By Solene Lavenu
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We already knew, EDF took advantage of the cessation of his reactors 1 and 2 to Flamanville (Sleeve) to search, as on all the circuits of its nuclear centertraces of abnormal corrosion. Checks were thus carried out on eleven reactors throughout France.
Indeed, the last February 15the company admitted that the research also extended to other circuits than the one which has already been found to be defective on the power stations of Civaux (Vienna), and in particular, to the cooling circuit. The previous week, EDF therefore announced that the shutdown of Flamanville reactor 2 would be extended by five weeks to perform these checks.
The fears and suppositions of stress corrosion therefore seem to be confirmed. We now know that the checks revealed cracks on the Flamanville 1 and 2 safety circuits.
The corrosion under duress has also affected portions of piping of the safety injection system at EDF Flamanville. The Montel website thus reveals that “these cracks mean that four elbows of these circuits will have to be replaced on each of the units”. This news brings the number of reactors affected by corrosion problems to seven.
Shutdown still extended?
The shutdown of reactors 1 and 2 in Flamanville could therefore be prolonged. As a reminder, the corrosion checks took place during scheduled maintenance outages of the two Flamanville reactors. EDF thus stopped unit 1 of the March 22 to April 28initially, and unit 2 of the February 12 to July 29.
If EDF confirms the traces of corrosion, it is impossible for the moment to know whether the shutdown will be extended again or to know the cost of the operation to change these “four elbows”.
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