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EDF will accelerate checks on reactor welds – ASN


17 Mar 2023 07:35




17 Mar 2023 07:35

(Montel) French utility EDF will accelerate its inspections of its nuclear power reactors to ensure their welds are free of corrosion or small cracks, said the deputy director general of France’s nuclear safety authority ASN.

“EDF is going from 100 to 150 repaired welds that will be checked this year,” said Julien Collet, pointing out that EDF’s initial strategy was to carry out around 120 checks on sensitive lines and 100 checks on repaired welds in 2023.

“This is the main change in EDF's strategy, which will lead to an increase in the volume of inspections and an acceleration of the inspection schedule.”

The nuclear watchdog asked EDF last week to revise its 2023-2025 strategy for inspections at its reactors following the discovery of corrosion at the 1.3 GW unit Penly 1.

The ASN had warned that the issue may be found at all 56 French reactors.

Penly problems

At Penly 1, a large crack extending over 155mm – about a quarter of the circumference of the pipe – was identified near a weld on a line in the safety injection circuit (RIS) that had undergone major repairs.

The ASN said it now expects by the end of the summer the results of EDF’s analysis of the sensitivity to stress corrosion risks of other repaired welds at other units. It identified around 320 repaired welds.

Collet said EDF’s new strategy was going “in the right direction” but added that the ASN still had questions about the timetable for certain checks.

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