franceinfo: What do you think of this statement from the Nuclear Safety Authority?
Yves Marignac : We are not used to the president of the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) using such strong words. That said, these terms are a continuation of the progression of ASN’s firmness in this matter. This firmness seems all the more necessary since ASN has its share of responsibility in this drift, since a certain number of problems that EDF must resolve today go back several years. The stitching problem [partie où se situe le raccordement] on the reactor circuits technically dates back to 2006 and it is only today that we realize that there are problems.
“The common feature is that each time the problems only appeared, when technically they were identifiable before, only once all the things were in place and there was a form of technical irreversibility. . “Yves Marignac, energy expert and spokesperson for the negaWatt association
So too late to do anything?
Too late to correct the situation without us ever knowing what part of the loss of competence has prevented the problem from being spotted and what is the part of concealment at different levels of management and the part of responsibility of the Safety Authority nuclear industry for not having seen these problems in time or for not having intervened upstream. Obviously, on such sensitive equipment and installations, carrying out repairs a posteriori creates new difficulties and new risks and significant delays. This is the situation we are in today.
The delay before a possible opening is still long. Do you think this will be possible?
It should be remembered that the site started in 2007 and that EDF was planning to start in 2012. Today we are dealing with modifications, work, repairs, which will probably last all 2021 and all 2022 to bring us to the best of our ability. in 2023. Each new problem generates new verifications which bring new problems, so we cannot exclude that other difficulties appear in the coming months or years. So the start-up of the EPR does not seem possible before at best 2023 and we can question the possibility that this reactor will start one day since it is not guaranteed that EDF will provide all the necessary solutions.
Does the Nuclear Safety Authority also have any doubts?
It is difficult to say, but it seems that this last problem on the branch lines of circuits connected to the main circuit which cools the reactor raises questions about other possible quality problems elsewhere on the primary circuit. This is perhaps what ASN has in mind. Perhaps the Nuclear Safety Authority is worried about the fact that we are not at the end of the difficulties and the problems to be identified and resolved before a possible start-up. The decision to stop the costs is extremely difficult to take because we are talking about an investment of around 20 billion euros. Forgoing the start of this EPR seems to be too big to take.
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