Nuclear Power

07 Apr 2024

France's EDF Aims to Fix Reactor Corrosion Issues by End of 2025, Executive Says

07 Apr 2024  by reuters   

The logo of Electricite de France (EDF) is seen in front of cooling towers at the entrance of the nuclear power plant site, in Civaux, France, March 19, 2024. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File photo Purchase Licensing Rights
France's nuclear power giant EDF will likely be grappling with some problems linked to stress corrosion at some of its reactors until the end of next year, a senior company executive told a parliamentary hearing on Thursday.

Cedric Lewandowski, in charge of EDF's nuclear energy operations, told the French Senate the corrosion issues will continue to weigh on EDF's output - in line with previous guidance given by the company.

"EDF is improving its performance and is moving back up the ramp, but the ramp remains quite steep," said Lewandowski, adding ongoing works to fix the stress corrosion are accelerating as staffers have gained an "almost complete" understanding of the problem.

While EDF normally has a number of its reactors offline for maintenance, it has had far more than usual since 2022 due to what is known as stress corrosion that causes cracks on the welding connecting pipes in some plants.

French nuclear generation dropped to its lowest levels since the late 1980s in 2022 to 279 terrawatt hours (TWh) due to the corrosion problems that took a large chunk of its reactor fleet offline, coming just as several conventional maintenance operations were also scheduled.

EDF's output started picking up in 2023, at a level of 320 TWh.

"I hope we'll do better, obviously, in 2024, and that we'll reach 350 TWh in 2025", the executive said.

In February, EDF confirmed its French nuclear production targets, ranging from 315 to 345 TWh in 2024 and 335 to 365 TWh in 2025 and 2026.


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