AREVA has informed ASN of irregularities concerning components manufactured in its Creusot Forge plant
Following the detection of an anomaly on the Flamanville EPR reactor vessel, and at the instigation of ASN, AREVA initiated in April 2015 a quality review on the manufacturing work carried out in its Creusot Forge plant. Its conclusions were sent to ASN in October 2015.
ASN considered that this relatively superficial review, which only went back as far as 2010, was insufficient and did not give a complete picture of the organisation and practices at Creusot Forge, the quality of the parts produced and the safety culture prevailing within the plant. At the end of 2015, ASN asked AREVA to take the process further and go back to at least 2004, which was when the first parts intended for the EPR were manufactured.
On 25th April 2016, AREVA informed ASN of the initial results of this additional analysis. They revealed irregularities in the manufacturing checks on about 400 parts produced since 1965, about fifty of which would appear to be in service in the French NPPs. These irregularities comprise inconsistencies, modifications or omissions in the production files, concerning manufacturing parameters or test results.
ASN asked AREVA to send it the list of parts concerned as rapidly as possible, along with its assessment of the consequences for the safety of the facilities, jointly with the licensees concerned.
The review process will need to be seen through to completion in order to assess all the anomalies which may have affected past manufacturing operations and draw any relevant conclusions regarding the safety of the facilities.