Flamanville

[Machine Translation] Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 June, a group of nuclear experts must give its opinion on the tank and the cap of the Flamanville EPR, whose steel is not sufficiently homogenous in carbon. IRSN made a critical report on the properties of the lid. Reporter explains this complicated file. The Nuclear Safety Standards Group (GP-ESPN) has been referred by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), who is due to say on Tuesday if the EPR tank is strong enough Its manufacturing defects. In order to give their opinions, the 31 experts (civil society, industrial representatives, researchers, etc.) are studying a technical report drawn up by the IRSN (Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety). According to this report, which the AFP has been able to consult, the main concern is in the lid of the tank, while the suitability of the bottom is not totally questioned. Without thorough and regular checks throughout the operation of the reactor, “the ability to service the actual tank lid (…) is not permanently acquired,” reports the report. He adds that ‘EDF is currently unable to implement’ the necessary controls and that, if this situation is not resolved, the use of the current cover ‘can not be envisaged beyond a few years Operating “. In other words, EDF could have to replace the lid of the tank of the EPR. But it will be up to the ASN to conclude in its final decision, expected in the autumn after public consultation.

Reporterre 27th June 2017 read more »

[Machine Translation] The file of the EPR of Flamanville enters its last phase. Since its conception, this power station of third generation has only chained the galleys. Whether in terms of timing and costs (they have tripled to 10.5 billion euros). But the most serious incident concerns the Flamanville vat. Two years ago, the Nuclear Safety Authority announced that it had too high concentrations of carbon. “A serious or very serious anomaly,” ASN president Pierre-Franck Chevet said, because this incident could reduce the capacity of the tank to withstand pressures and thermal shocks. On the other hand, the tank weighing not less than 450 tons is one of the few parts of a plant that cannot be changed. Re-doing another would take years. This would be a fatal blow to Flamanville, EDF’s takeover of Areva’s reactor business and Hinkley Point’s English EPRs (which depend on the successful launch of Flamanville). Ultimately, it is the entire French nuclear industry that, if the ASN has a negative opinion, may find itself in the middle.

Challenges 26th June 2017 read more »

[Machine Translation] EPR of Flamanville: a report warns EDF on the reliability of the lid of the tank. The operator may have to quickly replace this reactor masterpiece after commissioning, which is still scheduled for the end of 2018.EDF executives have been overly optimistic, obviously convinced that the future reactor tank of the Flamanville (Manche) EPR reactor would pass without difficulty before the “judges” of the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) and His armed wing, the Institute of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN). The situation is ultimately more complex: it is not excluded that the plant operator must at least change the lid of this tank, only a few years after the EPR has been put into service. Meeting on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th June, the 31 members of the permanent group of experts for nuclear pressure equipment (industrialists, associations …) took note of a long report (193 pages) of the IRSN and the Direction des Equipment under ASN’s nuclear pressure, which is very critical in some respects. If it does not question the future of the powerful third generation reactor (1,650 MW), designed by Areva in the 1990s, it puts an additional mortgage on a project that will already cost 10.5 billion d ‘ Three times more than expected.

Le Monde 26th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 28 June 2017

Cybersecurity

The Chernobyl nuclear site has been caught up in the massive cyber attack that has caused chaos across Europe. Workers at the power plant that was the sight of a nuclear explosion in 1986 have needed to use hand-held counters to measure radiation after computers were taken offline by malware. The virus, identified as a modified version of Petya, has targeted companies, banks and airports, across Europe – mostly Ukraine and Russia.

Metro 27th June 2017 read more »

The monitoring systems at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant have been broken by a worldwide hack. Systems usually used to monitor the area around the power station – which is still an active and dangerous area following the disaster in 1986 – are not working because of the cyber attack, Ukrainian authorities said. Those areas must now be monitored manually, according to a statement. The entire country of Ukraine is being hit by a sustained cyber attack that has hit some of its most important state and private infrastructure. Though the attack began in the country – and most of the damage is still being done there – it is rapidly spreading across the world, hitting firms across Europe and America.

Independent 27th June 2017 read more »

Mirror 27th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 28 June 2017

Russia

Russia on Tuesday sent a first shipment of spent fuel from Soviet-era nuclear-powered submarines to a reprocessing plant as part of an international effort to clean-up a dangerous legacy of the Cold War. The radioactive fuel from more than 100 reactors of over 50 submarines has been stored at Andreyeva Bay in north-western Russia, closed as a naval base in 1992, for the past 35 years. It presented a serious environmental risk, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which helps manage financing for the project, said.

Reuters 27th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 28 June 2017

Fukushima

Three former executives at Fukushima’s operator stand trial this week on the only criminal charges laid in the 2011 disaster, as thousands remain unable to return to homes near the shuttered nuclear plant. The hearing on Friday comes more than a year after ex-Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, 77, and former vice presidents Sakae Muto, 66, and Ichiro Takekuro, 71, were formally charged with professional negligence resulting in death and injury. The indictments are the first — and only — criminal charges stemming from the tsunami-sparked reactor meltdowns at the plant that set off the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

Daily Mail 28th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 28 June 2017

Canada

Former AECL scientists are condemning a plan to build a nuclear waste facility at the Chalk River site on the Ottawa River, saying it would be ill-equipped to handle the level of radioactive material planned for it. The government-owned, private sector-operated Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is proposing to build a $325-million facility to dispose of a large quantity of low- and intermediate-level waste generated from the demolition of aging buildings and other contaminated material generated over the past 65 years. But several former senior scientists who worked there say the CNL proposal is seriously flawed and represents a threat to human health and the environment.

Globe & Mail 27th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 28 June 2017

Flamanville

The cover of the reactor vessel EDF is building in Flamanville, France, may not be able to function more than a few years unless the utility can do additional tests which so far it has not be able to, nuclear regulator ASN said in a report. While the long-awaited report, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, concludes the European Pressurized Reactor (EPR) is fit for service, EDF may have to replace its vessel cover soon after its scheduled start-up in 2018. The requirement is a major blow for EDF, which will have to start planning for a costly replacement of a key part before the reactor even starts up. The reputational damage could also add to concerns in Britain about its 18 billion pound ($23 billion) project to build two similar EPR reactors in southwest England. The French regulator had ordered a deep review of the Flamanville vessel following the discovery in 2015 of carbon concentrations in the base and cover of the containment vessel, which make its steel more brittle. The report – led by the IRSN, the ASN’s technical arm – is being reviewed by a group of independent experts on Monday and Tuesday. This autumn, ASN will partly base its final ruling on Flamanville on the experts’ recommendations. The ASN report states that while the base of the vessel is fit for service despite the need for increased monitoring over its lifetime, manufacturer Areva NP has not been able to conduct sufficient tests on the cover as it is no longer accessible. These controls are indispensable in order to ensure the reactor’s safety over its 60-year lifetime, the report says.

Reuters 26th June 2017 read more »

[Machine Translation] A group of experts is meeting Monday and Tuesday to discuss the “fitness for service” of the tank and lid of the Flamanville EPR. About thirty members of the Permanent Expert Group on Nuclear Pressure Equipment (GPESPN) have met since Monday morning and for two days at the ASN to discuss the “fitness for service” of The tank and the lid of the EPR under construction at Flamanville (Manche). Two years ago, ASN announced that the steel used to forge the caps of these two parts had a carbon content above the expected levels. What could potentially weaken the resistance of these critical equipment for the safety of the nuclear reactor, which is scheduled to be commissioned in 2019 by EDF after years of delays. Since the revelation of this “serious anomaly, even very serious” by ASN President Pierre-Franck Chevet, Areva and EDF have demonstrated the resistance of the tank and its lid, Despite the underperformance of steel. After six months of calculating the calculations carried out by Areva on representative parts of the tank and the lid, IRSN and the ASN service specialized in pressure equipment have drafted a first technical report, which Serves as a working basis for members of the GPESPN. According to Reuters, quoting the text given to the experts, “the rapporteur considers that the anomaly does not call into question the suitability for service of the bottom of the tank provided that the controls of the bottom of the tank provided by EDF Are adapted so as to be able to detect the set of defects “. EDF believes that these controls can be carried out. On the other hand, “the rapporteur considers that the suitability for the current lid of the EPR reactor tank in Flamanville is not sustainable in the absence of sufficient in-service controls. And the debate crystallizes on the ability to control the performance of the lid. EDF does not therefore exclude replacing this part, within a few years, as the ASN may request. After two days of discussions between experts (including EDF and Areva executives, as well as DCNS, Bureau Veritas, Onet Technologies, metalworkers, etc.), the GPESPN will deliver its opinion, Before the ASN college deliberates to issue its preliminary decision. This will then be submitted for public consultation, before a definitive opinion is sent by the ASN, expected in September.

Les Echos 26th June 2017 read more »

[Machine Translation] EPR of Flamanville: a report warns EDF on the reliability of the lid of the tank. The Nuclear Safety Authority considers that this centerpiece of the plant will have to be rapidly replaced after the reactor is put into service by the end of 2018. At the end of 2016, Areva and EDF submitted a dossier on this tank, a 420-tonne forged item in the Areva plant in Creusot Forge (Saône-et-Loire) in 2006-2007. According to the manufacturer of this component and its future operator, it passed some 2 000 tests and checks successfully, in the presence of ASN engineers. These tests were to ensure that, despite the too high carbon concentration of its bottom and lid, the tank of this third-generation pressurized nuclear reactor, which will be operated for at least sixty years, is capable of Resist thermal shock and high pressures, including accidental situations. If the tank itself is deemed fit for service, its lid will have to be changed a few years after the start of operation, scheduled for the end of 2018. “The use of the current tank cover Could be envisaged beyond a few years of operation without the necessary controls to strengthen the second level of defense in depth “, notes the report of the Institute of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) , Armed ASN, revealed by the Reuters news agency. EDF says that the Flamanville EPR will start at the end of 2018 – six years behind schedule and a threefold increase in the initial estimate (to 10.5 billion euros). The approval of the tank by the ASN is one of the conditions set by the European Commission to authorize the purchase of Areva NP, the manufacturer of the reactors, by EDF. The recapitalization of Areva (5 billion euros) planned this year is also subject to a green light on the tank.

Le Monde 26th June 2017 read more »

[Machine Translation] They are only five hundred, but they hold your lives in their hands. Experts from the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), reinforced by the 1,700 agents of the Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Institute (IRSN), are responsible for controlling the activities of the French industry, from power plants to Reactors and fuel to the laboratories of the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). On Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 June, they were to discuss the future of the EPR in Flamanville (Manche). Despite defects in the forging of the tank where the nuclear reaction occurred, they were about to judge it to be good for the service, by means of reinforced controls. And thus to reopen a trial in legitimacy that had almost disappeared as the nuclear “gendarme” was more intractable in its controls and more severe in its opinions. The President of this independent authority, appointed for six years by the President of the Republic, is irrevocable. Over the years, ASN has gained legitimacy, leading the hard life to EDF and Areva and establishing itself as one of the most respected authorities in the world. First under the rule of André-Claude Lacoste, then of his successor Pierre-Franck Chevet. Would ASN do too much? Would she be overly anxious? “A problem can not be solved by denying it,” replies the current patron willingly to his detractors. He did not hide, in January, that “the situation with regard to nuclear safety and radiation protection is worrying”. Not that the French are under the threat of a nuclear catastrophe, but because we have entered the post-Fukushima era and that “an unprecedented period of stakes” opens for this sector. The list of these stakes is long: modernization of the 58 EDF reactors and spent fuel reprocessing plants, upgrading Areva plants manufacturing plant components, Cigéo control, the contested underground waste storage project Very radioactive in Bure (Meuse), certification of new reactors … And all this in a context where calendars and costs erode everywhere, such as those of the EPR, the international Iter project or the Jules Horowitz research reactor.

Le Monde 27th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 27 June 2017

Westinghouse

SCANA Corp said on Monday it extended its assessment for six weeks of an unfinished U.S. nuclear power plant being built for the utility by a unit of Toshiba Corp, which is seeking to cut ties to the financially disastrous project. The South Carolina project, known as VC Summer, and a similar half-finished nuclear power plant in Georgia known as Vogtle, are billions of dollars over budget and pushed Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric Co LLC into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March.

Reuters 26th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 27 June 2017

US

The latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information’s “Electric Power Monthly” (with data through April 30) reveals that—for the first time since the beginning of the nuclear era—renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar—inc. small-scale PV, wind) are now providing a greater share of the nation’s electrical generation than nuclear power.

Eco Watch 26th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 27 June 2017

Czech Republic

A nuclear power station’s publicity stunt resulted in a meltdown, after they ran a bikini contest in order to choose their next intern. Czech Power generation conglomerate CEZ decided it would be a good idea to get ten high school graduates to strip down to their bikinis and pose in a cooling tower of its Temelin nuclear power plant.

Metro 26th June 2017 read more »

Mirror 26th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 27 June 2017

Canada

The communities of Central Huron and White River will no longer be considered as a potential host for a deep geological repository for Canada’s used nuclear fuel, the Nuclear Waste Management Organisation (NWMO) has announced. The NWMO is working to identify an acceptable site for the repository under a long-term process called Adaptive Phase Management. In 2010 it launched a two-phase preliminary assessment process to narrow down study areas from a list of communities that had registered interest.

World Nuclear News 26th June 2017 read more »

Posted: 27 June 2017