020, on the four reactors of the N4 series, with a power of 1,450
MW: reactors 1 and 2 of the Civaux power plant (Vienne) and reactors B1 and B2 of Chooz (Ardennes). EDF had been forced to shut them down to assess and replace the damaged sections.

In this case, the stainless steel near the welds concerned showed cracks created by a corrosion phenomenon which simultaneously involves the material and its intrinsic characteristics, mechanical stresses and the aggressive nature of the fluid in circulation.

Actu Environnement 28th April 2022

https://www.actu-environnement.com/ae/news/nucleaire-corrosion-sous-contrainte-tous-modeles-reacteurs-39539.php4

May 2, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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