October 11, 2017

Flamanville 3 EPR: the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) published its opinion confirming the serviceability of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV)

On October 11, the French Nuclear Safety Authority (Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire – ASN) published its opinion concerning the toughness of the upper and lower domes (vessel head and bottom head) of the Flamanville EPR reactor pressure vessel.

The ASN concluded that the mechanical properties of the two parts are adequate, including in extreme situations, and that they are thus serviceable. Given the uncertainty relating to the feasibility of certain inspections on the closure head, and in accordance with the principle of defense in depth, the ASN considers that this component should not be operated beyond 2024.

The ASN has based its opinion on the analysis carried out by the ASN's Nuclear Pressure Equipment Department (ASN/DEP) and by the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire – IRSN), of elements provided by AREVA NP and EDF, as well as on the opinion of its Advisory Committee of Experts for Nuclear Pressure Equipment which met on June 26 and 27. The ASN submitted its draft opinion for public consultation during the course of the summer.