EXCLUSIVE – Pierre-Franck Chevet, president of the nuclear safety Authority, alert to the problems posed by the French plants.
After the discovery, in the spring of 2015, a defect in the tank of the future EPR reactor at Flamanville, the nuclear safety Authority (ASN) has triggered a campaign of control is unprecedented. It is far from over. Its chairman, Pierre-Franck Chevet, stresses that the situation is “worrying”.
LE FIGARO. – A score of reactors that EDF is shutdown. France likely to spend a difficult winter?
Pierre-Franck CHEVET. - Currently, twelve reactors are shutdown or are going to be shut down, to control the excess carbon found in the steel does not alter the capacity of mechanical resistance of the steam generators. At the end of last week, EDF has provided us with a complete record for each of the parts involved. Then we need about a month to control the tests and to give, or not, our green light to the restart of nuclear power plants. In the best case, the reactors of EDF that could be operational in a month and reach their full power in January 2017. ASN has conveyed these elements of the schedule to the RTE (electricity transport Network), in charge of the network, whose role is to balance the consumption and supply of electricity. (…)
Between the economic difficulties of EDF and Areva and the technical problems, never the nuclear situation in France was also a problem…
The situation has become, indeed, very worrying. Hence the need to act with calm and thoroughness. An anomaly generic has been identified on the steam generators, resulting in a control process on a large scale. This is not the first time: in the early 1990s, corrosion of all the covers of the reactors in operation had been identified. At the time, EDF was able to manage the situation by replacing all of the covers. In 2013, in the framework of the preparation of the draft law on the energy transition, I had warned of the need to be able to occur at regular intervals of 5 to 10 reactors, because of the generic issues could be discovered. There is a case where the safety could be in question, which has led us to decide to stop Fessenheim 2 last summer. (…)
in the Face of all these issues, the state of the plants to present it a risk to the safety of our fellow citizens?
all decisions taken by the ASN on these different issues fit precisely in a process of safety of nuclear reactors and therefore the protection of their populations. It is so, the premature shutdown of some reactors of EDF, or the extension of the review of the quality of our products from the factory of le Creusot, Areva. These decisions, strong, necessary, call for an unprecedented commitment of the industry concerned, which is, in the long term. We will be particularly vigilant to ensure that such a commitment be maintained!
Find the full interview in Le Figaro to be published on Wednesday 23 November, and from now on the Web, mobiles and tablets to the subscribers Figaro Premium.
” Pierre-Franck Chevet: “we need to rethink the control of the nuclear”