Draft ASN position statement on the orientations of the generic phase of the fourth periodic safety reviews of the 1300 MWe reactors

Published on 22/10/2019 • 12:06 pm

Information notice

ASN submits for public consultation its draft position statement on the orientations of the generic phase
of the fourth periodic safety reviews of the 1300 MWe reactors operated by EDF.

In France, the operating life of a nuclear reactor is not defined in advance. However, pursuant to Article L. 593-18 of the Environment Code, the licensee of a basic nuclear installation must conduct a periodic safety review of its facility every ten years. The periodic safety review must be able to verify the facility’s compliance with the rules that apply to it and to update the assessment of the risks and drawbacks it constitutes for public health and safety and the protection of nature and the environment, while notably taking account of the condition of the facility, experience acquired during operation, changing knowledge and the rules applicable to similar facilities. Following this review, ASN issues a position statement on the conditions for the continued operation of the facility.

In 2017, EDF initiated the fourth periodic safety review of its twenty 1300 MWe nuclear power reactors. As with the previous periodic safety reviews and in order to take advantage of the standardised nature of its reactors, EDF intends to carry out this periodic safety review in two stages:

  • a “generic” periodic safety review phase, which covers subjects common to all the 1300 MWe reactors. This generic approach is a means of pooling and sharing studies of facility ageing control, obsolescence and compliance, as well as the safety reassessment and design studies for any modifications to the facilities;
  • a “specific” periodic safety review phase concerning each individual reactor and which is scheduled to run from 2027 to 2035. This phase addresses the particular characteristics of the facility and its environment, for example the level of natural hazards to be considered and the condition of the facility.

The “generic” periodic safety review phase begins with a definition of the objectives assigned to this periodic safety review. For this purpose, EDF transmitted a “periodic safety review guidance file” which specifies its objectives.

In its draft position statement, ASN intends to ask EDF to modify or add a number of general objectives for this safety review, to consider certain baseline requirements in the safety reassessment of its facilities and to add topics for study to its review programme. The requests concerning the methods and hypotheses to be used in the studies are to a large extent based on the requests made by ASN in 2016 for the fourth periodic safety review of the 900 MWe reactors.

An opinion on this ASN draft position statement has been issued by the Advisory Committee for Nuclear Reactors.

Date of last update : 22/10/2019