ASN Report 2017
374 ASN report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2017 Chapter 12 - EDF Nuclear Power Plants Generation IV reactors Since 2000, in partnership with EDF and Areva, CEA has been looking at the development of fourth generation nuclear reactors, notably within the framework of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). For their promoters, the main challenge for fourth generation reactors is to allow sustainable development of nuclear energy while optimising the use of natural resources, reducing the production of radioactive waste, improving nuclear safety (reducing the risk of core melt and improved protection of the population) while offering a greater ability to counter security, proliferation or terrorism risks. For those promoting them, the industrial deployment of fourth generation reactors is envisaged in France no earlier than the middle of the 21st century. 3. Outlook In 2018, ASN actions in the field of the oversight of NPPs will more specifically concern the following topics. The conformity of the facilities Operating experience feedback from regulation and oversight of NPP reactors reveals that there are still inadequacies in the processes employed by EDF to obtain compliance of the facilities with their design and operating baseline requirements and then maintain this compliance over the long term. These difficulties notably indicate shortcomings in the maintenance programmes for certain equipment items. They also highlight the need to continue with the design reviews initiated at the request of ASN. These reviews are bearing fruit by revealing anomalies, some of which have been present since the reactors were built. ASN considers that EDF must reinforce its actions and its decision-making processes when dealing with the deviations, once they are detected. In 2018, ASNwill ensure that the processes used by the licensee are actually able to detect and then deal with all deviations from the design and operating baseline requirements, in good time. In this respect, ASN will enhance its field inspections, notably during reactor refuelling outages. The periodic safety reviews In 2018, examination of the generic studies will continue for the fourth periodic safety review of the 900 MWe reactors. ASN intends to issue a position statement on the generic studies linked to this review at the end of 2020 after obtaining the GPR’s opinion on the results of the review in 2020. ASN will also issue a position statement on the subjects for which EDF was asked to provide additional information following the generic examination of the third periodic safety reviews of the 1,300 MWe reactors. On the basis of the checks carried out in 2017 when implementing the material and documentary modifications resulting from this third periodic safety review, ASN will reinforce its checks in the installations concerned and will ensure that the installations are modified in accordance with the licenses it has issued. As part of the actions initiated by the HCTISN in 2017, ASN will also take part in public consultation measures planned for 2018 concerning the steps proposed by EDF to meet the objectives set for the fourth periodic safety review of the 900 MWe reactors. Experience feedback from the Fukushima Daiichi accident Monitoring the implementation of the prescribed material and organisational measures enabling EDF to justify satisfactory control of the basic safety functions in extreme situations remains a priority for ASN. In 2018, ASN will continue to review the design, construction and operating provisions adopted by EDF to address the prescriptions concerning the “hardened safety core”. ASN will also continue to oversee the work to deploy the “hardened safety core” on the sites (ultimate back-up diesels, ultimate water source, local emergency centre). It will also examine the authorisation application files for the deployment of other “hardened safety core” modifications or equipment. NPE monitoring Monitoring of nuclear pressure equipment was marked by two major events in recent years: the detection of uncontrolled carbon segregations in certain forged components and the discovery of irregularities that could be construed as falsifications within the Creusot Forge plant. In 2018, ASN will continue to check the performance of the reviews of all the components manufactured in the past by this plant. It will ensure that this review process is seen through to completion, in order to assess all the irregularities which could have affected past production and learn all the possible lessons regarding the safety of the facilities. Finally, in 2018, ASN will continue to draft the regulatory texts necessary for NPE monitoring and will complete the important in-depth work started in 2015 with the manufacturers, licensees and approved organisations, with regard to the application of the regulations concerning NPE. Oversight of the EPR reactor ASN will continue to monitor the installation of equipment, the performance of the start-up tests and the preparation of the various operating support documents. The nuclear safety inspectors will continue with inspections at a sustained rate. It will also continue with the conformity assessments of the NPE most important for safety. ASN will issue a position statement in 2018 on the two partial commissioning authorisation applications. These authorisations are necessary to allow performance of the tests requiring the use of radioactive substances and to allow nuclear fuel onto the site.