The FA3 RPV heads segregation has been an important issue for the Flamanville 3 EPR project. A high carbon content of carbon has been measured at the outer central part of the two heads. Manufactured in 2006 according to the RCC-M requirements, these pieces were also submitted to the ESPN (i.e. nuclear pressurized equipment) French order requirements, and in particular the ESPN technical qualification.
This paper presents the manufacturing of these heads to explain the origin of the segregation and place this process in its context, with in particular a clarification of the technical qualification requirements in 2011, which are different to the RCC-M qualification process. This qualification required additional chemical and mechanical characterizations in the segregated area of the representative vessel head. The additional Charpy-V test did not meet the 60 J requirement of the ESPN order and led to the large testing program to characterize the toughness properties of the segregated material.