French Nuclear Safety Authority ASN issues favorable opinion of ATMEA1 reactor safety options

Press Release

ATMEA received the final report and findings of the review of ATMEA1 reactor safety objectives and options by the French nuclear safety authority (ASN).

The ATMEA1 reactor is an 1100 MWe Generation III+ pressurized water reactor (PWR) developed and already marketed internationally by ATMEA, a joint venture between AREVA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI).

Its safety objectives and principles are based on the latest international standards, requirements and recommendations. The safety features of the ATMEA1 reactor meet the most demanding criteria for protecting systems critical to safety from both internal and external hazards, including earthquakes, flooding and wide-body commercial aircraft crashes, and for severe accident management and mitigation.

In concluding its review, conducted in close cooperation with the French institute for radiological protection and nuclear safety (IRSN) and completed at the end of November 2011, ASN stated that the reactor’s safety objectives and options are onsistent with French regulations, as is the consideration given to internal and external hazards. In addition, ATMEA’s assessment of the Fukushima accident, demonstrating that the ATMEA1 reactor’s safety options are such that no design changes are needed at this time, was favorably received by ASN. ATMEA will continue to monitor analyses and findings on this subject worldwide to ensure that the ATMEA1 reactor consistently meets the highest safety standards.

"The ATMEA1 reactor meets the international safety criteria for Generation III+ reactors. The ASN finding constitutes an important milestone for the construction of the ATMEA1 reactor in France and in other countries in the world” said Philippe Namy, President of ATMEA.

The French nuclear safety authority (ASN), an independent authority created by the law of June 2006 on transparency and safety in the nuclear field, provides regulatory oversight for all civilian nuclear activities in France.

ATMEA builds on the experience of its two parent companies, AREVA and MHI, and capitalizes on the operating experience of 130 reactors worldwide representing a combined total of some 3,300 reactor years of operation.

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