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EDF restarts French Paluel-4 nuclear reactor, delays others couple of days


Paluel-4 first reactor to return in ASN's Le Creusot review

Belleville-1, Chooz-1, Gravelines-1 delayed by combined five days

French nuclear operator EDF restarted its 1.3 GW Paluel-4 nuclear reactor on Sunday after receiving last week the go-ahead from nuclear safety regulator ASN for a restart, it said on its transparency website.

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Paluel-4 is the first reactor to return during ASN's review of documents relating to parts manufactured by the Le Creusot forge for all its 58 reactors in France with EDF already having submitted a first batch of 12 files to the regulator, it said.

Related video: Power traders await French reactor restarts

"The unit 4 of Paluel NPP has received restart clearance from the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) following the unit's planned maintenance outage," an EDF spokesperson told S&P Global Platts in an email.

French power prices for November delivery fell sharply last week on a reduced risk perception for EDF's nuclear availability in November and a continued mild weather outlook now also stretching into early November.

According to EDF's transparency notes, Paluel-4 was restarted Sunday afternoon and is currently ramping up in steps to 600 MW by Wednesday night.

EDF also returned its 1.5 GW Civaux-1 unit from a short outage, but delayed three other units by a combined five days. All three units are not yet part of the first 12 reactor files submitted to the ASN.

The return of the 1.5-GW Chooz-1, offline in an unplanned outage since October 2, was pushed back by one day to Monday night, the 1.3 GW Belleville-1, offline for extended planned maintenance, was also pushed back by one day to Tuesday night, while the 0.9 GW Gravelines-1 unit's return was delayed by three days to Thursday, EDF said in updates on its transparency website.

French nuclear output on Monday rebounded to peak at 37.6 GW, still sharply below September's peaks above 43 GW, according to grid operator RTE's generation data.

EDF operates France's 58 reactors and after two record years for nuclear output in 2014 and 2015 has struggled with extended outages in 2016 and 2017.

--Andreas Franke,
--Edited by Jeremy Lovell,