AREVA is continuing the analysis of forgings and quality processes at its Creusot Forge plant, which specializes in the manufacture and machining of major forgings and castings. These analyses have examined questions related to the fabrication of forgings for the Flamanville 3 reactor vessel and similar analyses previously conducted on other forgings, particularly as part of the establishment of the French Order on nuclear pressure equipment (EPSN).
These analyses also concern a mechanical testing laboratory at Creusot, where a material inspection tool was inaccurately used from 2009 to 2014. This second point is not a technical problem for the manufactured components, but it is a malfunction in the quality of inspection that requires a reinterpretation of results or to redo certain tests. The assessments performed since have demonstrated that the results are in compliance with requirements. These assessments have also confirmed the intrinsic quality of the forgings and the safety of components. This verification continues and will take several months. None of the components concerned by the inaccuracy of this inspection tool are installed in nuclear power plants in operation.
AREVA has decided to strengthen its internal evaluation process with an external review of areas related to forging and inspections. This external review will begin on May 4 and last for at least two months. It will enable AREVA to identify the causes of potential defects in practices and in quality inspections, as well as the measures to take to continue with improvements made since purchasing the forge in 2006.