Australian news, and some related international items

“Thermal fatigue” is causing flaws in the cooling pipes of France’s nuclear reactors

Electricite de France SA discovered new defects at two of its nuclear
reactors that were halted for maintenance and repairs, raising fresh
concerns that its electricity output will remain largely constrained this
year after plunging in 2022.

Flaws tied to so-called thermal fatigue have
been found on the pipes of the Penly-2 and Cattenom-3 reactors, the utility
said in a statement. The pipes have been replaced as part of broader
repairs related to “stress corrosion” cracks — a different type of
faults — that are affecting emergency cooling pipes of some of the EDF’s
atomic plants, according to the nuclear safety authority.

The nuclear giant has been forced to halt more than a dozen of its 56 reactors for months of repairs since it first found signs of such stress corrosion phenomenon in
late 2021. The announcement comes just days after the country’s nuclear
safety authority asked EDF to revise its program of reactor checks
following the utility’s discovery of a “significant” stress corrosion
crack earlier this year on its Penly-1 reactor. EDF said it will propose an
update of its reactor check strategy to the watchdog in the coming days.

The fresh setbacks could force EDF to carry out more extensive checks on
its atomic plants, reviving concern that France will have to import large
amounts of power this year. Last year, worries about electricity shortages
combined with dwindling deliveries of Russian gas pushed European energy
prices to records.

Bloomberg 10th March 2023


March 11, 2023 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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