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NRC Inspection Le Creusot 2009
From a US NRC Inspection Report, October 6 – 8, 2009, by Kerri Kavanagh

The US NRC had concerns over French State owned nuclear behemoth Areva’s testing and documentation at least as early as 2009, and the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) was aware of these concerns. In fact, Kerri Kavanagh, who responded for the NRC in June about the potential Areva defects and who has failed to report anything since, did a presentation over 7 years ago saying: “July 2009 – French Regulator Autorité de Sûrete Nucléaire (ASN) observed NRC inspection at Creusot Forge, Le Creusot, France… Summary of Findings • 10 CFR Part 21 Program – NOV for failure to meet the requirements for implementing a procedure to evaluate deviations and failures to comply, and for imposing Part 21 in procurement documents • Control of Measuring and Test Equipment – Failure to require the calibration of the temperature measuring thermocouples for the temperature baths for the impact tests to conform to ASME Code, Section III, Subsection NB-2360” “NRC Report October 6 – 8, 2009, Kerri Kavanagh, Sr. Reactor Engineer Office of New Reactorshttps://web.archive.org/web/20160617220431/http://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML0928/ML092800118.pdf
(Greenpeace says that the French Safety Authority raised concerns to Areva as early as 2006.) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/06/22/us-nrc-on-areva-le-creusot-potential-defects-in-us-reactors-feigning-ignorance/ So these problems has been known for over 7 years by the US NRC, and France has apparently known for a decade!

At least a dozen countries may be impacted, according to research by Greenpeace France: France, UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, USA, Brazil, China, South Korea, South Africa

While the French ASN has started to address the problem, the US NRC has continued to ignore the problem. In the US, nuclear reactors having potentially defective Le Creusot-Areva parts include (but are not necessarily limited to): Nuclear Reactor Pressure Vessels at Prairie Island 1 and 2; Replacement Reactor Pressure Vessel Closure Heads (replacement lids) at North Anna, Surry, Three Mile Island, Crystal River 3, Arkansas One, Turkey Point, Salem, St Lucie, DC Cook); (Replacement) Steam Generators at Prairie Island 1, Callaway, Arkansas One, Salem, St Lucie, Three Mile Island and (Replacement) Pressurizers at St Lucie, Millstone (See Greenpeace France, Briefing http://grnpc.org/IgNdG and “AREVA – Société Générale / Investor day Burgundy – April 9, 2009“)

According to our earlier research the nuclear power stations most at risk, outside of France, appear to be Prairie Island Nuclear Power Station, which is literally next to the Prairie Island Indian Reservation, in the middle of the Mississippi River, and Beznau 2 near Zurich Switzerland. Remarkably, Beznau 2 is operating. Beznau 1 (365 MW) is offline until at least Dec 28, 2016 due to a huge number of reactor pressure vessel cracks, which a team is going to try to prove safe. The outage for Leibstadt (1,245 MW) was extended until 2017. Muehleberg (355 MW), with a cracked shroud, is operating, as is Goesgen (970 MW). Swiss Outage report: http://web.archive.org/web/20161014235205/http://www.reuters.com/article/switzerland-nuclear-idUSL5N1CC4NO

On Thursday, Reuters reported “Areva investigating 6,000 nuclear component files for irregularities -source“, Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:40pm GMT, By Geert De Clercq. Areva intends to take several months to look through manufacturing documentation for 6,000 nuclear parts produced at Areva-Le Creusot Forge, according to the article: “The source said that Areva had discovered that some workers at Le Creusot had falsified manufacturing documentation when initial testing on certain components showed they were not within specifications. These tests would then be done again and the relevant files were marked.” The anomalies are in the documentation and not necessarily the parts themselves, pointed out the source. Some were sent to foreign nuclear power stations.

On October 3rd, Judy Benson of “The Day.com” managed to extract long-awaited information on the Areva problem from a US NRC spokesperson. But, first, what did the US NRC promise in June?

In June, now almost 4 months ago, Kerri Kavanagh Chief, Quality Assurance and Vending Inspection Branch said that Areva would give them information in JULY:
Quality Assurance Issues in France: Implications for U.S. Plants?
Posted by Moderator on June 20, 2016

ASN says these are paperwork irregularities – inconsistencies, modifications or omissions in production files concerning manufacturing parameters or test results. The irregularities are troubling because complete documentation provides assurance the components were forged to the proper procedures and specifications.

They do not mean, however, that any parts or components manufactured at Le Creusot are defective…. The company [Areva] pledged to provide us with a list of U.S. plants affected by these paperwork irregularities when the investigation is completed around the end of July.” [WE ARE NOW IN OCTOBER.] “We’ll continue to engage with ASN and AREVA to make sure we have a complete picture of how these irregularities may affect any components provided to U.S. nuclear power plants.

NRC’s regulations in 10 CFR Part 21, “Reporting of Defects and Noncompliance,” require any entity that identifies reportable issues to evaluate them and inform the users of any impacted components. The users then have 60 days to do their own safety evaluations. If the users identify significant safety hazards, they must report these to the NRC by phone within two days, and in writing within 30 days.

AREVA and Le Creusot Forge are under contractual obligations to their U.S. customers (who are NRC licensees) to follow these reporting requirements. We’ll take appropriate regulatory and enforcement action if we find issues of safety significance. At this time, there is no indication of a safety issue with any components from Le Creusot covered by this quality assurance audit…

Once AREVA completes its audit and we have a complete picture of the situation, the NRC has several options. We may issue a generic communication to keep the broader nuclear industry informed. We may also perform inspections to ensure conformance and compliance with our regulations.

More information will be coming on this issue“. [WE ARE STILL WAITING!] “If the NRC determines that Le Creusot Forge has provided components to U.S. nuclear power plants, we’ll make sure those components are fully evaluated to determine any impact the documentation irregularities might have on their safety-related functions.” [IF YOU BELIEVE THAT: THERE IS SOME LAND TO BUY IN BAYOU CORNE LOUISIANA, AKA THE LOUISIANA SINKHOLE.] https://web.archive.org/web/20160621220544/https://public-blog.nrc-gateway.gov/2016/06/20/quality-assurance-issues-in-france-implications-for-u-s-plants/

In “Questions raised about equipment made by French company may affect Millstone“, October 03. 2016, Judy Benson, Day staff writer, extracts some answers from the US NRC about the Areva-Le Creusot parts. She states that the US NRC “said it is continuing to evaluate AREVA equipment in this country“. NRC spokesperson, Sheehan, stated that “NRC staff plan to take part in a multinational inspection… which will take place from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, will be led by the French regulatory agency that is the counterpart to the NRC. Sheehan said that once the NRC obtains sufficient information, it may alert the entire U.S. nuclear industry to the issues. ‘The NRC may also conduct inspections in the future, as deemed appropriate, to ensure conformance and/or compliance,’ he said.” Anyone who knows the US NRC knows that this will be mostly show. The nuclear industry is allowed years to correct problems, if they are forced to correct them at all. Putting this off for more months, when these problems could potentially lead to a major nuclear accident at any time, looks like more dangerous foot-dragging.

Read Full Articles. See what journalism should look like:
UPDATE 1-Areva investigating 6,000 nuclear component files for irregularities -source” Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:40pm GMT, By Geert De Clercq http://web.archive.org/web/20161014000043/http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL8N1CJ4YO?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0&sp=true

Questions raised about equipment made by French company may affect Millstone“, Published October 03. 2016 11:55AM | Updated October 03. 2016 8:00PM, By Judy Benson Day staff writer