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EDF confirms new safety checks on French reactors

Power

15 Feb 2022 09:59

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

London

15 Feb 2022 09:59

(Montel) French utility EDF will check auxiliary cooling circuits, or RRAs, at its 56 domestic reactors, it confirmed on Tuesday.

"We will gradually look at other circuits including the RRA circuit. The [French nuclear safety authority] ASN is being regularly informed of the results of the checks and expert assessments," a spokesman for the state-owned firm told Montel.

The comments came in the wake of a Montel report on Monday that EDF had uncovered potential issues with the RRAs, which are used for depressurising the cooling water in the primary circuit of a reactor in the event of an emergency shutdown of the unit.

The spokesman declined to say why the utility was checking other circuits, as well as the RRAs.

Entire fleet
It had drawn up a “programme of checks on the entire nuclear fleet integrating, as and when necessary, the lessons learned from the first assessments”, he said.

EDF is already investigating cracks on piping on the safety injection (SIS) circuits of a number of units, with at least 11 reactors affected so far. 
 
The firm said last week it would check SIS circuits on six more reactors as a "priority", after five were initially stopped.

It shut down the first of these six units, Flamanville 2 (1.3 GW), on Monday. 

This has forced EDF to reduce its nuclear production target for 2022 to 295-315 TWh, the lowest since 1991. It has also lowered its target for 2023 to 300-330 TWh.

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