EDF chief says wait­ing for watch­dog’s ap­proval to run more re­ac­tors

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -


French util­ity EDF is do­ing its best to have more nu­clear re­ac­tors up and run­ning but was wait­ing for the green light from the nu­clear safety reg­u­la­tor to restart some of them, its chief ex­ec­u­tive said yes­ter­day. Safety watch­dog ASN has asked EDF to carry out ad­di­tional checks on 12 re­ac­tors, which has pro­longed their out­age pe­riod and raised fears France may face a power sup­ply squeeze this win­ter.

Con­cerns over tight nu­clear power avail­abil­ity in France, usu­ally a net elec­tric­ity ex­porter in Europe that de­pends on its 58 re­ac­tors for 75 per­cent of its power needs, have pushed Euro­pean power prices to record highs over the past weeks.

“EDF is do­ing its best to have the max­i­mum num­ber of re­ac­tors online although as of to­day, ASN has not au­tho­rized us to restart some the re­ac­tors de­spite our re­quest,” Jean-Bernard Levy said the side­lines of an en­ergy con­fer­ence in Paris.

“We be­lieve these re­ac­tors can be op­er­a­tional, but ASN does not agree. They have asked for more in­for­ma­tion before tak­ing a de­ci­sion, thus the late start of some re­ac­tors than what we had ini­tially planned un­til a cou­ple of days ago,” he said. EDF on Thurs­day pushed back the restart of five re­ac­tors Bugey 4, Grav­e­lines 2, and Tri­c­as­tin 1, 3 and 4 to the end of De­cem­ber 2016 from ear­lier planned dates at the end of Novem­ber and mid-De­cem­ber.

It also cut its nu­clear power out­put and EBITDA for the year. Yes­ter­day, it de­layed the restart of its 900 MW Chi­non 3 nu­clear re­ac­tor to Nov 11 from Nov. 6. “We be­lieve that our fleet, or at least these re­ac­tors are op­er­a­tional, but the ASN does not agree,” Levy said. Com­pound­ing the prob­lem, is the hy­dro power sit­u­a­tion that is not good be­cause of lack of ad­e­quate rain­fall, Levy said. Some 19 re­ac­tors out of the 58 EDF op­er­ate are cur­rently out of ser­vice, rep­re­sent­ing 19,300 megawatts (MW), or 30.51 per­cent out of 63,260 MW of French in­stalled nu­clear ca­pac­ity that is off­line. — Reuters

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