France's EDF informed by Areva of flawed quality control in fuel rods

PARIS (Reuters) - French state-controlled utility EDF said on Monday it has been informed by its supplier Areva of defects in the quality control of certain nuclear reactor fuel rods but said that this did not mean that the rods were faulty.

EDF said the rods were being monitored on a constant basis, after Areva said on Friday it had delivered defective rods to clients. Swiss broadcaster SRF reported that the Leibstadt nuclear plant in northern Switzerland has been closed till yearend because of faulty Areva fuel rods.

“In the event of a detected anomaly, EDF operating procedures provide for measures ranging from the reduction of load variations to the complete shutdown of the reactor,” the company said in response to questions.

It added that the reactors concerned are operating normally, and none of these measures have been put in place.

EDF declined to give details on the number of rods or the reactors involved.

Nuclear regulator ASN was not immediately available for comment.

Nearly a third of EDF’s 63 gigawatt nuclear capacity is currently offline for maintenance, refueling or safety checks ordered by the ASN.

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Geert De Clercq