Nuclear safety organization: Nuclear power reactor safety options are adequate

Following an 18-month review process, the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) on Feb. 7 issued a positive opinion on the safety options for the Atmea1 nuclear power reactor.

With the technical support of the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), ASN reviewed the safety options for the Atmea1 reactor, a 1,100 MWe mid-sized, Generation III+ pressurized water reactor designed by the Atmea company, an Areva and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) joint venture.

This review of the safety options was carried out at the request of the Atmea company. Although the review was not performed in the framework of a creation authorization application for this type of reactor in France, ANS said it was carried out in the same conditions as those applicable to the creation of basic nuclear installations in France.

At the detail design stage, the Atmea company said it must be particularly vigilant in optimizing worker exposure to ionising radiation, in the measures necessary to "practically eradicate" certain accidents or rule out certain pipe breaks, and must continue to take into account the lessons learnt from the accident which occurred on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

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