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French nuclear output drops to 52 GW on maintenance, outage, delays

Highlights

Blayais 2 in unplanned outage, two more units to come offline

Penly 1, Flamanville 1, Belleville 1 set to return this week

Cold snap to boost demand to 87 GW peak next week: RTE

London — French nuclear output peaked at 52 GW Monday as an unplanned outage, delays to scheduled returns and planned maintenance kept availability below expectations, data from grid operator RTE and nuclear operator EDF show.

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The 910-MW Blayais 2 reactor suffered an outage Sunday afternoon due to turbine failure in the non-nuclear part of the plant, EDF said. The reactor is due to return Monday at 8:00 pm local time (1900 GMT).

The 1.3-GW Penly 1 reactor is also scheduled to return Monday night following a three-month maintenance break.

The 1.3-GW Flamanville 1 unit is scheduled to return late Wednesday following a 10-year overhaul that began in April 2018 and extended for four months more than expected.

Flamanville 2 started its own 10-year-overhaul last week.

EDF has warned of a "particularly dense and complex maintenance schedule" this year, with seven reactors undergoing 10-year-overhauls.

Another two reactors are scheduled to go offline this weekend for annual maintenance.

Mild and at times windy weather has eased the pressure on demand so far this winter, but temperatures are expected to dip below normal next week, pushing demand forecasts to 86.8 GW January 23 -- the highest so far this winter, RTE's weekly forecast showed. Demand was set to peak at 78 GW Monday evening.

Last year, output from France's 58 reactors with an installed capacity of 63 GW rebounded to 393 TWh, the highest since 2015 with EDF targeting 395 TWh for 2019.

FRENCH NUCLEAR REACTOR WATCHLIST

Delayed 2018 Maintenance MW Offline since Latest Return
Tricastin 3 915 03/11/2018 11/01/2019
Penly 1 1330 27/10/2018 14/01/2019
Flamanville 1 1300 07/04/2018 16/01/2019
Belleville 1 1310 10/11/2018 20/01/2019
2019 Maintenance Schedule Offline from Scheduled Return
Paluel 4 1300 05/01/2019 25/06/2019
Flamanville 2 1300 10/01/2019 10/07/2019
Cattenom 4 1300 19/01/2019 11/04/2019
Fessenheim 1 880 19/01/2019 20/03/2019
Tricastin 2 900 26/01/2019 01/04/2019

Source: EDF Transparency

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

--Edited by Jonathan Dart, newsdesk@spglobal.com

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