With this decision by the nuclear police officer, France escapes a black scenario for its electricity supply, which is already very tense for next winter.
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The Nuclear Safety Agency (ASN) validated EDF’s control strategy for the corrosion problems encountered by certain reactors in its French fleet on Wednesday July 27th. “ASN believes that EDF’s strategy is appropriate given the knowledge it has acquired of the phenomenon and the security issues associated with it.”the agency said in a press release.
EDF plans to ultrasonically scan all of its reactors by 2025 to look for traces of this problem, which has led to the shutdown of 12 out of 56 reactors. The group must prioritize checking the most sensitive areas. 1,450 MW reactors and about 1,300 MW.
“However, with respect to Reactor 2 of the Belleville Nuclear Power Plant, ASN believes that the inspection of this reactor, scheduled for 2024, is too late.”, She says. ASN assumes that knowledge of the so-called phenomenon of “stress corrosion” are “still in development” and “The control program must be adjusted if the controls or analyzes reveal new elements”.
This corrosion problem in certain circuits is weighing on nuclear power generation prospects and financial results this year for EDF, whose government has planned 100 percent renationalization. It has also raised concerns about powering France next winter. Thirty of 56 reactors are currently shut down, including 12 for corrosion and 18 for scheduled maintenance.
From this point of view, the decision of the ASN on Wednesday does not aggravate the situation, because the nuclear police officer does not call for faster checks, tantamount to reactor shutdowns, but essentially confirms the EDF. In May, the electricity producer considered that this was not the case “no need to expect new reactor shutdowns”.