A corrosion problem was recently identified on a reactor of the same family at this plant located near the Luxembourg border.
Luxembourg expressed concern on Friday about the French nuclear power plant in Cattenom (Moselle), located not far from its border, after a corrosion problem recently identified on a reactor of the same family.
Energy Minister Claude Turmes and his environmental counterpart Carole Dieschbourg sent a letter this week to the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) asking for clarification on the situation in Cattenom. “Are the reactors of the Cattenom power plant affected by this anomaly?, already detected or suspected on 5 French reactors, he asks, in a letter obtained by AFP. “ASN is being asked why you closed Penly and why you did not close Cattenom, when Cattenom is from exactly the same family or generation”, explained to AFP Claude Turmes, Minister of Energy of Luxembourg, on the sidelines of a meeting in Amiens with his European counterparts.
A “serious” problem
A corrosion problem on a safety system, originally identified on the most powerful and recent reactors in the French fleet, was also detected on a reactor (Penly 1) of a less powerful family. The problem was discovered while the reactor was shut down for a technical inspection. The Penly reactor belongs to a family (or bearing) of 1300 MW reactors of the same generation, which has twelve in total, including the 4 reactors of the Cattenom power plant. All four are currently active. ASN President Bernard Doroszczuk on Wednesday described the corrosion problem as “serious”, especially car “it has a potentially generic character”, that is to say, it could affect an entire family of reactors.
EDF is committed until the end of the month in a documentary re-examination of the controls carried out in the past on the whole of the French nuclear park. Depending on the results of this review, it may be necessary to carry out physical checks on reactors if suspicions of corrosion appear, then repairs depending on the results of the inspection. This could require reactor shutdowns.
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