EDF nuclear power plant of Cruas-Meysse
During inspections on 25th and 26th September 2008 and on 24th October 2008 1, ASN checked implementation of regulations on explosion hazard management at the Cruas-Meysse nuclear power plant and, in particular, the implementation of the requirements of the aforementioned decree of 31st December 1999. It found discrepancies with regulations relating to pipelines for carrying explosive fluids.
ASN issued a report and, in a decision made on 13th November 2008, ASN gave EDF formal notice to bring the Cruas-Meysse nuclear power plant into line with the requirements of the decree of 31st December 1999 2. Should EDF fail to comply with this formal demand, it will be liable to the penal sanctions laid down in Article 41 of Law 2006-686 of 13 June 2006 3.
In a decision made on 13th November 2008, ASN gave EDF formal notice to bring the Cruas-Meysse nuclear power plant into line with the requirements of the decree of 31st December 1999.
The presence in the nuclear facilities of pipelines carrying fluids means that the operators must consider the risk of explosion. Indeed, an explosion could damage components that are essential for maintaining safety or could lead to a containment breach and, as a consequence, the release of radioactive materials into the plant or even into the environment. Measures must be taken by the operators to protect sensitive components.
Current legislation requires pipelines for transporting explosive fluids to:
- be suitably maintained;
- regularly undergo suitable inspections to ensure that they are in good condition;
- be marked on an updated plan provided to the emergency services;
- be indicated on site in accordance with current legislation.
The ASN inspectors noted discrepancies that revealed shortcomings in the implementation of these rules. ASN has therefore given EDF three months to bring the Cruas-Meysse nuclear power plant up to standard.
Furthermore, inspections carried out in the middle of 2008, particularly in the Blayais, Civaux and Golfech nuclear power plants, as well as generic research conducted by the French Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), revealed the need for EDF to introduce a more general action plan on this issue.
ASN thus issued recommendations defining the action to be taken 4 by EDF within three months with regard to explosion hazard management for all its nuclear power plants. These actions include:
- better organisation and coordination to guarantee compliance with regulations on explosion hazards,
- investigation ro ensure that all explosive fluid pipelines comply with regulation requirements,
- in-depth examination of the awareness of explosion hazards.