4 plants in prolonged shutdown for corrosion problems

The maintenance postponed due to the pandemic, the energy crisis aggravated by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia and the corrosion issues of certain French nuclear installations have led to a very complicated situation from the point of view of electricity supply for these next quarters.

The manager RTE had indicated that the situation was tense, with the possibility of occasional load shedding to relieve the network in periods of overconsumption and calls to make efforts to limit electricity consumption have multiplied in order to avoid shortage scenarios.

In this complicated context, EDF announced that four nuclear power plants would experience a extended shutdown period only to resume their production of electricity during the fall and at the beginning of winter.

With 32 reactors shut down (out of 56) and difficulties in hydroelectric production due to the severe drought that has affected the country for several months, electricity production is greatly weakened.

Load shedding only as a last choice

EDF still maintains a production forecast of 280 to 300 TWh for the year, but warns that it will probably be in the low estimate. At the same time, the price of electricity is rising to unprecedented levels: 1000 € per MWh (for delivery next year) when it was €100 a year ago and €50 before the crisis.

For power plants in extended shutdown, the aim is to check whether the welds of the equipment ensuring the emergency cooling of the reactors in the event of an incident are subject to corrosion manifested by micro-cracks.

EDF must check the piping by ultrasound, according to a method validated by the Nuclear Safety Authority, for an examination of all the reactors which will extend until 2025.

The possibility of load shedding this winter to relieve the electricity network therefore remains topical, even if optimism remains valid for the moment when gas stocks have been reinforced. Power cuts will therefore only be decided as a last resort.


Source: GNT – actualités by www.generation-nt.com.

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