19.02.2019_No35 / News in Brief

Nuclear Share Increases In France, But Falls In UK Due To Outages, Says EDF

Plant Operation

19 Feb (NucNet): The output of EDF’s nuclear power stations in France increased by 3.7% to 393.2 TWh in 2018, but output at its plants in the UK fell by 7.5% to 59.1% compared with 2017 due to maintenance and inspection outages, the company said in its annual report.

The French state-controlled company said improved performance in France, where it operates 58 nuclear power reactors, was largely the result of outages in 2017 because of discrepancies in manufacturing records at Le Creusot forge. The discrepancies led to an audit of all manufacturing records and checks on a number of reactors.

Output was also affected by the temporary shutdown of all four reactors at the Tricastin nuclear power station in the south of France following the discovery of flaws in a canal dyke bordering the facility.

In the UK, where EDF subsidiary EDF Energy operates 15 reactors, nuclear output was down 4.8TWh compared to 2017 due to inspections at Hunterston B and the extension of an outage at Dungeness B.

Hunterston B-1 was taken offline after EDF Energy found cracks in graphite bricks in the reactor core.

Dungeness B was taken offline following the discovery of corrosion in seismic restraints, pipework and storage vessels associated with several safety systems.

EDF in France reported an 11.1% rise in earnings to €15.3bn while sales jumped 6.3% to €68.9bn. Net income fell 63% to €1.2bn.

In the UK earnings were down 16.5% to £691m with the company blaming a downturn in nuclear power generation and “lower realised net prices”.

EDF said that “all key milestones” were reached at Hinkley Point C, the two-unit EPR station that will supply the UK with electricity to meet 7% of the country’s needs from the end of 2025.

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David Dalton

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