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Irregularities found in Areva-made components in French nuclear plants - ASN

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Irregularities have been found in around 50 Areva-made components installed in French nuclear reactors, nuclear regulator ASN said on Tuesday.

It said that after the discovery of weak spots in the reactor vessel of the EPR reactor under construction in Flamanville, France last year, Areva began a review of manufacturing procedures at its Creusot steel forging plant.

In a statement, ASN said it had been informed by Areva that its investigation had found evidence of irregularities in about 400 components produced since 1965, of which some 50 are believed to be in use in French nuclear plants.

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Germany demands France shut old nuclear plant near border

Friday, March 4, 2016

Germany demanded Friday that France close down its oldest nuclear plant, Fessenheim, near the German and Swiss borders -- just one of several ageing atomic plants that are unsettling France's neighbours.

"This power plant is very old, too old to still be in operation," said a spokesman for Environment and Nuclear Safety Minister Barbara Hendricks.

"That's why the environment minister demands its closure at the earliest possible date," he said, reiterating Berlin's earlier demands.

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Bordeaux University: discovery of radioactive sources and incidental exposure of persons

Two radioactive sources were discovered by the Bordeaux University prevention service in a very cluttered and regularly frequented room during a housekeeping operation carried out at the end of June 2015.

As soon as they were discovered, the sources were transferred for safe storage in a room specially intended for that purpose within the university campus.

Category: Radiation Source France »

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Irradiation of a worker during scheduled NNP outage at Le Blayais

On 21st August 2015, ASN was informed by EDF of the accidental exposure of a worker from an EDF contractor to a dose of ionising radiation exceeding the regulation limit.

On 18th August, during the check carried out prior to exiting the limited access area, contamination was detected on the worker’s chin. He had been carrying out maintenance work in preparation for the hydrotesting of an exchanger on the chemical and volume control system in the reactor 4 safeguard auxiliaries building in the Le Blayais NPP.

Category: Power Reactor France La Blayais »

EDF’s Normandy EPR Vessel Fault Decision Seen in 2016, ASN Says

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

France’s nuclear safety authority won’t decide until early next year whether a key piece of equipment on a nuclear reactor being built by Electricite de France SA in Normandy is safe or needs to be changed, the regulator said.

“I don’t see us making a decision or taking a position before the beginning of 2016,” Pierre-Franck Chevet, president of Autorite de Surete Nucleaire, told a hearing at the French Senate Tuesday. The finding could range from rejecting the equipment as unsafe to allowing its use under certain conditions, he said.

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Nuclear Test Risks Blowing Lid Off U.K.’s Plan to Keep Lights on

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Builders of the U.K.’s first nuclear plant in two decades are about to take a vital component and break it.

The 110-ton spherical steel lid was destined to sit atop a reactor at the Hinkley Point site in Somerset. Instead it will be sacrificed to test the strength of a part already welded in place at similar atomic projects in France and China.

The tests are essential after regulators found potential weaknesses in the steel used to contain radiation. The results may derail countries’ nuclear programs that are relying on the EPR reactors. They also threaten a generation of atomic plants that developer Areva SA has billed as the world’s safest.

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Transport incident of a gamma ray projector

On 16th March 2015, ASN was informed by the ECW company (Courcelles-les-Lens) that one of their gamma ray projects had been carried on the public highway on 2nd March 2015 in conditions failing to comply with a number of requirements stipulated by the transport approval issued by ASN. Indeed, the device was not in the closed and locked position and was equipped with its site accessories, which prevented it from being fully inserted into its transport casing.

Category: Transportation France »

EDF Nuclear Plant Leak in France Prompts Court Complaint

Thursday, April 23, 2015

PARIS — Anti-nuclear groups have filed a court complaint against French utility EDF for under-reporting an incident at its Fessenheim plant near the German border, they said on Tuesday.

On Feb. 28, EDF stopped one of two nuclear reactors at the Fessenheim plant for an unplanned outage, citing "a lack of watertightness" on some piping outside the nuclear zone. It said there had been no safety or environmental impact.

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UK nuclear strategy faces meltdown as faults are found in identical French project

Monday, April 20, 2015

A “very serious” fault has been discovered in a French nuclear power station which is at the heart of David Cameron’s strategy to “keep the lights on” in Britain in the next decade.

The future of two nuclear reactors planned for Hinkley Point in Somerset has been thrown into doubt by the discovery of a potentially catastrophic mistake in the construction of an identical EPR power plant in Normandy.

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Areva warns of looming 4.9bn full-year loss as write-downs grow

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Areva, the French nuclear group, on Monday issued its fifth profit warning in seven months, saying it expected to report a €4.9bn loss for 2014 as cost overruns ballooned on key European projects.

The annual net loss - due to be the largest the state-controlled group has ever recorded - comes as Areva works with the French government on the details of a state-backed rescue package, according to people familiar with the situation.

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