Part of the Tricastin nuclear power plant in Vaucluse and Drôme.
HOT WEATHER – Due to the heat wave, EDF could be forced to reduce its nuclear power production in the coming days and even shut down a reactor at the Tricastin power station in Drôme. On Friday, the company said production at the plant could be affected by heating of the rivers used to cool the reactors.
“Due to the high temperature forecasts on the Rhône, production restrictions at the Tricastin nuclear power plant are likely to occur from August 6, 2022, up to and including the shutdown of a block”, the electricity producer states in a message intended for the markets. However, he points out that the “The production of at least 400 MW must be ensured with the maintenance of 2 units coupled due to network limitations.”. Tricastin has 4 reactors of 900 MW each.
Production restrictions in Saint-Alban and Golfech?
“So far, only the #2 Tricastin reactor has modulated its power to match its discharge order (twice for a few hours on July 29 and 31)”, a spokesman told AFP on Tuesday afternoon. EDF also warned of possible “Production Restrictions” at the Saint-Alban plant (Isère), also on the banks of the Rhône, although a minimum production is also planned.
Also at the Golfech power station (Tarn-et-Garonne), such restrictions are being considered this time due to high temperature forecasts for another river, the Garonne. Each plant has its own legal limit values for the water outlet temperature, which must not be exceeded in order not to heat up the surrounding waters and to protect the fauna and flora. The power plants actually pump water to cool the reactors before rejecting it.
The regulations provide for possible temporary exemptions at certain sites and such exemptions were recently granted to four power plants to allow them to operate in very hot weather.
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