April 8, 2015 / 6:59 PM / 5 years ago

Areva unit linked to nuclear reactor anomalies also supplied China -ASN

PARIS, April 8 (Reuters) - Parts of the Taishan 1 and 2 nuclear reactors under construction in China were made by the same manufacturer that supplied the reactor vessel of EDF’s EPR in Normandy where anomalies were found, French nuclear watchdog ASN said on Wednesday.

Creusot Forge, a subsidiary of French state-owned group Areva, made some steel parts for the two Chinese reactors using techniques similar to those for the French EPR in Flamanville, where weak spots were found, the ASN said.

Tests at Flamanville in late 2014 showed that certain zones of the reactor vessel and cover had a significant concentration of carbon, which weakens the mechanical resilience of the steel and its ability to resist the spreading of cracks.

The pressure vessel of the other EPR under construction, Finland’s Olkiluoto 3, is not affected as it was made by another manufacturer, the ASN said in a statement, confirming an earlier statement by Finnish utility TVO.

Chinese utility China General Nuclear (CGN) and EDF are in a 70-30 joint venture to build two Areva-designed 1650-megawatt European pressurised reactors (EPRs) in Taishan.

The reactors had been slated to start in 2013 and 2014 respectively, but those deadlines have been pushed back several times. EDF said in January that it expected the first of the two reactors to be completed by the end of this year. (Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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