PARIS Dec 8 The Paris prosecutor's office has
opened an investigation into the suspected falsifying of
documents at Areva's Le Creusot foundry that
manufactures parts for nuclear reactors, a judicial source said
The case, which alleges forgery, use of forged documents,
endangerment of lives and aggravated deception, will be put in
the hands of the police, the source said.
French nuclear safety regulator ASN said in October that it
had asked the courts to step in to investigate after nuclear
group Areva sounded the alarm in May over documentation
irregularities involving 6,000 nuclear component manufacturing
Thousands of such documents used in the French nuclear
sector dating back to 1965 are being looked at.
"We have not been informed (of the investigation) at this
point," a spokeswoman for Areva told Reuters, adding that the
group would cooperate with the investigation and hand over all
information at its disposal.
The discovery of weak spots in the reactor vessel of the EPR
reactor under construction in Flamanville in 2014 led Areva to
review manufacturing procedures at its Creusot steel forging
ASN said in September that Areva had identified 87
irregularities related to reactors operated by state utility EDF
, 20 concerning equipment for the Flamanville reactor,
and one related to a steam generator for EDF's 900 MW Gravelines
5 reactor on halt since April.
Gravelines 5's restart has been pushed back to June 2017
after an executive told parliament in October that something
suspicious had been discovered.
(Reporting by Benjamin Mallet, Chine Labbé and Bate Felix;
editing by Richard Balmforth/Mark Heinrich)