Areva has told French nuclear regulator Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) that it intends to resume forging components for nuclear power plants at its Le Creusot facility in eastern France.
ASN said in a statement it had already responded to Areva’s request in a letter that lays down the conditions for resuming work. ASN did not give details of those conditions, but said it had carried out several inspections at the facility and will check before forging restarts that items in an action plan have been implemented. ASN said after the restart it will maintain “tighter control” of the facility. ASN said there had been “major organisational and technical malfunctions” at Le Creusot in 2015 and 2016.
Falsifications in manufacturing documentation first came to light in 2015 when ASN confirmed an anomaly in the composition of steel in some areas of the lid and the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel at the Flamanville-3 EPR under construction in northern France. Checks at Le Creusot showed irregularities in manufacturing checks on about 400 parts produced since 1965, about 50 of which were still in use at French nuclear power stations. The discovery led ASN to ask Areva and nuclear operator EDF to check other EDF reactor components for similar anomalies. ASN said some of the anomalies in record-keeping at Le Creusot were “minor differences” while others might amount to forgery.