Restart all its nuclear reactors this winter, a promise hard to keep

In parallel with the revival of the 32 shutdown reactors, EDF plans the scheduled shutdown of 4 different reactors by the top of the yr. William Suvant/AFP

Much uncertainty hangs over the facility firm’s means to keep this schedule, notably linked to corrosion issues detected at a dozen reactors.

While the winter guarantees to be notably tense for France’s electrical energy provide, the state of France’s nuclear fleet, important to the hexagonal power system, is being scrutinized with concern. “32 reactors have been shut down, some for stress corrosion cracking and others for routine upkeep», recalled Agnès Pannier-Runacher on the finish of the primary Energy Defense Council on Friday. And the Energy Transition Minister introduced that EDF was “All furnaces are dedicated to restarting for this winter

An announcement that has raised many questions, some interpret it as a promise that 100% of the French nuclear fleet might be accessible for the winter from December 21 to March 19. Reality is not going to see it this means. Because, if EDF confirms figaro Scheduled to restart 32 of its reactors (out of 56) for this winter – 4 of which had been scheduled to restart in current days -, the facility firm additionally plans to shut down 4 reactors by the top of the yr. and has already deliberate one other one in Saint-Laurent-Nouen (Loire-et-Cher) from January 21.

On the opposite hand, the restart of the 32 shutdown reactors talked about by Agnès Pannier-Runacher has been prolonged till February 18, for reactor 1 of the Golfeche energy plant (Turn-et-Garonne). “The purpose is to open 27 by the top of December, and 32 by February immediately“, identified Roland Lescure, the minister delegate accountable for trade, on Monday Franceinfo. “So the complete park is not going to be accessible this winter“, we are saying at EDF, noting that “5 to 10 reactors might be underneath upkeep“Wintertime. Or thereabouts.”Like final winter“, we’re assured in favor of public firms.

Sometimes complicated repairs

Much uncertainty hovers over EDF’s means to meet this schedule. In explicit, questions have been raised in regards to the energy firm’s means to make well timed repairs to dozens of reactors affected by corrosion issues. “A lot of tasks are to be applied concurrentlyWe refer to the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), whose approval is required to restart a reactor. And they’re additionally achieved in areas uncovered to radiation, so there are particular limitations to the intervention.“”Interference by operators within the irradiated area will restrict the person interference functionality of every agent“, Yves Marignac, a guide on nuclear energy and power transition throughout the NEGAWATT affiliation, is considerable.

ASN additionally emphasizes that, amongst dozens of reactors, “Several want extra work” “They current a little extra problem and subsequently uncertainty when it comes to timing“, we choose. According to Yves Marignac, much more so, “A significant limitation is the variety of certified operators accessible to implement these repairs

Pressure on nuclear security authorities?

Finally, EDF’s schedule omits the truth that some reactors “Still topic to examine“, studies ASN. “Either to decide the diploma of corrosion prevalence, or to know whether or not they’re topic to corrosion, which provides a diploma of uncertainty“, added the authority, which Agnès Pannier-Runacher offered to CNEWS on Tuesday”One of essentially the most wanted firms internationally” and “unbiased

It is a means for the minister to reply to allegations by some observers that the federal government will stress ASN to approve the restart of reactors which might be presently closed due to security violations. “In scheduled outage reactors, guaranteeing no slippage in schedule signifies that any hazards that might have an effect on security needs to be uncared for or postponed.», speculates Yves Marignac. According to the knowledgeable, the identical drawback arises in shutting down furnaces for corrosion. “The extra stress is utilized to velocity up the implementation of those repairs, the smaller the ASN’s margin of appreciation for restart approval.“, he goes on. Even if, subsequent to EDF, it’s specified that “The authorities needed nothing“, and that'”This relies on the calendar solely» The firm that contacted him.


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