The national grid operator has delayed the planned reopening of a number of nuclear power plants
France faces a greater risk of running short on electricity this winter after the nation’s grid operator, Electricite de France (EDF), extended maintenance halts for several nuclear reactors, Bloomberg has reported.
The utility announced on Monday that the restart of its Penly-2 unit has been delayed from January 29 until June 11, while the reopening of the Golfech-1 unit has been pushed back to June 11 from February 18, according to the outlet.
The halt of the Chattenom-3 reactor has reportedly been prolonged by one month until March 26, and the restart of Civaux-2 has been postponed by more than a month until February 19.
On Friday, EDF announced it would delay the startup of a new nuclear reactor in western France by several months into 2024 due to construction work having been extended. That project is already more than a decade late, according to Bloomberg.
France produces roughly 70% of its electricity from 56 nuclear reactors, of which over 20 are currently shut down, causing a sharp drop in power generation.
EDF warned earlier that longer than planned maintenance halts and repairs on almost half of the nation’s nuclear plants may turn France, which has traditionally been a power exporter, into an importer. The grid operator has also warned of a potential electricity shortfall in the colder months as heating demand rises while the utility grapples with reactor repairs.
This will also add to rising concerns over power supplies to neighboring countries, as France has long been Europe’s largest producer of nuclear energy.
This article was originally published by Rt.