France: Plan to fix corroded EDF reactors approved
French multinational electric utility company EDF says it plans to fix all of its corroded reactors by 2025.
France's nuclear safety authority ASN said in a press release on Wednesday that it approved the strategy of the national electric utility EDF to repair stress corrosion cracks in nuclear reactors.
The ASN considers that the "stress corrosion" phenomenon is "still evolving" and that "the inspection program will have to be adapted if the inspections reveal new elements".
This problem of corrosion on certain circuits weighs down the prospects for nuclear electricity production and financial results this year for EDF, whose government has planned 100% renationalization.
EDF plans to check all of its reactors by 2025 by ultrasound, to look for any traces of this problem which has led to the shutdown of 12 out of 56 reactors.
The group must first examine the most damaged areas of the 1450 MW reactors and some of the 1300 MW.
"ASN considers that EDF's strategy is appropriate given the knowledge acquired about the phenomenon and the associated safety issues," ASN said in its press release.
"However, with regard to reactor 2 of the Belleville nuclear power plant, ASN considers that the inspection of this reactor scheduled for 2024 is too late".
This decision comes at a crucial time in the EU's history where member states reached a political agreement on Tuesday for a voluntary reduction of gas demand by 15% this winter.