ASN publishes the closing report for the action plan defined following the European stress tests on nuclear power plants
Following the accident at the Fukushima NPP, the European Council asked for stress tests to be carried out. Their procedures were defined by the WENRA association of Western European nuclear regulators. These tests involved verifying the robustness of the European NPPs to the types of situations that the Fukushima NPP had experienced: extreme earthquake, extreme flooding, total loss of electrical power supplies, total loss of heat sinks and melting of the reactor core. These tests not only concerned the technical provisions designed to prevent the total loss of electrical power supplies and cooling, as well as core melt, or to mitigate the consequences thereof, but also the organisational preparedness for management of extreme situations.
In December 2012, ASN published a national action plan in response to the recommendations resulting from the European stress tests peer review and the 2nd extraordinary meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety held the same year. This action plan included the ASN requirements of 26 June 2012 aimed at increasing NPP robustness to extreme situations beyond their existing safety margins.
The closing report presents the provisions defined by EDF to enable the actions of the plan to be completed and the recommendations resulting from the peer review and the ASN requirements to be addressed.
These provisions notably contribute to improving protection against natural hazards and the loss of the safety systems as well as to improving the management of a severe accident by deploying means such as the EDF’s nuclear rapid intervention force (FARN) or commissioning an ultimate backup electricity generating set on each of the 56 nuclear reactors in service.
In addition to the provisions of the action plan, additional changes are made to the French NPPs as part of the continuous safety improvement process, in particular during the periodic safety reviews.