Areva factory ill-equipped to make nuclear parts - French watchdog

Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:09pm GMT

* Creusot Forge machinery inadequate for making huge parts

* Areva stopped commercial production at factory last year

* Areva wants to restart plant this summer

* Nuclear watchdog must give permission for restart

* Critics say oversight of French nuclear industry needs review

By Geert De Clercq

PARIS, March 16 (Reuters) - Creusot Forge, a supplier of nuclear plants around the world owned by France's Areva , is under investigation for making substandard parts and falsifying documents.

Now, France's nuclear regulator says machinery at the plant, which was shut for commercial production last year, is not up to the job.

In an interview, Remy Catteau, the head of nuclear equipment at the ASN (Nuclear Safety Authority), said that an inspection of the plant late last year showed that it did not have the right equipment to produce the parts for the nuclear reactors. "Creusot Forge is at the limit of its technical capacity. The tools at its disposal are not adequate to manufacture such huge components. In such a situation, errors are made," Catteau told Reuters by telephone.   Continued...

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