Output from France’s nuclear power stations has returned to levels recorded before many were taken offline from December 2021 due to stress corrosion cracks or risks related to the problem, EDF CEO Luc Remont said on Wednesday.
Remont said during a French parliamentary Economic Affairs Committee hearing that EDF’s nuclear power stations will meet their production targets for 2023.
EDF pegged French nuclear production for 2023 at 300-330 terawatt-hours (TWh) after recording its worst year since 1988 at 279 TWh in 2022 when almost a third of its 56 reactors were considered at risk for stress corrosion cracks on pipes.
EDF hopes to gradually raise output to 400 TWh by 2030.
Meanwhile, Remont said French hydropower reserves are above average levels and the country’s electricity consumption remains low, at an estimated 8% to 9% below pre-energy crisis years.
“All this therefore contributes to the fact that we can… approach the winter with serenity, if attention is paid to both producing on time and in the right quantities, and if (demand) sobriety remains maintained,” he said.
The French government pushed demand saving measures ahead of last winter amid fears of power shortages in the event of a cold snap as neighbouring countries scrambled to find gas supplies after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
French power demand has remained persistently below 2021 levels throughout most of 2023, LSEG data showed.
The price of the front-year baseload power contract for the country has fallen below 100 euros in recent weeks, dipping under the threshold for the first time since mid-January 2022, when EDF was grappling with the stress corrosion problems.
Source : Zawya