- AREVA is conducting additional studies which have confirmed, so far, the quality of the forged components.
- The company is reinforcing its internal review with an external review to ensure that the plant’s quality system meets the highest standards.
AREVA continues the analysis of the forgings and the quality processes at the Creusot Forge plant.
These analyses have examined, first of all, questions related to the fabrication of forgings for the Flamanville 3 reactor vessel and similar analyses previously conducted on other forgings, particularly as part of the establishment of the French Order on nuclear pressure equipment (EPSN).
These analyses also concern a mechanical testing laboratory at the Creusot where a material inspection tool was inaccurately used from 2009 to 2014*. This second point is not a technical problem for the manufactured components, but is a malfunction in the quality of inspection that requires a reinterpretation of results or to redo certain tests. The assessments performed since have demonstrated that the results are in compliance with requirements, due in particular to the redundancy of the testing and inspections. These assessments have confirmed thus far the intrinsic quality of the forgings and the safety of components. This verification continues and will take several months. None of the components concerned by the inaccuracy of this inspection tool are installed in nuclear power plants in operation.
AREVA, with the consent of the French nuclear safety authority (ASN) and in cooperation with EDF, has decided to strengthen its internal evaluation process with an external review of areas related to forging and inspections. The company will mandate an independent expert, the French-British company Lloyd’s Register Apave Limited, to conduct this review.
This external review will begin on May 4, 2015 and will last for at least two months. It will enable AREVA to identify the causes of potential defects in practices and in quality inspections, as well as the measures to take to continue with improvements made since purchasing the forge in 2006.
AREVA Creusot Forge is specialized in the manufacturing and machining of major forgings and castings. This industrial site is a major actor in the market for heavy component manufacturing for the nuclear reactor island. It is one of the only forges in the world capable of producing the complex parts necessary for the fabrication of the primary components for the nuclear island.
*Measurements known as “hot tensile testing” performed at an internal laboratory at the Creusot since 2009.