ASN report considers plant life extension for French NPPs

30 May 2016

French nuclear regulator Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) will decide in 2018 at the earliest whether France's fleet of 900MWe nuclear reactors should continue commercial operation beyond 40 years. The ASN annual report for said it would first be necessary to analyse studies being carried out by state-owned nuclear operator EDF. ASN has already begun work on the 30-year reviews for France's 1,300MWe units. Post-Fukushima improvements of nuclear facilities must continue to be deployed, ASN said. It expressed concern about delays to nuclear projects such as the EPR reactor under construction at unit 3 of the Flamanville NPP in Normandy, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Iter) project at Cadarache, the Jules Horowitz research project, also at Cadarache, and the Cigéo nuclear waste repository project. ASN said the operational safety of nuclear facilities was "at a good level" in 2015, but radiation safety deserves "special vigilance", particularly in the medical field, which saw 10 International Nuclear Event and Radiological Scale (INES) Level 2 incidents 2015. France has 58 commercial nuclear reactors producing around 70% of its electricity.

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