Thursday, 1 May 2008

OPAL submission approved by ARPANSA

Australia's OPAL reactor

After a reactor shutdown of just over 9 months, ARPANSA, the nuclear regulatory body within Australia, has issued a press release announcing the approval of the submissions package provided by ANSTO the operator of the recently constructed and commissioned OPAL research reactor near Sydney.

The approval is only for fuel supplied by the French fuel supplier CERCA - a subsidiary of the nuclear behemoth AREVA.

ANSTO staff will be required to perform additional tests and inspections on the fuel. They have six months to develop a program of work to characterise more fully the vibrational and other forces acting on the fuel plates and other structures in the core. This program is to be submitted to the regulatory body for approval.

ANSTO shall complete a detailed design review of the fuel within two years.

ANSTO has to amend the fuel specification to include a test of 1 in 20 fuel assemblies for longitudinal strength.

Additional information

The ARPANSA press release is here.

A significantly more detailed ARPANSA document - their official reply to ANSTO may be found here.

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