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EDF extends temperature warning to 2.6 GW Golfech NPP in Southwest France

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Platts North American Electricity Analytics Service

EDF extends temperature warning to 2.6 GW Golfech NPP in Southwest France

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Two 1.3 GW units on river Garonne

Rhone reactors may also face restrictions

Second heatwave forecast to peak Wednesday

London — French nuclear operator EDF said there may be heat-related nuclear output restrictions at its Golfech nuclear power plant in Southwest France.

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"Due to temperature forecasts on the Garonne, production restrictions are likely to affect EDF's nuclear generating at Golfech," EDF said.

That could lead to unavailability of the plant's two 1.3 GW units from Tuesday, it said.

A similar warning remained in place for EDF's Bugey, Saint Alban and Tricastin nuclear power plants on the Rhone river in southeastern France. That could lead to the unavailability of two 1,300 MW units at St-Alban and one 900 MW unit at Bugey this weekend, it said late Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a first specific unavailability message on the 1.3 GW Saint Alban 2 unit for Saturday was canceled Friday.

EDF was not available to comment.

System operator RTE forecast French peak demand of 59.4 GW next Thursday (July 25) with average temperatures set to peak 7.8 degrees Celsius above seasonal norms on Wednesday. Temperatures were forecast to ease to 3.6 C above norms by July 28.

French demand spiked in June close to record summer highs of 59.5 GW as temperatures rose to 45 C in some regions of in the south of the country.

There were no nuclear output restrictions in place during the heatwave in late June. But as the summer has progressed river levels fall and water temperatures rise.

Some 40 of France's 58 reactor units are river-cooled. Last summer operation of four units were restricted by rising river temperatures.

French week-ahead baseload power contracts were volatile this week, but were seen trading up again at Eur48/MWh Friday, EEX exchange data showed. The contract has risen some 30% in the past two weeks, but settled Thursday lower at Eur45.16/MWh.

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

-- Edited by Daniel Lalor, daniel.lalor@spglobal.com