Dec 14 U.S. nuclear regulators are investigating
whether the suspected falsification of documents at French
nuclear power company Areva SA, which supplies
components for reactors globally, poses any problems at U.S.
Areva notified the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
last week that a review of paperwork "anomalies" at its Le
Creusot facility in France "has not found any safety concerns,"
NRC spokesman David McIntyre said on Wednesday.
"A preliminary review by NRC inspectors indicated that Areva
had made a reasonable assessment supporting no nuclear safety
concerns," McIntyre said. There are nine U.S. plants with parts
from Le Creusot, but the NRC did not immediately name them.
There are 99 reactors operating in the United States
producing about 20 percent of the nation's power.
France's Nuclear Safety Authority, or ASN, requested a probe
of Le Creusot in early May after a flaw was discovered in the
vessel of a reactor under construction in Flamanville in France.
Areva checked the records of Le Creusot and found anomalies
associated with about 400 parts manufactured there since the
plant opened in 1965. Areva purchased the forge in 2006.
One U.S. plant with parts from Le Creusot is Dominion
Resource Inc's Millstone station in Connecticut, which has
had a pressurizer from the French forge in service in Unit 2
Dominion spokesman Ken Holt said that when Areva
manufactured the pressurizer for Millstone they performed some
additional heat treatment, but did not tell Dominion.
After Areva informed Dominion about the additional heat
treatment in 2016, Holt said Dominion "looked at the
documentation and determined there were no operability or
functionality issues as a result."
The pressurizer keeps water in the reactor under pressure so
it does not boil.
"We've got a component made at a plant with some issues, but
we're confident the pressurizer is fully operational and will
remain so through the life of the plant," Holt said.
Another plant that may be affected is FirstEnergy Corp's
Beaver Valley station in Pennsylvania. Beaver Valley has
steam generators and reactor vessel heads manufactured by
Spain's Equipos Nucleares SA, or ENSA, which FirstEnergy said
may contain some subcomponents from Le Creusot.
"At this point, no one at ENSA, Areva or the U.S. NRC has
contacted us to let us know there are challenges with any of the
equipment we have," said Jennifer Young, a spokeswoman at
(Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Tom Brown)