A French-designed nuclear reactor ordered by Britain is facing further scrutiny after the disclosure that defects were detected in one of the same models under construction in China. The revelation adds to the string of setbacks that have hit the European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) designed by Areva, the French nuclear group. Britain has ordered two of those reactors for Hinkley Point C. They are being built by EDF, the French state energy giant, and China General Nuclear Power Corporation at a cost of £19.5 billion. China General Nuclear Power Corporation, which is building two reactors in a joint venture with EDF near Macau in southern China, said it had found “local defects” in the Taishan 1 reactor. It said that welding in the deaerator, which is used to remove oxygen from water circuits, was defective. The parts had been replaced, it said. Taishan 1 is due to come on stream this month to become the world’s first functioning example of the European reactor. The second Chinese reactor, Taishan 2, is due to come online next year. The $8.7 billion project was initially due to be completed last year, but was delayed by safety concerns. The problems in China pale by comparison with those affecting other projects. Work on a similar reactor at Olkiluoto in Finland began in 2005 and was supposed to finish in 2009. It is now expected to be in action from 2019. EDF is also building a reactor at Flamanville in Normandy which was due to begin operating in 2012, but won’t be working until the end of next year. The reactors at Hinkley Point were originally due to be operational in 2025 but EDF said this summer that they were likely to be 15 months late.
Times 14th Dec 2017 read more »
Daily Mail 13th Dec 2017 read more »
Welding defects in deaerator at Taishan nuclear plant known to manufacturer in production stage, documents show. Documents show that defects with a deaerator in the generating unit 1 of Taishan nuclear power plant were known as early as 2012, following FactWire’s revelation on Tuesday that the key component cracked during performance tests. Harbin Boiler, the manufacturer, apparently has faced technical challenges since the early stages of production, causing oversized gaps between parts of the deaerator which made it necessary to remold their shapes on site before assembly, according to a technical report written by an engineer at the manufacturer. FactWire also found previous incidents involving deaerators at Daya Bay and Ling Ao nuclear power plants, both of which sit about 50km from Hong Kong. Changes in water levels inside the deaerators affected the cooling capacity of the nuclear reactor cores.
Factwire 14th Dec 2017 read more »
Hong Kong Free Press 14th Dec 2017 read more »