Areva NP’s Creusot Forge Plant: ASN publishes the list of irregularities detected so far

Published on 23/09/2016 at 14:00

Information notice

ASN publishes the list of irregularities of which it has been notified to date, affecting certain items manufactured by Areva NP’s Creusot Forge plant for French civil nuclear activities. These irregularities concern EDF reactor pressure equipment (vessels, steam generators and main primary system piping) and transport packagings for radioactive substances.

Following the detection of an anomaly in the Flamanville EPR reactor vessel at the end of 2014, ASN asked Areva NP to carry out a quality review on the manufacturing work carried out in its Creusot Forge plant. During the course of this review, Areva NP brought to light a number of irregularities (see information notice of 3rd May 2016).

AREVA Creusot Forge

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.

EDF informed ASN that it has completed the characterisation of the irregularities affecting its reactors in service. EDF concludes that these irregularities have no consequences for the safety of the reactors concerned.

ASN is conducting its own analysis of each of the irregularities, jointly with IRSN. Its analysis gave priority to the 23 cases which in principle have the most significant safety implications1 :

  • for 21 cases, ASN concluded that the deviations identified do not compromise the safety of the equipment concerned;
  • ASN is continuing to assess the case of a steam generator for reactor 4 in the Bugey NPP, currently shut down, regarding which ASN will issue an opinion prior to its restart;
  • ASN has suspended the test certificate for a steam generator in reactor 2 of the Fessenheim NPP (see information notice of 19th July 2016). This suspension requires that the steam generator and therefore the reactor must be kept shut down. EDF and Areva NP have decided to carry out analyses on this steam generator and implement a programme of additional tests, with the aim being to request that the test certificate suspension be lifted.

In any case, regardless of their actual safety consequences, these irregularities reveal unacceptable practices; the reviews initiated by Areva NP must therefore be continued and are liable to bring further irregularities to light. ASN is ensuring that the review process is seen through to completion, more specifically by means of inspections at Creusot Forge.

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1. Those in point 2.1 of the list of irregularities.

Date of last update : 03/09/2021