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Reactor returns lift nuclear output towards 42 GW

Paluel-3, Chooz-2 delayed by combined 10 days to next week

London β€” French reactor output on Monday peaked just below 42 GW, still trailing the already reduced levels of last November, despite a number of reactor returns over the weekend with EDF once again delaying two planned reactor return, according to the French state-owned utility.

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The new delays announced are:

  • Paluel-3 (1.3 GW) delayed from Nov 12 to Nov 19 23:00
  • Chooz-2 (1.5 GW) delayed from Nov 15 to Nov 18 23:00

The fresh delays add to a batch of reactor delays announced last week with the combined shortfall now amounting to almost 3 TWh of nuclear production for the remainder of 2017.

EDF has cut its 2017 annual production target twice since September, mainly attributed to the temporary shutdown of the Tricastin NPP, with the lower range of its current target at 383 TWh, just marginally above 2016's output.

French nuclear output peaked at 41.9 GW at 10:45 local time, still trailing levels last November with EDF returning the 1.3 GW Belleville-1 and 0.9 GW Gravelines-5 units over the weekend, data from grid operator RTE shows.

The state-owned utility, which operates all 58 of France's reactors, will announce Q3 earnings on Tuesday, but cut its 2018 financial targets on Monday due to lower reactor availability on the start of next year without giving further details on its transparency website (see story at 1033 GMT).

After two record years for nuclear output in 2014 and 2015, the company has struggled with extended outages in 2016 and 2017.

--Andreas Franke,
--Edited by Maurice Geller,