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Three more French nuclear reactors cleared in regulator ASN's Creusot review

London — French nuclear operator EDF has received clearance to restart three more reactors in 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 49, leaving nine of the total 58 still awaiting clearance.

The three reactors cleared since the last update on October 2 are Blayais-4, Gravelines-3 and Civeaux-1.

The regulator launched a review into the documentation of manufacturing processes at the Creusot forge covering the entire French fleet last summer, with each reactor requiring clearance before return from annual maintenance.

French nuclear output has stabilized after hitting a record low in 2017 and is some 8 TWh ahead of 2017 levels for the year-to-date.

October output averaged at 42.1 GW, up by over 4 GW on the year, grid operator data aggregated by S&P Global Platts Analytics show.

EDF would require average output of around 52 GW for November and December to reach its 395 TWh annual target.

Platts Analytics assumes French nuclear output to average 46 GW in November and 53 GW in December, according to its European Electricity Monthly Outlook published October 31.

This would keep French nuclear output just below EDF's target of 395 TWh, but scheduled availability still allows for the target to be met with hydro output also well ahead of 2017 levels.

EDF is scheduled to report its third quarter results November 13.

Nuclear output on Tuesday peaked above 45 GW, TSO data showed.

Bullish risks remain with ongoing delays to scheduled returns and Platts Analytics in particular noting the absence of clearance for Belleville-1, Cattenom-4 and Golfech-1.

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

--Edited by Maurice Geller, maurice.geller@spglobal.com