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French nuclear drops below 30 GW, low river warnings extended

Highlights

EDF extends Rhone warning to Aug 29-30 for one unit

3 GW Chooz offline to Sept 8 due to low river levels

August-to-date average at 31 GW above expectation

London — French nuclear operator EDF extended a low river level warning at the Rhone in southern France to the coming weekend as output across the reactor fleet fell below 30 GW overnight, grid date showed Aug. 26.

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Production restrictions were likely to affect one 1.3 GW reactor at the Saint Alban nuclear plant on Aug. 29 and Aug. 30 due to low flow forecasts on the Rhone river, it said late Aug. 25.

The unit downstream of Lyon was ramped down to just 260 MW overnight pushing nuclear output to 27.5 GW, while wind soared above 9 GW, the data show.

Output was back at 30 GW as of 09:45 local time (0745 GMT).

Meanwhile, both 1.5 GW reactors at Chooz on the Meuse river on the border to Belgium are set to remain offline until Sept. 8 due to low river levels.

French nuclear output averaged 31 GW so far this month, above expectations in late July, as some reactors returned earlier than under a coronavirus-delayed schedule set in April.

Improved availability reduced nuclear's on year deficit to 6 GW in August. after record lows in July, but demand recovered even more from sharp declines in the second quarter, boosting power prices with day-ahead baseload reaching a seven-month-high on Aug. 24.