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French power prices rally on nuclear review extension

19 Sep 2017, 4.31 pm GMT

French power prices rally on nuclear review extension

London, 19 September (Argus) — French power prices rallied after nuclear safety authority ASN confirmed irregularities were found in 12 reactors and extended the scope of its investigation into the Creusot forge, although this has not affected EdF's maintenance schedule.

The front quarter was trading at €54.50/MWh in the middle of the day, up by €1.15/MWh from yesterday's close. And the first quarter 2018 traded at €57.75/MWh. It was assessed at €56/MWh yesterday evening.

ASN confirmed there were 601 irregularities at 12 French nuclear reactors, as reported by EdF last week, and said it will decide on each of the reactor restarts.

The 12 reactors are all either off line for maintenance and refuelling or due to go off line in the fourth quarter, and are all scheduled to return to the grid before the end of the year.

EdF has not changed the maintenance schedule for any of the reactors. As of today an average of 8.2GW of nuclear capacity is scheduled to be off line in the fourth quarter of this year.

The anomalies reported are related to seven nuclear plants with a capacity of 880-920MW — Dampierre 3, Cruas 3, Tricastin 3, Chinon 3, Gravelines 2, Saint-Laurent 2 and Bugey 3 — and five between 1.3GW and 1.5GW — Chooz 2, Paluel 4, Penly 1, Belleville 2 and Nogent 1.

ASN said it extended the ongoing review of nuclear components manufactured at the Creusot Forge plant in France to all moulded components and important but non-nuclear components. Previously the review had been confined to components forged at the plant.

EdF has until 31 December 2018 to submit all the documents for all of its 58 reactors. For the other reactors involved in the investigation, EdF must submit its reviews for assessment two months prior to the restart of each respective unit. It has already submitted the reports for the 12 mentioned above.

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