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EDF’s French nuclear 2018-19 targets ‘take into account uncertainties’

EDF’s nuclear output targets for its French nuclear fleet for 2018 and 2019 are taking into account various uncertainties, the operator said late Friday following its annual results presentation.

For 2018, EDF forecasts a rebound to 395 TWh after last year’s output fell to its lowest level since 1992 at 379 TWh.

For 2019, the operator warned of a decline in output mainly attributing this to the closure of the two reactors at Fessenheim by end-2018 ahead of the ramp-up of its new Flamanville-3 reactor which will only reach full production toward the end of 2019, it said.

In addition, planned extended reactor overhauls in 2019 will add to the as yet unspecified “assumption of decline in output” with seven 10-year inspections including two “first of a kind” inspections, it said in slides for an investor presentation Friday with 7 GW of capacity impacted by this in 2019 compared to just 5 GW in 2017 and 2018.

“EDF emphasizes the uncertainty due to both a complex and busy plan of activities, in relation to several 10-year inspections including two ‘first-of-a-kind,’ and the potential impact of unplanned events and circumstances in relation to nuclear assets,” the French nuclear operator said in a note on grid operator RTE’s dedicated website for planned generation availability.

“The estimates of 2018 and 2019 nuclear production released by EDF on [Friday] take into account this uncertainty,” the note added.

EDF’s “first of a kind” inspections refer to the first 10-year-inspection of its 900 MW series following the end of the initially planned 40-year life-span, it plans to extend by at least 10 years amid its so-called “Grand Carenage” reactor life-span extension program.

EDF operates all French nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of over 63 GW with the 2018 output target accounting for over 80% of French power demand. The availability of Europe’s biggest single power plant fleet is key to European power and gas markets especially during the winter months.

Source: Platts News