May 30, 2017 / 1:50 PM / 2 months ago

ASN to rule on Flamanville reactor vessel early July

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PARIS, May 30 (Reuters) - 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)

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