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Four more French reactors cleared in ASN's Creusot review

Highlights

57 of 58 reactors now cleared by regulator

Fessenheim return brought forward a week to March 13

Nuclear output recovered from 18-year low in January

London — Four more French reactors have been cleared to restart under the Creusot review, a spokeswoman for nuclear safety regulator ASN told S&P Global Platts Tuesday.

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This brings the number of reactors cleared to 57 out of 58, leaving only Flamanville 2 awaiting a decision. The unit is offline until July anyway for a 10-year overhaul.

In the latest update, the return of Fessenheim 1 has been brought forward a week to March 13, operator EDF said in a transparency note late Monday.

The other three cleared are Golfech 1, Cattenom 4 and Tricastin 2, scheduled to return before Easter.

French nuclear performance improved in February (53.4 GW average) after overruns to 2018 maintenance and an early start to 2019 maintenance saw January drop to the lowest monthly average in 18 years (53.8 GW), TSO data show.

S&P Global Platts Analytics expects March output to average around 48 GW, according to a report February 28, with analysts now viewing 2014 as the reference year for its short-term nuclear output assumptions.

In February EDF confirmed its 2019 French nuclear output target of 395 TWh after 2018 saw the highest nuclear output since 2015 with 393 TWh. However, 10-year overhauls scheduled for seven reactors could yet compromise the 2019 output target.

ASN launched a review into documentation of manufacturing processes at Areva's Creusot forge covering the entire French fleet in summer 2017, with each reactor requiring clearance before being allowed to resume generation. The review had been expected to conclude by the end of 2018.

FRENCH REACTOR WISHLIST

Capacity (MW) Offline from Scheduled Return
Fessenheim 1 880 19/01/2019 13/03/2019
Golfech 1 1310 14/02/2019 23/03/2019
Cattenom 4 1300 19/01/2019 11/04/2019
Tricastin 2 900 26/01/2019 16/04/2019
Gravelines 2 910 15/02/2019 21/04/2019
Paluel 4* 1300 05/01/2019 25/06/2019
Flamanville 2* 1300 10/01/2019 10/07/2019
Chooz 2* 1500 15/03/2019 29/07/2019
Cruas 2 915 22/03/2019 06/06/2019
Bugey 3 910 23/03/2019 24/06/2019

Source: EDF Transparency (*=10-year-overhaul)

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

-- Edited by Alisdair Bowles, newsdesk@spglobal.com

Building bridges: Energy and commodities in the construction sector

S&P Global Platts explores some of the factors driving construction markets and how developments in commodities such as oil, gas and steel play a key role in determining whether projects get built, and how much they may cost to develop.

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