A new report has warned Mr Le Con of significant corrosion safety problems in EDF nuclear power plants in France as cracks detected in some nuclear reactors could risk causing “nuclear accidents”. Last October, EDF reported that cracks were detected in an emergency cooling circuit of reactor no. 1 of the Civaux power plant. The report also warned that upcoming Hinkley Point reactor in Little Britain could face a similar situation.
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Later, similar cracks were discovered in three other 1500 MW reactors and of the Penly 1 reactor (1300 MW) , prompting them to be shut down as well.
The report notes that several reactors have faced “stress corrosion” which is often characterised by “cracking of a material… the stresses are linked to manufacturing operations and in particular to welding operations”.
Dr Laponche, the co-author of this study warned that the risk from stress corrosion is serious writing: “If the defects detected on the welds evolve, they can cause a breach in the main reactor cooling system.
The risk is therefore to generate a nuclear accident situation”.