new fault detected in a nuclear power plant
This new episode raises its share of concerns, even if the group remains confident for the rest of the operations.
This is called a domino effect. There stress corrosion cracking (SCC) detected in EDF’s latest generation power plants in 2021 had forced the group to shut down part of its facilities to carry out repairs. But as the return to normal loomed on the horizon, another setback for the electrician. EDF has detected a “significant stress corrosion defect” on the safety injection circuit of the Penly 1 reactor. To make matters worse, this fault “was probably generated by these targeted “double repair” operations during the first assembly of the pipes”, notes the group in an information note published at the end of February and revealed by the information site Context. Stopped since October 2021, Penly 1 has seen its relaunch date postponed several times. It is now set for May 2. “The analysis is continuing, it will be submitted to the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) for instruction and approval”nevertheless indicates EDF.
If the group remains confident for the rest of the operations, this new episode raises its share of concerns, relating in particular to a new cause of CSC. By extension, this defect noted at Penly 1 could raise the question of the maintenance in production of similar reactors. A New Sword of Damocles above the head of EDF, while stress corrosion, microcracks in pipe parts, has already cost it billions in 2022. It has contributed to widening the group’s loss, which stood at 17.9 billion. This new incident thwarts the plans of Luc Rémont, CEO of EDF, one of whose objectives is to increase the rate of use of the group’s facilities.