EDF has temporarily suspended operation of three units at its Cruas-Meysse nuclear power plant to assess the reactors following a magnitude 4.9 earthquake yesterday in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of south-central France. No damage has been found at any nuclear facilities in the area.The Cruas-Meysse plant (Image: EDF)
The utility said initial inspections at the plant "have not highlighted any apparent damage". However, it said vibration was recorded that requires additional preventive testing. "Erring on the side of caution, EDF has decided to suspend operation of Cruas-Meysse units 2, 3 and 4 on a temporary basis in order to perform these tests." Unit 1 of the plant is currently undergoing a scheduled maintenance outage.
EDF said it has continued to operate its Bugey, Saint-Alban and Tricastin nuclear power plants, which are located in the surrounding area.
Orano said the earthquake was felt at its Tricastin uranium conversion and enrichment site. "The observed intensity of the shaking was lower than the trigger values of the site security systems," it said. "No damage was observed [at] our installation.
France's nuclear safety regulator, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire, said it has mobilised "to take stock of all operators with nuclear installations in the region". The regulator said it will examine the conditions under which the Cruas-Meysse reactors can restart.