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French regulator wants new tests on EDF reactors

Staff Writer |
French nuclear safety regulator ASN gave approval in principle for EDF to restart some nuclear reactors involved in a safety investigation.

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ASN said it agreed with EDF that some nuclear reactors whose steam generators have high carbon concentrations could be restarted, although the utility would have to carry out extra tests and the restart of each individual reactor would be subject to ASN approval.

ASN is checking 12 of the state-controlled utility's reactors after raising concerns that certain steam generator channel heads could contain a zone with a high carbon concentration.

That could weaken the resilience of the steel and its ability to resist the spreading of cracks.

The checks have delayed the restart of several reactors, forcing EDF to prolong their outage periods and raising fears that France, which depends on its 58 nuclear reactors for 75 percent of its electricity needs, could face a tight supply this winter.

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