Update on EDF’s nuclear plants
1. Discrepancies in relation to the technical framework for the production of nuclear reactor components by Framatome
Following on from yesterday’s publication by the ASN (French nuclear safety authority) of the briefing note entitled “Production discrepancies at Framatome: stress relief heat treatment for welding”, EDF acknowledges that the reactors involved can continue to function as they are, and that they do not need to be shut down in order for the checks required to deal with the discrepancies to be carried out. EDF has continued to discuss the technical issues of this case with the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (French nuclear safety authority) over the last few weeks. Physical checks have been carried out on the seals in question in the new steam generators currently being assembled at Gravelines 5 and steam generators for the Blayais 4 reactor, which has been shut down for fuel reloading. These same checks will be carried out on the seals in question in the steam reactors at Blayais 3 (May 2020), Bugey 3 (April 2020), Dampierre 4 (January 2020) and Paluel 2 (26 October 2019), during their next scheduled shutdown for fuel reloading, without any need to expect these shutdowns to last any longer to carry out these checks. When it comes to Fessenheim 2, additional elements confirming the integrity of the equipment in question will be submitted to the ASN in due course. For the Flamanville 3 EPR equipment, these checks will be carried out after the hot tests currently under way.
2. Outlook for nuclear production in France for 2019
The 2019 industrial campaign was hailed as being particularly complex, with the completion of seven ten-year inspections. The overlapping of some intensive operations planned for the second half of the year affecting all plants is resulting in extensions to scheduled shutdowns, including in particular for the reactors at Flamanville 2 and Paluel 4. Combined with the fortuitous shutdown of Flamanville 1 to carry out maintenance work on the diesel generators and weather conditions resulting in greater modulations than planned for the reactors, this situation has led EDF to review its forecast annual output for 2019 to approximately 390 TWh, compared with an initial hypothesis of approximately 395 TWh. The financial targets for 2019 and ambitions for 20201 remain unchanged.
1See Press releases dated 15 February 2019 and 9 October 2019
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