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France’s Nuclear Safety authority struggles with the problems realated to corrosion in 12 reactors

Nuclear: faced with the problem of corrosion, a “large-scale” control
program. The president of the Nuclear Safety Authority, Bernard Doroszczuk,
gives a “general positive assessment” of the safety of the park, but
underlines “points of vigilance”.

The traditional exercise aimed to take
stock of the state of nuclear safety in 2021. In the end, it was the events
that occurred during the very last weeks of the year, but also during the
first months of 2022, that was at the heart of Bernard Doroszczuk’s speech
to the members of the Parliamentary Office for the Evaluation of Scientific
and Technological Choices on Tuesday 17 May.

The President of the Nuclear
Safety Authority (ASN) returned to the consequences of the “stress
corrosion” phenomenon observed on parts of the pipes which allow water to
be injected into the main primary circuit in order to cool the core. of the
reactor in the event of an accident.

Since mid-December, EDF has shut down
or extended the shutdown of twelve units in order to carry out in-depth
assessments or repairs related to this problem. If the origin of this
corrosion is not completely determined, Mr. Doroszczuk indicated that it
could be due to the “design” of the reactors: the oldest and most
widespread in the fleet are based on an original technology American, while
the most recent were designed according to a model adapted by EDF. However,
the piping that goes from the primary circuit to the first valve is longer
and more complex on the second, and this route could generate greater
thermomechanical stresses.

 Le Monde 17th May 2022

May 19, 2022 - Posted by | France, safety

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