French Nuclear Giant Warns of Low Generation

November 4, 2022

Wall Street Journal on French Nuclear Giant EDF:

EDF warned of lower power generation this year across its nuclear reactors in France, dealing a setback to the country’s efforts to ride out Europe’s energy crisis amid a spell of unseasonably warm weather.

EDF, the world’s largest owner of nuclear plants, said its French fleet of reactors are expected to produce between 275 and 285 terawatt-hours of energy in 2022, compared with a previous estimate of between 280 and 300 terawatt-hours.

The reduced outlook follows a spate of strikes by nuclear-plant workers that delayed maintenance work at some of its reactors during the fall, as well as prolonged outages at reactors under repair for corrosion problems, EDF said.
The situation changed drastically this year, when France swung from being one of Europe’s largest exporters of electricity to a net importer because of issues with its reactors. The outages worried officials that France and the broader region might run short of electricity in the winter, when power demand in Europe peaks.

EDF has absorbed huge losses this year because the company was forced to buy replacement power on Europe’s wholesale market, where prices have soared, for sale to retail clients at much lower prices.

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