EPR reactor : ASN requires that EDF ensure the conformity of its heavy lifting gear in its nuclear power plants
On 13th December 2013, further to the ASN inspectors’ findings concerning lifting and handling equipment for large components in NPPs, ASN asked EDF to ensure the conformity of this equipment prior to any use.
ASN is responsible for labour inspectorate duties in NPPs and can thus carry out checks on lifting equipment.
With regard to the situation observed this Autumn on the Flamanville 3 EPR reactor construction site, the ASN labour inspectors repeatedly sent requests to EDF concerning the conformity of the equipment to be used to install the largest reactor equipment items. This lifting equipment consists of the “polar crane” (located at the top of the reactor building) and additional “trolleys” specific to these handling operations. The labour inspectors identified deviations and asked a specialised accredited organisation to run a complete and thorough check on the equipment, the final results of which are not yet available.
In the light of the requests made by ASN’s labour inspectors concerning the Flamanville 3 construction site and the technical correspondence with the licensee - EDF - which followed, ASN considers that it has not as yet received all the necessary answers and guarantees concerning this lifting equipment. ASN thus served EDF with formal notice to remedy the deviations identified on this equipment prior to any use for handling of large equipment items.
As provided for by the regulations in such situations, ASN forwarded the observations of its labour inspectors to the Basse Normandie Regional Directorate for Businesses, Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs, Labour and Employment (DIRECCTE), which also sent EDF a reminder of the regulations applicable to this lifting equipment, constituting formal notice to comply.
Similar handling equipment is also used in the NPPs in service, for exceptional maintenance operations such as steam generator replacement. In the same way, ASN thus asked EDF to identify any deviations that could concern this equipment and to remedy them as applicable prior to any handling of large components.
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