The issue of the effects of ageing on French utility EDF’s reactor vessels calls into question plans to allow the firm’s nuclear units to operate beyond their allotted 40 years, industry experts told Montel. “No one knows if the vessels can withstand another 10 years. Faced with this doubt, the wisest solution is to close them permanently… when they reach 40 years of age,” Bernard Laponche, retired nuclear physician and industry critic, said late on Thursday. “All these vessels have more or less significant fissures, present during manufacture or appearing over the years and which, in case of contact with cold water, could fail,” said Jean-Marie Brom, nuclear physicist and research director at France’s independent state research agency CNRS.
Montel News 22nd Nov 2019 read more »