ASN issues a positive opinion on the safety options for the ATMEA1 reactor project
Following a review process lasting 18 months, ASN issues a positive opinion on the safety options for the ATMEA1 reactor project.
With the technical support of the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), ASN reviewed the safety options for the ATMEA1 pressurised water reactor. This medium-power reactor (1100 MWe) is designed by the ATMEA company, an AREVA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) joint venture.
This review of the safety options was carried out at the request of the ATMEA company. Although the review was not performed in the framework of a creation authorisation application for this type of reactor in France, it was carried out in the same conditions as those applicable to the creation of basic nuclear installations in France. In 2011, ASN in particular obtained the opinions of the Advisory Committees for nuclear reactors (GPR) and for nuclear pressure equipment (GPESPN) concerning the safety options for this new reactor.
ASN publishes its opinion and the report on which it is based, which conclude that the safety options adopted by the ATMEA company for its reactor project on the whole satisfy the French requirements. In a French context, this opinion would be a preliminary to the creation authorisation procedure for such a reactor.
At the detail design stage, the ATMEA company must pay a specific attention on optimising worker exposure to ionising radiation, on the provisions necessary to "practically eliminate" certain accidents or rule out certain pipe breaks, and of course must continue to take into account the lessons learnt from the accident which occurred on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (Japan).
ASN recalls that in France, the creation authorisation application is submitted by the licensee and not by the designer of the reactor.