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EDF delays 4 French nuclear reactor returns by combined 11 days

Highlights

Reactors at Flamanville, Belleville, Penly, Tricastin delayed

10-year review at Flamanville-2 to start later than planned

London — French nuclear operator EDF has delayed the planned return dates of four reactors -- Flamanville 1, Penly 1, Belleville 1 and Tricastin 3 -- by a combined 11 days deeper into January, it said Wednesday morning.

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The fresh delays are expected to cut planned nuclear output by up to 0.3 TWh over coming days, calculations by S&P Global Platts show.

However, this has already been partially offset by EDF on December 28, delaying planned maintenance works at the 1.3 GW Flamanville 2 reactor, now only expected to start January 10.

This year will be heavily impacted by a number of extended maintenance stops at French reactors with seven units having to undergo 10-year reviews, adding uncertainty to scheduled return dates.

As an example, the Flamanville 1 return from its 10-year-review that started in April 2018 -- initially scheduled for five months -- is already delayed by over four months.

The unit is now scheduled to return to service next Monday, EDF said in its latest update Wednesday.

French grid operator RTE, in its winter outlook, warned of tight nuclear supply with a period from mid-January to end-February most at risk if coinciding with colder temperatures boosting power demand.

Temperatures are forecast to dip below seasonal norms over coming days with RTE pegging peak demand above 85 GW early next week, its latest forecast shows.

Nuclear output on Wednesday morning peaked at 56 GW out of a total installed 63.2 GW nuclear capacity, RTE data showed.

TABLE: French Reactor Watchlist

Delayed 2018 Maintenance MW Offline since Scheduled Return Comment
Flamanville 1 1,300 07/04/2018 07/01/2019 10-year-maintenance
Penly 1 1,330 27/10/2018 08/01/2019
Tricastin 3 915 03/11/2018 10/01/2019
Belleville 1 1,310 10/11/2018 16/01/2019
2019 Maintenance Schedule Offline from Scheduled Return
Flamanville 2 1,300 10/01/2019 10/07/2019 10-year-maintenance
Paluel 4 1,300 05/01/2019 25/06/2019 10-year-maintenance
Cattenom 4 1,300 19/01/2019 11/04/2019
Fessenheim 1 880 19/01/2019 20/03/2019
Tricastin 2 900 26/01/2019 01/04/2019
Golfech 1 1,300 16/02/2019 23/03/2019
Chooz 2 1,300 19/03/2019 30/07/2019


--Andreas Franke, andreas.franke@spglobal.com

--Edited by Ikhhlaq Singh Aujla, newsdesk@spglobal.com