Monday, May 14, 2012

Gravelines Nuclear Power Plant in France Stopped due to Technical Problem

From Le Monde (5/14/2012):

Un réacteur nucléaire arrêté à Gravelines après un problème technique

Un des réacteurs de la centrale nucléaire de Gravelines (Nord) a été arrêté lundi 14 mai en fin de matinée en raison d'un problème technique sans gravité et devrait "rapidement" redémarrer, a-t-on appris auprès d'une porte-parole de la centrale.

Le réacteur numéro 6 de la centrale de Gravelines, d'une puissance de 900 MW, est à l'arrêt en raison d'un "défaut sur un capteur sur une pompe", a précisé la porte-parole. "Il n'y a pas de problème de sûreté. C'est un problème technique. Le capteur est en train d'être remplacé et le redémarrage devrait avoir lieu bientôt", a-t-elle ajouté.

Sur son site internet, RTE, filiale d'EDF qui gère le réseau haute tension national, indique que le réacteur a subi un arrêt automatique lundi aux alentours de 11 h 30.

Le 5 avril 2012, la centrale de Penly (Seine-Maritime) avait elle aussi rencontré une défaillance sur l'une des pompes de son système de refroidissement, provoquant un incendie et un arrêt du réacteur.

From Reuters (5/14/2012):

May 14 (Reuters) - EDF's 900-megawatt Gravelines 6 nuclear reactor in northern France stopped in an unplanned outage on Monday at 0935 GMT, France's power grid RTE said on its website.

An EDF spokeman said the outage had been caused by a default on a sensor that measures the good working order of the reactor.

"We are assessing the problem before carrying out repairs," the spokesman said, adding he was unable to give a restart date.


JAnonymous said...

Hi there,

let me translate Le Monde article for you

A nuclear power reactor stopped at Gravelines NPP after a technical problem.

One of the reactors of the Gravelines (administrative department "Nord", number 59, close to Belgium) has been stopped Monday May 14th just before noon because of a harmless technical problem and should restart "shortly". This was told by a spokesperson of the plant.

Reactor number 6 of the Gravelines NPP, a 900 MW model, is stopped because of a "flawed sensor on a pump", explained the spokesperson. "There is no safety issue, it is a technical problem. The sensor is being replaced and the restart should happen soon", did she add (spokesperson seems to be a she).

On its website, RTE which is the subsidiary of EDF (EDF means TEPCO in french) that manages the national power grid, states that the reactor went into automated shutdown on Monday around 11:30 AM.

On April 5th, 2012, the Penly NPP (administrative department "Seine Maritime", number 76, spewing it's crap in the Channel and only 150km from the Gravelines one) did experience a failure too, with one of the pumps of the cooling system failing, which triggered a fire and shutdown the reactor.


So parenthesis were mine of course, and I'd like to add that recently new EDF internal documents came to light explaining that some steel parts used in the 900MW series are believed to be weak/vulnerable but they do not plan to do anything at the moment. Documents are here, tell me if you need some parts translated for a post.

JAnonymous said...

I forgot the link for the documents. Seen on one of the antinuke organizations, so might be a tad biased, but probably mostly true

Maju said...

Probably nothing too serious but thanks for reporting anyhow.

The nuclear power plant park in Europe is getting old and should be decommissioned (by their own standards) but decommissioning is expensive and they have never really been serious about doing it unless it's strictly necessary.

This causes major problems for all because if a NPP like that of Gravelines would have a serious problem (and serious problems are more likely as plants age), then tens of millions of European citizens would be at risk.

That area is roughly equidistant from Brussels, Paris and London and, because dominant winds blow from the West/Northwest, the radioactive fallout would blow over all the most strategic socio-economic area of all Europe: the Rhine axis.

But hopefully this time it will have been just a minor issue. Some day it will be a major issue however and then...

JAnonymous said...

And here's another one :

That reminds me this person who said in another comment that we should be thankful for the EDF "experts". Their expertise at hiding the truth is indeed commending.

JAnonymous said...

And another one...
This one is the oldest in France, located in department number 68, and so close to Germany and Switzerland that they feel (rightly) concerned. President Hollande promised to close it by 2017, still plenty of time left for a major failure.

I wasn't even looking for those reports...

Remember all those department numbers I told you about in the earlier comments ? Well, here is a very nicely done flash animation that asks you the department number and tells you about the plant located there, and the population with 100 and 300km radius. The first number is the population within

Try out 68, 59, 76...

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