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(Jan. 12) About the Flamanville EPR reactor Pressure Vessel

Last updated :2018-01-10

Topic: About the Flamanville EPR reactor Pressure Vessel
Speaker: Professor Bertrand MERCIER
12:40 – 14:00, Friday, January 12, 2018
Venue: F309, Teaching Building, Zhuhai Campus, SYSU
Organizer: Sino-French Institute of Nuclear Engineering and Technology, Sun Yat-sen University
Language: English

There has been a controversy in France about the Flamanville EPR reactor pressure vessel lower head and lid. The origin of this controversy comes from the ESPN 2005 order which specifies a minimum value (in terms of resilience) for the toughness of the constitutive material. Tests on parts originally intended for the American market in 2014 have demonstrated AREVA that it could not be the case everywhere. The origin of this difference comes from locally too high carbon levels. According to the 2006 transparency law, EDF and Areva have so informed the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) of that discrepancy. Given the stakes (the RPV is already in place in the reactor) there was a thorough debate in a permanent group of experts to allow the ASN to assess the situation.

In our lecture, we shall describe the manufacturing process: for casting parts it is quite difficult to obtain homogeneous carbon distribution in the steel, but it is possible to improve the situation by making an appropriate choice for the process. Notably, we explain why the problem is on the bottom head and the lid of the RPV but not on the cylinder parts of the RPV. We will also explain why the ASN considers that safety is ensured.

About the speaker:

Bertrand MERCIER is Professor at National Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology, France. Prof MERCIER got his doctoral degree in applied mathematics in 1977. He had worked at French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) for more than 10 years and had been Director of Saclay Nuclear Activities and Director of Protection and Nuclear Safety at CEA. He is also the French Director of Studies in Engineering Cycle at IFCEN.