two new nuclear reactors affected by stress corrosion problems

The two units concerned are Penly 2 in Seine-Maritime and Cattenom 3 in Moselle. This brings to fifteen the total number of reactors affected by these stress corrosion phenomena which delay their restart.

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Stress corrosion phenomena are delaying the restart of two new nuclear reactors in the French fleet, franceinfo learned from EDF on Friday, November 4. Two other reactors also shut down for corrosion phenomena require additional work, the energy company announced on Friday. This brings the total number of reactors affected by this phenomenon to 15.

For the two new tranches concerned, these are discoveries: Penly 2 in Seine-Maritime and Cattenom 3 in Moselle. These units were already shut down for checks. They will therefore not be able to restart on the dates initially planned, November 23 (Penly 2) and December 11 (Cattenom 3). The new return to service dates retained by EDF are January 29, 2023 for Penly 2, and January 26 February for Cattenom 1 and 3. They are among the most powerful reactors in the fleet, respectively developing 1 330 and 1 300 MW.

In addition, the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) yesterday afternoon refused the restart of the Cattenom 1 unit (1300 MW), scheduled for November 17. It was also one of the reactors affected by the stress corrosion phenomenon. “The behavior of the pipes (…) is not acquired”, estimated the ASN in a press release. EDF also extended the shutdown of the Chooz 1 power plant on Friday.

Work remains to be carried out, the scope of repairs for corrosion is more extensive than expected. 26 nuclear reactors out of a total of 56 are shut down: 15 for stress corrosion problems and 11 for maintenance. According to EDF, the social unrest in October around wages led to delays in maintenance work. The public electrician is unable to specify which units are concerned.

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