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Incident at France’s Civaux nuclear reactor adds to EDFs problems of stress corrosion crackingin nuclear plants

Stress corrosion cracking: Assessing and remedying cracking problem in
nuclear plants. The full extent of stress corrosion cracking at EDF’s
reactors in France has still to be determined. Nonetheless, lower
production as plants are re-examined has come at the worst possible time
for the company.

Electricite de France SA is investigating an incident
during a test at a halted nuclear reactor last week, just as a series of
repairs jeopardize the country’s power-supply security for the coming
winter. The utility had to stop a high-pressure hydraulic test of the
primary circuit of its Civaux 1 reactor on Nov. 2 when steam was released
in a room of the reactor building. The reactor wasn’t loaded with nuclear
fuel, no one was hurt nor contaminated, and no radioactivity has been
detected outside the building, according to EDF.

The impact of the incident, which is unrelated to so-called stress-corrosion cracks that have
undermined the French nuclear giant’s reactor availability, still needs to
be assessed, Regis Clement, EDF’s deputy-head for nuclear production, said
at a news conference in Paris Tuesday.

The corrosion cracks hobbling EDF
reactors this year have put a hole in its finances and made France —
typically an exporter of power to its neighbors — a net importer. That,
combined with Russia’s dwindling gas deliveries, has contributed to a spike
in energy prices across Europe and stoked concerns of shortages in case of
a windless cold snap this winter.

Bloomberg 8th Nov 2022

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/edf-nuclear-reactor-has-test-incident-deepening-supply-concerns-1.1843232

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November 9, 2022 - Posted by | France, incidents

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