France’s EDF (EDF.PA) aims to start corrosion repairs at its Penly 2 nuclear reactor in mid January, pending regulatory approval of its plans next week, as the power utility battles to recover from an unprecedented number of outages.
The news comes as the state-owned utility ramps up three reactors following repairs, just as a cold snap tests Europe’s resolve to curb energy use to conserve war-restricted supplies.
France’s ASN nuclear safety watchdog is expected to give its decision next week on EDF’s repair plans for Penly 2, where the company is rushing to fix stress corrosion problems, a company spokesperson told Reuters on Friday.
Kevin Buquet, a senior welder at the plant, said the plan was for repairs to begin on Jan. 15, adding similar works on the other reactor at the site took around five months.
Separately, EDF said its Cattenom 4 reactor – which was also plagued by stress corrosion – “is currently ramping up by steps” and was running at an available capacity of 480 megawatts (MW) as of 0651 GMT, around a third of its total capacity.
EDF has faced an unprecedented number of outages at its reactors this year, reducing nuclear output to a 30-year low, just as Russia’s war on Ukraine hit Europe’s energy supplies.
Company data on Friday indicated EDF’s Bugey 3 reactor, which has also undergone maintenance works, was starting up again, running at 900 MW out of 910 MW as of 0542 GMT. A third reactor, Cruas 2, was also ramping up.
New EDF Chief Executive Luc Remont and French finance minister Bruno Le Maire are due to visit a nuclear site and hold a press event later on Friday.