Heat wave: EDF could cut its nuclear production and shut down a reactor
The French electricity sector recently had to accept a slump in earnings with a loss of 5.3 billion euros in the first half of the year.
EDF may be forced to reduce its nuclear power production and even shut down a reactor at the Tricastin power station (Drôme) due to high river temperatures in the coming days, while France is going through a new heat wave. “Due to the forecast high temperatures on the Rhône, there are likely to be production restrictions at the Tricastin nuclear power plant from August 6, 2022, which could go as far as a block being shut down.‘, states the electricity producer in a communication destined for the markets.
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“However, a production of at least 400 MW must be ensured with the maintenance of 2 blocks coupled due to network limitations‘ says the company. Tricastin has 4 reactors of 900 MW each. EDF had been warning since Friday that the plant’s production could be affected by the heating of the rivers used to cool the reactors. “So far, only Tricastin Reactor #2 has modulated its power to match its discharge command (twice for a few hours on July 29 and July 31).‘ a spokesman said on Tuesday afternoon.
Combine efficiency with respect for fauna and flora
EDF also warned of possible “production restrictionsat 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.
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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 water 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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