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France’s nuclear energy strategy — once its pride and joy — faces big problems this winter

CNBC Sam Meredith, @SMEREDITH19 5 Oct 22,

  • Deep-rooted problems with France’s nuclear-heavy energy strategy are raising serious questions about its winter preparedness.
  • A long-standing source of national pride, France generates roughly 70% of its electricity from a nuclear fleet of 56 reactors, all operated by state-owned utility EDF.
  • In recent months, however, more than half of EDF’s nuclear reactors have been shut down for corrosion problems, maintenance and technical issues.

…………………….. more than half of EDF’s nuclear reactors have been shut down for corrosion problems, maintenance and technical issues in recent months, thanks in part to extreme heat waves and repair delays from the Covid pandemic. The outages have resulted in French power output falling to a near 30-year low just as the European Union faces its worst energy crisis in decades.

“I find the France nuclear relationship really interesting because it just bluntly shows you all of the pros and cons of nuclear,” Norbert Ruecker, head of economics and next generation research at Julius Baer, told CNBC via telephone.

“Yes, it’s low carbon but it’s not economic. You need to nationalize EDF to make it happen. Yes, it offers baseload but wait a second, sometimes a whole plant disappears for weeks and months, so that baseload promise is not really there,” Ruecker said.

……………………………………………… A ‘winter of discontent’?

French power prices climbed to a string of all-time highs this summer, peaking at an eyewatering level of around 1,100 euros ($1,073) per megawatt hour in late August. Analysts fear the country may struggle to produce enough nuclear energy to support both its own needs and those of its neighbors in the coming months.

Underlining the structural problems in the country’s nuclear fleet, France not only lost its position as Europe’s biggest exporter of electricity this year but also, remarkably, actually imported more power than it exported.

Data from energy analysts at EnAppSys that was published in July found that Sweden clinched the top spot as Europe’s largest net power exporter during the first six months of 2022. Prolonged outages in France’s nuclear fleet saw the country’s exports halve from the same period last year, and analysts at EnAppSys warned the situation showed “no signs of improving any time soon.”

To compensate, France imported expensive electricity from U.K., Germany, Spain and elsewhere.

“Thanks to the market, thanks to the power lines that we have, Europe saved France from a big blackout” this summer, Julius Baer’s Ruecker said.

“It was the U.K., Germany, Spain and to some extent Switzerland that all stepped in. So, for me, the past month really has just uncovered some of the political talk which was not always objective,” he added, referring to talk of nuclear energy as a climate solution among politicians…………………………………………………….

What does it mean for Europe?

France’s ailing power output has renewed criticism of its nuclear-heavy energy strategy at a time when many others in Europe are turning to atomic power as a replacement for a shortfall in Russian gas.

Germany, which initially planned to shutter its three remaining reactors by the end of the year, decided to delay its nuclear phaseout to shore up energy supplies this winter. The U.K., meanwhile, is seeking to ramp up its nuclear power generation, and the EU has listed nuclear energy among its list of “green” investments.

“It is important to say that if France has a nuclear problem, Europe has a problem as well in terms of electricity,” Alexandre Danthine, senior associate for the French power market at Aurora Energy Research, told CNBC via telephone.

“They are, in general, a big exporter, but in winter they need energy from neighboring countries in order to satisfy demands — whatever the situation,” Danthine said.

In France, Eurasia Group’s Rahman noted, Macron reacted angrily last month to suggestions, including from outgoing EDF boss Jean-Bernard Levy, that his “stop-start approach” to nuclear power in the last five years was partly responsible for the crisis.

In what was widely seen as a policy U-turn, Macron announced in February his intention for France to build at least six new nuclear reactors in the decades to come, with the option for another eight. At the start of his presidency, Macron had committed to reducing the share of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix.

The reversal controversially placed atomic power at the center of France’s bid to achieve carbon neutrality by the middle of the century.

Advocates of nuclear power argue it has the potential to play a major role in helping countries generate electricity while slashing carbon emissions and reducing their reliance on fossil fuels.

To critics of the energy source, however, nuclear power is an expensive distraction to faster, cheaper and cleaner alternatives. Instead, environmental campaign groups argue technologies such as wind and solar should be prioritized in the planned shift to renewable energy sources.  https://www.cnbc.com/2022/10/05/frances-nuclear-heavy-energy-strategy-faces-big-problems-this-winter.html

October 6, 2022 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

Will Sizewell C nuclear really go ahead? EDF’s €60bn debt, and €52bn costs for French nuclear build.

 When EDF board members joined a video call in late August to discuss a landmark UK nuclear project, they were instead treated to a stand-off between the utility’s outgoing boss and the French state. Rather than signing off the Sizewell C plant in Suffolk as Jean-Bernard Lévy had pushed for, the biggest French power producer’s controlling shareholder demanded more time to finish new audit reports and the meeting descended into acrimony, according to people familiar with the discussions.

“Some people didn’t understand what they were doing there and why there wasn’t going to be a decision on anything,” one of the people said. “It was messy.” The episode, one of several clashes at the company to have spilled into the open in recent months, will provide little comfort to Lévy’s successor, Luc Rémont, who is due to take over as chief executive and chair just as Paris executes a plan to buy out the 16 per cent of EDF it does not already own.

While the nationalisation clarifies the ownership structure, the company could still be subject to demands from the French state that have not always been in its immediate interest, including that it shield consumers from soaring energy prices. Big strategic questions on everything from Sizewell to renewable energy investments, meanwhile, still loom large.

Rémont, currently a senior executive at industrial conglomerate Schneider Electric, will need to solve
the group’s short-term problems while also preparing EDF to take on some of France’s biggest nuclear construction projects in two decades — a period when it has struggled to complete any on time or on budget.

The company’s electricity output is on course to reach all-time lows this year, after corrosion problems at the company’s nuclear plants added to maintenance stoppages and led to the outage at one point of more than half the French fleet of 56 reactors. That has strained supplies across Europe just as the region pivots away from Russian gas, while also turning France into a net power importer for the first time.

French officials have so far insisted that the Sizewell C plant in Britain will go ahead, adding that the state had commissioned extra audits simply to calculate the financial consequences of removing a Chinese state-backed company from the project.

But the government may eventually want to revisit some of its choices, bankers and union representatives close to EDF said, particularly as the group grapples with costly investments. By the end of this year, EDF’s
net debt is already forecast to swell to about €60bn, while its French construction programme alone could cost another €52bn.

 FT 5th Oct 2022

https://www.ft.com/content/559ce578-fa0d-4bbe-9860-9d512b1510e1

October 5, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, France, UK | Leave a comment

Macron’s nuclear dream means attacking environmental law, and is no help to the climate

 Attacking environmental law to accelerate the construction of new nuclear reactors: Macron’s assumed project.

On September 22, on the occasion of the inauguration of the St Nazaire maritime wind farm, and once again anticipating the public debate supposed to be held on the EPR projects in Penly, Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed his project of a “deployment of a forced-march nuclear strategy” (sic!). On this occasion, he announced an acceleration of the procedures supposed to make it possible to start the first reactors even earlier than planned.

Barely a week later, the dedicated bill reached the National Council for Ecological Transition, summoned to make a decision within an extremely short time. This forced passage and the assumed deconstruction of environmental law presented in this text are quite simply shameful.

But trampling on the law and democracy will not make the problems of a sector undermined by a lack of skills, and of a technology that is too slow and too cumbersome to respond to the climate emergency, disappear with a magic wand.

 Sortir du Nucleaire 28th Sept 2022

https://www.sortirdunucleaire.org/Attaquer-le-droit-de-l-environnement-pour

October 5, 2022 Posted by | environment, France | Leave a comment

Electricite de France, (EDF) loaded with debt and safety problems , gets a new CEO

 The French government has picked a senior Schneider Electric executive to
head EDF as it moves to fully renationalise the embattled nuclear power
operator and seeks an end to reactor outages straining electricity supplies
across Europe.

Luc Rémont is set to become chair and chief executive after
President Emmanuel Macron cleared his nomination at the group, which is 84
per state-owned, the Élysée Palace said. His appointment, still subject
to parliamentary checks, comes as the government kicks off a
nationalisation process.

A €9.7bn tender offer to buy out minority
shareholders could be handed to regulators next week, two people close to
the process said. The management overhaul at France’s former electricity
monopoly follows a fraught search for candidates that underscored some of
the turmoil around a group with huge industrial tasks ahead and that has
long been intertwined with politics.

Run-ins between the government and outgoing boss Jean-Bernard Lévy over some of the company’s operational problems have spilled into the public in recent weeks, in a blame game over
the state of its existing reactors and France’s hesitation to invest more in the sector. Already highly indebted, EDF is gearing up to build at least six new nuclear reactors in France, the biggest order in more than a quarter of a century.

It is still struggling with long delays and cost overruns on existing projects. A record number of outages at its 56 reactors have plunged its nuclear output to 30-year lows, torn a hole in its profits and turned France into a net importer of power in the middle of an energy crisis. On Thursday, a series of strikes over wages further squeezed EDF’s output.

 FT 29th Sept 2022

https://www.ft.com/content/43a1dbd8-fbf0-420e-919e-e9b67bf8305d

September 29, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

32 organisations challenge French government’s decrees setting up Bure district for a nuclear waste dump that is not yet even authorised

The Cigéo project, which would consist in burying in depth the most dangerous radioactive waste – of civil and military origin – must not see the light of day!

Today, 32 organizations and 30 inhabitants have just filed an appeal challenging the Declaration of Public Utility granted to it by decree on July 7, 2022, as well as its classification among the “Operations of National Interest”. By a Conseil d’Etat decree dated July 7, 2022, the government declared the Cigéo project in Bure to be of “public utility”. This decision was in line with the report of the investigating
commissioners who, despite the negative and substantiated opinions of the population, certain local authorities and institutions as well as our organizations, issued a favorable opinion.

At the same time, an Operation of National Interest (OIN) decree was issued by the Prime Minister, thus
promoting the establishment of Cigéo by allowing it to derogate from certain town planning rules and by giving all powers to the State to the detriment of local communities.

These two procedures, DUP and OIN, enable the National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (Andra) to acquire the missing land control for the surface installations and the plumb of the underground works, i.e. approximately 3,500 hectares (l equivalent to the area of Lille) and to expropriate if necessary.

These procedures are also likely to facilitate the start of work on other so-called “preparatory” developments at Cigéo. These two decrees are thus supposed to make it possible to physically anchor on the territory an industrial site which has not yet received any authorization and which raises very serious questions in terms of safety, environmental impacts and cost.

Sortir du Nucleaire 7th Sept 2022

https://www.sortirdunucleaire.org/Projet-CIGEO-d-enfouissement-des-dechets

September 20, 2022 Posted by | France, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

France Urges Brussels To Label Nuclear-Produced Hydrogen “Green”

   EurActiv , By  Paul Messad, French Energy Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher is trying to get EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson to include nuclear among energy sources for the production of so-called “green” hydrogen, according to a letter seen by EURACTIV France………………..

 according to the French minister, the current rules leave little room for the production of green hydrogen from “low-carbon” electricity, mostly nuclear power.

Given “the absolute priority of the next decade for hydrogen, […] the only important issue is the carbon content of the hydrogen produced and not the production vector,” Pannier-Runacher wrote to the European Commissioner…………………………….

France riding solo

The pro-nuclear position of the French when it comes to green hydrogen is not entirely shared by the industry.

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe, which represents the interests of the industry in 25 EU countries, said the letter is proof that France is “going solo” on nuclear and putting itself in a “dangerous insular position”………  https://www.eurasiareview.com/18092022-france-urges-brussels-to-label-nuclear-produced-hydrogen-green/

September 20, 2022 Posted by | climate change, France | Leave a comment

France sends reprocessed nuclear fuel to Japan, despite environmental and safety dangers

 https://japantoday.com/category/national/france-sends-latest-nuclear-shipment-to-japan CHERBOURG, France 18 Sept 22

Two ships carrying reprocessed nuclear fuel destined for Japan set sail Saturday morning from northern France, an AFP photographer said, despite criticism from environmental campaigners.

The fuel was due to leave the northern French port city of Cherbourg earlier this month but was delayed by the breakdown of loading equipment.

Environmental activists have denounced the practice of transporting such highly radioactive materials, calling it irresponsible.

The previous transport of MOX fuel to Japan in September 2021 drew protests from environmental group Greenpeace.

MOX fuel is a mixture of reprocessed plutonium and uranium.

“The Pacific Heron and Pacific Egret, the specialised ships belonging to British company PNTL, left Cherbourg harbor on September 17. They will ensure the shipment of MOX nuclear fuel to Japan,” French nuclear technology group Orano said in a statement Saturday.

They are bound for Japan for use in a power plant and Orano said it expected the shipment to arrive in November.

Japan lacks facilities to process waste from its own nuclear reactors and sends most of it overseas, particularly to France.

The operation was carried out “successfully”, Orano said, and it is the second shipment that arrived in Cherbourg from a plant in La Hague, located 20 kilometers away, after the first came on September 7.

Yannick Rousselet of Greenpeace France previously denounced the shipment.

“Transporting such dangerous materials from a nuclear proliferation point of view is completely irresponsible,” he said last month.

MOX is composed of 92 percent uranium oxide and eight percent plutonium oxide, according to Orano.

The plutonium “is not the same as that used by the military,” it said.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | France, reprocessing, safety | Leave a comment

EDF contractors relax radiation exposure limits to speed up reactor repairs

By Benjamin Mallet – Friday 16 Sept 22, PARIS (Reuters)  https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/exclusive-edf-contractors-relax-radiation-exposure-limits-to-speed-up-reactor-repairs/ar-AA11UdIE?ocid=st– Some contractors helping French power giant EDF to inspect and repair its corrosion-hit nuclear reactors are planning to relax their rules on radiation exposure limits so that their workers can spend more time on the job, EDF told Reuters.

The company, which is rushing to get its fleet of nuclear powerstations ready for the winter, said the new threshold was in line with its own standards and remained well below French legal limits.

“We have been informed by some of our partners that they expect to increase the radiation exposure limit for some of their staff,” EDF said in emailed comments on Friday, responding to a Reuters query.

“The activities currently underway at our plants lead to a higher number of hours worked in the nuclear part of our sites. This additional activity had not been foreseen by our partners when they set their radiation limits,” the company said.

Two sources with direct knowledge of the repair works told Reuters that at least one EDF contractor, French company Monteiro, had already increased the maximum exposure its workers could be subject to, adding this posed no health risk.

A Monteiro spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

The sources said the changes to the safety guidance illustrated how EDF was racing against the clock to restart 15 reactors taken offline last winter after the emergence of stress corrosion at some plants.

Continue reading

September 20, 2022 Posted by | France, radiation | Leave a comment

A new window into France’s nuclear history

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists By Austin R. Cooper | September 16, 2022, Access to French nuclear archives has increased dramatically during the past year. Since October 2021, French officials have declassified thousands of documents about the development of French nuclear weapons, an arsenal of roughly 300 warheads today.

This work marks a sea change in France, for decades one of the most difficult nuclear-armed democracies to study. Unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, France does not have Freedom of Information laws, which allow the public to file declassification requests. French archives do consider special access requests (dérogations), but these requests cannot compel a declassification review, which limits their utility in making nuclear weapons documents available for research.

French President Emmanuel Macron, in the wake of prize-nominated journalism and scholarship on the development of French nuclear weapons, launched a significant declassification initiative last year. This process has focused on Polynesia, the semi-autonomous French territory where French forces conducted nearly 200 atmospheric and underground explosions from 1966 to 1996. The scope does not include Algeria, the former French colony where French authorities built and operated their first nuclear test sites between 1960 and 1966, during the Algerian War for Independence (1954–62) and the construction of the postcolonial Algerian state.

New French transparency could help settle debates about environmental contamination and health effects from radiation exposure, especially in Polynesia. French law has promised to compensate victims of French nuclear weapons development who become sick or die from radiation-linked illness but has made only slow progress since 2010. Other nuclear-armed democracies, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have established similar compensation programs.

…………………………. Yet crucial gaps remain in access to French nuclear archives, especially records from the earliest years of the weapons testing program—when it took place in Algeria—and records concerning foreign affairs.

………………………. A report in February 2022 indicated that Macron’s declassification review had withdrawn only 59 documents out of nearly 35,000.

The global stakes. French nuclear history does not only concern France. France became the world’s fourth nuclear weapon state by building test sites and conducting atmospheric and underground explosions in two former French colonies: Algeria and then Polynesia. These blasts drew criticism from Algerian and Polynesian leaders, and from many neighboring countries in Africa and the Pacific.

Before becoming one of the world’s top nonproliferation cops, France served as a global nuclear supplier. During the Cold War arms race, the French government was among those that provided IsraelIndiaSouth AfricaIran, and Iraq with nuclear technologies. Except for possibly Iran, all these states endeavored to build nuclear weapons; so far, only Iraq has failed to do so.

……………………. President Richard Nixon and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger secretly reversed US policy and launched unprecedented Franco-American cooperation on weapons design and safety procedures.

………………………………… . The publication in March 2021 of the French-language book Toxique, by the physicist Sébastien Philippe and investigative journalist Tomas Statius, created a media firestorm surrounding French nuclear history.

Toxique showed that French authorities underestimated and overlooked the extent of radioactive contamination—and the health risks—from the atmospheric explosions conducted in Polynesia until 1974. This finding relied on dozens of French documents declassified in 2012–13, following a decade of court battles fought by associations of nuclear test victims and anti-nuclear organizations.

……………………………………………….. Limits to French nuclear transparency. Recent French declassifications indicate real progress, but three shortcomings have become clear.

First, archival documentation of France’s first nuclear explosions in the Algerian Sahara (1960–66) falls outside the Declassification Commission’s mandate. This recent work, as well as the CEA-DAM process, have incidentally declassified a few documents about the two test sites in the Algerian desert. But most of these records remain unavailable for research.

This split in French nuclear history—between Algeria and Polynesia—is artificial. Similar French entities, and often the same French officials, directed the Algerian and Polynesian sites.

The reason for French transparency about the Polynesian sites, but not the Algerian ones, stems from French politics. Polynesia, and its semi-autonomous government, are part of France. Algeria won its independence in a bloody war of decolonization that coincided with the first French nuclear explosions. Algeria remains a touchy subject in France……………………………………………………….

Insights from the archives. French President Macron’s shift in declassification policy opens a new window into the development of French nuclear weapons. Researchers can now look to France for resources to understand the nuclear dimensions of European security during a moment when these dimensions have become all too obvious.

What makes France so important? Now the only nuclear weapon state in the European Union, France’s nuclear history has key quirks. It also has global reach.

In contrast to their British neighbors, French officials endeavored to build their nuclear weapons program as independently of the United States as possible. Franco-American technological cooperation improved during the Cold War, but Paris remained committed to charting its own strategic course. France provides a case study of trying to go it alone.

The French case also demonstrates deep entanglement with French colonial policies in Africa and the Pacific. A similar point holds true for the US use of the Marshall Islands as a nuclear test site and tribal lands for uranium mining, or for UK nuclear testing in Australia. As the only country not merely to plan but actually to conduct nuclear explosions on the African continent, and given the longevity of its nuclear presence in the Pacific, France offers a unique vantage point on broader intersections between the Cold War arms race and decolonization struggles.

French nuclear archives have as much to do with today’s politics as with 20th-century history. Macron’s policy shift demonstrates the impact of executive action and the power of civil society to shape nuclear weapons governance when researchers, journalists, activists, and other stakeholders work together. The French case has unique features—namely the legal status of Polynesia—but it holds broad lessons for nuclear-armed democracies.

Building on recent strides, the French declassification effort can expand in ways that do not threaten nonproliferation goals. Two places to start: documentation of the Algerian test sites and the rich nuclear collections in the Diplomatic Archives.  https://thebulletin.org/2022/09/a-new-window-into-frances-nuclear-history/

September 19, 2022 Posted by | France, history | Leave a comment

Continued drop in France’s nuclear power energy production

Nuclear power generation at EDF’s (EDF.PA) French reactors in August fell
by 37.6% year on year to 18.1 terawatt hours (TWh), mainly due to the
impact of the discovery of stress corrosion, the utility said on Tuesday.
EDF said on its website that total nuclear generation in France since the
start of the year was 191 TWh, down 20.2% compared with January-August
2021.

Reuters 13th Sept 2022

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/edf-reports-376-drop-french-nuclear-output-august-2022-09-13/

September 19, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, France | Leave a comment

Drying up of Europe’s great rivers – the death knell for France’s nuclear fleet?

From the Danube to the Loire, Europe’s prime rivers — lifelines for the continent’s economy — are running low after a brutal five-month drought. After years of dry weather, scientists are warning that low-water conditions could become the norm in Europe as the climate changes.

Could the Drying Up of Europe’s Great Rivers Be the New Normal Yale Environment 369 BY PAUL HOCKENOS • SEPTEMBER 6, 2022 “………………………………. “At towns up and down the Danube, drought and climate change take on an existential meaning,” explains Nick Thorpe, author of The Danube: A Journey Upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest. “In contrast to city dwellers, they’re having this disaster unfold before their eyes.”

………………………….  In France, the warmed waters of the Rhône and Garonne can no longer cool the systems of nuclear power plants, forcing numerous plants to shut down. And hundreds of tributaries to the larger rivers are in even worse shape: bone dry.

…………………………. In early August, France’s prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, said that France is in the midst of the “most severe drought” the country has ever experienced, which has so sapped rivers — including the Loire, the Doubs, the Dordogne, and the Garonne — that hundreds of municipalities now require that drinking water be delivered by truck…………………………  https://e360.yale.edu/features/europe-rivers-drought

September 6, 2022 Posted by | climate change, France | Leave a comment

France braces for uncertain winter as nuclear power shortage looms

“Sky-high electricity prices are an economic threat, with France’s nuclear issues seemingly turning into a greater challenge than Russian gas flows,”

 https://www.reuters.com/world/france-braces-uncertain-winter-nuclear-power-shortage-looms-2022-08-30/ By Forrest CrellinSilvia Aloisi and Nina Chestney

PARIS, Aug 30 (Reuters) – France, once Europe’s top power exporter, may not produce enough nuclear energy this winter to help European neighbours seeking alternatives to Russian gas, and may even have to ration electricity to meet its own needs.

France has for years helped to underpin Europe’s electricity supply, providing about 15% of the region’s total power generation.

But this year, for the first time since French records began in 2012, France has become a net power importer as its own production of nuclear energy hit a 30-year low, based on data from consultancy EnAppSys

The supply squeeze, caused by a wave of repairs at the country’s nuclear power stations, couldn’t have come at a worse time. Europe is in the grip of an energy crisis as Russian gas supplies plummet in the wake of the Ukraine conflict and France, which derives 70% of its electricity from nuclear energy, has lost its edge.

French power prices have hit a string of all-time highs – topping 1,000 euros ($1,004.10) per megawatt hour earlier this month – on expectations the country will not have enough electricity to meet domestic demand. That surge, from prices of around 70 euros a year ago, has added to a cost-of-living crisis.

“Sky-high electricity prices are an economic threat, with France’s nuclear issues seemingly turning into a greater challenge than Russian gas flows,” said Norbert Rücker, head of economics and next generation research at Julius Baer.

August 30, 2022 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

It is really urgent” to “get out of this dependence on the nuclear fleet – French energy expert.

 EDF: “It is really urgent” to “get out of this dependence on the nuclear
fleet which is weakening us more and more”, warns an expert. Yves Marignac
pleads among other things for a diversification of our electrical system
and a control of our electricity consumption, but also the development of
renewable energies.

 France Info 25th Aug 2022

https://www.francetvinfo.fr/societe/nucleaire/edf-il-est-vraiment-urgent-de-sortir-de-cette-dependance-au-parc-nucleaire-qui-nous-fragilise-de-plus-en-plus-alerte-un-expert_5326075.html

August 28, 2022 Posted by | France, opposition to nuclear, politics | Leave a comment

Nuclear: EDF extends the shutdown of four reactors for several weeks. (Translation)

The energy company announced on Thursday that reactors 1, 3 and 4 of the Cattenom power plant, as well as reactor 1 of Penly, will only be reconnected to the electricity network between November and January. An announcement related to the stress corrosion problem detected since last fall on several units.

By Les Echos

Posted on August 25, 2022 at 5:55 PMUpdated on August 25, 2022 at 6:04 p.m.

France will have to do without at least four nuclear reactors until the beginning of winter. This Thursday, EDF announced the extension, for several weeks, of the shutdown of units affected by the problem of stress corrosion detected for the first time in the fall of 2021.

According to the new provisional timetable published by the energy company, reactors 1 and 4 of the Cattenom power plant, in Moselle, will be reconnected to the electricity network  on November 1 and 14 respectively . Reactor number 3 will resume service on December 11, while unit number 1 of the Penly power plant (Seine-Maritime) will not be reconnected until January 23……… (subscribers only) https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/energie-environnement/nucleaire-edf-prolonge-pour-plusieurs-semaines-larret-de-quatre-reacteurs-1783781#utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl_lec_18h&utm_content=20220825&xtor=EPR-5020-%5B20220825

August 28, 2022 Posted by | climate change, France, safety | Leave a comment

French nuclear woes stoke Europe’s power prices

Forrest Crellin  Reuters, Vera Eckert  Reuters, 24 Aug 22, PARIS/FRANKFURT, Aug 24 (Reuters) – European power prices are surging to fresh records as France grapples with lower nuclear output, adding further pressure to wholesale energy markets already struggling with vastly lower Russian gas supply.

Technical problems have hampered French nuclear reactors along with summer maintenance and drought has curbed hydroelectric production, another of its key sources of electricity generation.

Power from neighbouring countries is needed to help France handle its nuclear shortage. With gas making up the majority of the deficit, the extra demand is driving prices higher again.

“In France, only half the reactors are running,” said German state secretary in the economy ministry, Patrick Graichen…………………. more https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/french-nuclear-woes-stoke-europes-power-prices

August 23, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment