In this list
Energy | Electric Power

French Feb nuclear falls to record low as maintenance season starts early

Commodities | Energy | Electric Power | Renewables | Natural Gas

Hydrogen: Beyond the Hype

Electric Power

Platts Forward Curves – Gas and Power

Oil | Crude Oil | Coronavirus | Energy Transition | Macroeconomics

37th Asia Pacific Petroleum (APPEC 2021)

Electricity | Coal | Emissions | Electric Power | Nuclear | Renewables | Natural Gas

China's emissions trading system key to power sector decarbonization: IEA report

Energy | Electric Power | Emissions | Energy Transition | Oil

Energy transition after COVID-19: what pathway are we on?

French Feb nuclear falls to record low as maintenance season starts early

Highlights

Feb average down 5% on year at 45 GW

Output below 37 GW Feb 28 on Blayais trip

Chooz 1, Paluel 4 set to return this week

London — Average French nuclear generation fell to a record low in February of 45 GW, down 5.5% on the year, grid operator data showed March 1.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

Nuclear power production averaged 41.8 GW in the seven days to Feb. 28 (week 8), the lowest weekly average during winter, down another 1.3 GW week-on-week.

Average demand meanwhile fell another 7 GW week-on-week to 55.5 GW.

Two more reactors came offline for annual maintenance Feb. 27. Overall, an unprecedented 11 units started maintenance before March.

Nuclear output on Feb. 28 fell below 37 GW, the lowest this winter and some 15 GW below January's peak.

Operator EDF stopped three 900 MW units at Blayais Feb. 28 due to significant presence of sediment in the filter drums of the pumping station, it said. The incident triggered an automatic shutdown for units 3 and 4, while unit 1 was taken offline as a preventative measure. Unit 1 was to return March 1 at 1900 local time, while units 3 and 4 were scheduled to return March 2 at 2300, it said.

EDF also delayed return dates for Gravesline 6 and Bugey 3 by another couple of days to March 8 and March 11 respectively.

EDF brought forward return dates for Chooz 1 and Paluel 4 with the Paluel unit the first to return after completing 2021 annual maintenance in six weeks.

French demand was forecast to rebound to a 74 GW peak March 8 as temperatures were set to drop below norms again after an unusually mild second half of February, according to RTE's 7-day outlook.

S&P Global Platts Analytics assumes March nuclear output to average around 42 GW and further recovering above last year's monthly averages for the summer quarters.

EDF on Feb. 18 maintained its 2021 annual nuclear production forecast in a wide range of 330-360 TWh. 2020 output fell to an all-time low of 335 TWh.

Pressure on French power prices eased in the second-half of February as average demand fell some 20 GW within two weeks.

March baseload ended February some 20% below peaks seen Feb. 9, exchange data show. French year-ahead power also eased from a 19-month-high at Eur55/MWh on Feb. 8 to settle Feb. 26 at Eur53.39/MWh, EEX data show.

FRENCH REACTOR WATCHLIST

Unit
MW
Outage Start
Scheduled Return
Notes
2020 Delays
Chooz 1
1300
13/12/2020
02/03/2021
Technical investigation
Bugey 3
900
15/05/2020
08/03/2021
Extra maintenance
Gravelines 6
900
14/02/2021
11/03/2021
Unplanned outage
Flamanville 1
1300
18/09/2019
31/03/2021
2019 overrun
Bugey 4
900
21/11/2020
06/07/2021
10-year-overhaul
2021 Maintenance
Paluel 4
1300
21/01/2021
04/03/2021
Refueling
Chinon 2
900
30/01/2021
25/04/2021
extra maintenance
Civeaux 2
1500
30/01/2021
19/05/2021
extra maintenance
Tricastin 2
900
06/02/2021
27/07/2021
10-year-overhaul
Chooz 2
1500
06/02/2021
26/03/2021
Refueling
Gravelines 5
900
06/02/2021
02/05/2021
extra maintenance
Cattenom 3
1300
12/02/2021
06/09/2021
10-year-overhaul
Cruas 1
900
20/02/2021
16/05/2021
Refueling
St Laurent 2
900
20/02/2021
01/06/2021
Refueling
Dampierre 4
900
27/02/2021
14/04/2021
Refueling
Nogent 1
1300
27/02/2021
14/04/2021
Refueling

Source: EDF