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A report commissioned by Greenpeace France has found that 28 nuclear reactors, including 18 EDF plants in France and one in the UK’s Sizewell, are operating at risk of failure due to carbon anomalies, environmental affairs magazine Ecologist reports.
Consultancy firm LargeAssociates carried out the review after French regulators had found flaws in a reactor vessel at the EPR reactor currently under construction at Flamanville. The key parts for the reactor construction have been provided by the French nuclear engineering group Areva.
Last week, France’s nuclear safety watchdog, ASN, published the list of the irregularities for which Areva had notified it so far, concerning items manufactured by Areva’s Creusot Forge plant for French civil nuclear activities. After an anomaly was detected in the Flamanville EPR reactor vessel at the end of 2014, ASN asked Areva to carry out a quality review at its Creusot Forge plant.
“To date, Areva NP has identified 87 irregularities concerning EDF reactors in operation, 20 affecting equipment intended for the Flamanville EPR reactor, one affecting a steam generator intended for but not yet installed in the reactor 5 of Gravelines NPP and 4 affecting transport packagings for radioactive substances,” the French nuclear safety regulator said.
In the report commissioned by Greenpeace, the authors at LargeAssociates say:
“The same Creusot manufacturing route used for the already installed but yet to be commissioned FA3 RPV, was also used for and, hence, the same flaws are very likely to arise in the two Taishan, China EPR NPPs presently nearing commissioning, and future orders such as Hinkley Point C EPR.”
This is potentially very bad news for Hinkley Point, which received two weeks ago the approval of the UK government after much controversy and long delays.
To add to the worries for EDF, Hinkley Point’s contractor, Moody’s downgraded on Wednesday its ratings on the French company, citing concerns over the “adverse impact of the incremental risks associated the Hinkley Point C (HPC) project on the group's credit profile”.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.