Security & Safety

EPR 2 / Regulator Says EDF May Have To Review Parts Of Design

By David Dalton
19 July 2019

Regulator Says EDF May Have To Review Parts Of Design
The Flamanville-3 EPR under construction in northern France. Photo courtesy EDF.
France’s nuclear regulator ASN has said the safety objectives for a planned new version of the EPR nuclear plant are generally satisfactory, but warned state-controlled utility EDF that it may have to review parts of the design of the unit if it hopes to get clearance to build it.

ASN said in a statement
on Thursday that while the overall design of the new EPR 2 seemed to be safe, EDF would have change certain elements for it to be approved, notably the break-preclusion concept for its cooling circuit.

In initial talks with the ASN, EDF had proposed to design the new EPR 2’s cooling circuit pipes with the same “rupture exclusion” concept as in the existing EPR, which is under construction at Flamanville in France, Olkiluoto in Finland and Hinkley Point in England.

This means that components – notably pipes in the primary and secondary circuits – are manufactured to such a high standard that rupture is ruled out and the manufacturer does not have to plan for what to do in case of accident.

According to ASN the rupture exclusion concept allows the operator “not to fully study the consequences of a rupture of these pipes in the safety demonstration of the installation”.

This rupture exclusion concept has shown its limits at the EPR under construction in Flamanville, where badly executed weldings on the main steam lines will lead to new delays and extra costs.

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