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US News Nuclear. ASN is paving the way for extending reactors beyond 40 years

15:35  03 december  2020
15:35  03 december  2020 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) is paving the way for the extension of 900 MWe nuclear reactors beyond 40 years, but each of the 32 reactors will be the subject of an individual decision, according to a decision submitted Thursday, December 3 for public consultation.

"ASN considers that all the measures provided for by EDF and those it prescribes open the prospect of continued operation of the 900 MWe reactors for the ten years following their fourth periodic review" , indicates the Nuclear safety authority.

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"The periodic review will then be applied to each 900 MWe reactor until 2031" , she adds.

In its draft decision, submitted for consultation on its website until January 15, ASN prescribes “the achievement of the major safety improvements planned by EDF, as well as additional measures” requested to further improve safety .

For ASN, “the measures planned by EDF, supplemented by responses to the requirements formulated by ASN, will […] bring the level of safety of 900 MWe reactors closer to that of the most recent reactors such as 'EPR' , Authority President Bernard Doroszczuk told reporters on Thursday.

But "the implementation of the modifications corresponding to the highest safety issues must be a priority for EDF, to give meaning to the continued operation of the 900 MWe reactors" , he warned.

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Seven years of exchanges with EDF

The authorization to create these reactors, the oldest in France, was issued without time limit. But this fourth ten-year review, carried out on each unit, is of particular importance because, when they were designed, an assumption of 40 years of operation was used.

This generic ASN opinion, before individual opinions, comes after seven years of discussions with EDF , aimed at reviewing the level of safety in the face of internal or external attacks, with updating of knowledge, taking into account new issues (climatic for example) or the lessons learned from accidents such as that of Fukushima.

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