Oil fire, reactor pump leak shut down Penly Nuclear Power Plant

Source: Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) 

EDF’s Penly Nuclear Power Plant remains shut down following an oil fire and a pump leak at the plant’s No. 2 reactor. On April 5, 2012, Electricite de France SA (EDF) reported to Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) that a fire had started in the No. 2 reactor building of the Penly Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) North-West of France. EDF teams and local fire brigades entered the reactor building and extinguished small quantities of burning oil. Firemen ensured the fire was totally extinguished. 

Around 19:30 (French time) the same evening, ASN was then informed by EDF that a defect on a primary pump seal lead to a water leak above the normal values, this leak being collected by dedicated circuits. [1]

On April 6, EDF confirmed with ASN the leak had been stopped.

There were no injuries and no radiological consequences from the fire or subsequent pump leak. ASN provisional classification of the incident is at level 1 on the INES scale

The Penly reactor will remain shut down until authorized for restart by ASN, only after obtaining the conclusions of the technical assessment of the incident performed by ASN and its technical support organization the Institute for radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety.

[1] The primary pumps ensure the water circulation in the reactor primary circuit. In normal situation, a water injection inside some mechanical parts of the pump enables the cooling activity. This system is composed by circuits dedicated to the collection of this water. At the Penly NPP, internal damages in the pump lead to the collection of abnormal quantities of leaks, bigger than expected. The primary pumps are located in the reactor building.


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