Heat wave: EDF could lower its nuclear production and shut down a reactor

Heat wave: EDF could lower its nuclear production and shut down a reactor

The French electricity sector recently saw its results plunge with a loss of 5.3 billion euros in the first half.

EDF could be forced to lower its nuclear production in the coming days and even shut down a reactor at the Tricastin power plant (Drôme) due to high river temperatures, while France is going through a new heat wave. “Due to the forecasts of high temperatures on the Rhône, production restrictions are likely to affect the Tricastin nuclear production site from August 6, 2022, which may go as far as the shutdown of a unit.“, indicates the electricity producer in a message intended for the markets.

SEE ALSO – EDF suffers an exceptional loss of 5.3 billion euros in the first half

However, a production of at least 400 MW must be ensured with the maintenance of 2 units coupled for network constraints“says the company. Tricastin has 4 reactors of 900 MW each. EDF had already warned, since Friday, that the production of the plant could be affected due to the heating of the rivers, used to cool the reactors. “To date, only Tricastin reactor no. 2 has modulated its power in order to comply with its discharge order (twice for a few hours on 29 and 31 July)“Said a spokesperson Tuesday afternoon.

Combine efficiency with respect for fauna and flora

EDF also warned of possible “production restrictionsat the Saint-Alban plant (Isère), also on the banks of the Rhône, with however a minimum production also planned. Such restrictions are also being considered at the Golfech power plant (Tarn-et-Garonne) this time due to high temperature forecasts for another river, the Garonne.

Each plant has its own regulatory water discharge temperature limits that must not be exceeded, so as not to heat up the surrounding waterways and to protect the fauna and flora. The power plants indeed pump water to cool the reactors, before rejecting it. The regulations provide for possible temporary derogations on certain sites and such derogations were recently granted to four power stations so that they can operate during very hot weather.

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