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French Flamanville-1 reactor back online after 19-month-outage

Highlights

Both 1.3-GW units at Flamanville back online

Nuclear seen well above 2020 this summer

Year-ahead trades above Eur61/MWh

France's 1.3-GW Flamanville-1 reactor returned to service May 3 after an 19-month outage, operator EDF said on the day.

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Unit 1 had been offline since September 2019 for extra work following a 10-year overhaul that started in January 2018.

EDF in January 2021 returned unit 2 at Flamanville following a similar overhaul that lasted almost two years.

Work on unit 1 had been put on hold between March and December 2020 due to parallel maintenance on unit 2 and the coronavirus crisis, it said.

French nuclear generation hit a record low for a first quarter in 2021, but April's 37.6 GW average exceeded last year's output.

May to October generation is forecast to be significantly higher than in 2020, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.

Platts Analytics forecasts nuclear dispatch of 37.2 GW in May and of 36 GW in June, with nuclear to meet around 83% of assumed power demand.

Downside risk to nuclear output from additional delays to reactor restarts is weighted more heavily to the third quarter, Platts Analytics said in a weekly note April 26.

On average, the once every ten year overhauls for French reactors are scheduled to last roughly six months (see table).

French year-ahead power, meanwhile, jumped above Eur61/MWh, a level only seen except for a brief period in late 2018 over the past decade, exchange data show May 4.

FRENCH REACTORS SET FOR 10-YEAR OVERHAULS IN 2021

Unit
MW
Outage Start
Scheduled Return
Tricastin 2
900
06/02/2021
05/08/2021
Cattenom 3
1300
13/02/2021
30/08/2021
Civeaux 1
1500
21/08/2021
18/01/2022
Dampierre 1
900
16/06/2021
06/12/2021
Gravelines 1
900
14/08/2021
18/02/2022
Bugey 5
900
31/07/2021
05/02/2022
Penly 1
1300
02/10/2021
21/03/2022

Source: EDF