PARIS May 30 French nuclear regulator ASN will
rule at the start of July whether the lid of the reactor that
utility EDF is building in Flamanville is safe for use,
an ASN spokesman said on Tuesday.
The ASN said in 2015 that it had discovered excessive carbon
concentrations in the cover and bottom of the Flamanville
reactor vessel, which can weaken the mechanical resilience of
the steel and its ability to resist the spreading of cracks.
Since then, Areva, which has designed the EPR reactor, EDF
and the ASN have been testing whether the weak spots could
jeopardise the safety of the reactor. The ASN has repeatedly
postponed deadlines for ruling on the reactor vessel.
"We expect to take a position early July," an ASN spokesman
told Reuters. He added that this may not yet be a definitive
decision and that a ruling could be delayed again, depending on
the amount of time it takes to analyse the technical reports it
expects to receive next month.
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq)