Flamanville 3 EPR: ASN has no objection to the initiation of a new test programme

Published on 17/12/2015 • 05:00 pm

Information notice

EPR reactor vessel

On 12 December 2015, ASN issued a position statement concerning the approach used to demonstrate the mechanical properties of the Flamanville 3 EPR reactor pressure vessel (RPV) closure head and bottom head proposed by Areva. Subject to its observations and requests being taken into consideration, ASN considers that the approach proposed by Areva is acceptable in principle and has no objection to the initiation of the new programme of tests being planned.

On 7 April 2015, ASN published an information notice concerning an anomaly in the composition of the steel in the centre of the Flamanville 3 EPR RPVclosure head and bottom head. This anomaly is linked to the presence of a high carbon concentration which results in mechanical properties that are not as good as expected.

Areva sent ASN a file presenting the procedure it envisages using to demonstrate the sufficiency of the mechanical properties of the material used in the manufacture of the vessel closure head and bottom head for the future Flamanville EPR reactor. This demonstration will in particular be based on the future results of a new programme of mechanical and chemical tests.

After joint examination of this file with IRSN, ASN convened the Advisory Committee for nuclear pressure equipment (GP ESPN) on 30 September 2015. The GP ESPN submitted its opinion and its recommendation to ASN. On this basis, ASN issued a position statement on the procedure adopted by Areva, with a certain number of observations and additional requests.

The results of the new test programme will be crucial to ASN’s decision on the suitability for service of the Flamanville 3 RPV closure head and bottom head. This test programme will take several months.

Date of last update : 08/06/2017