French Prime Minister urged Electricite de France to repair the nuclear power plant on time

PARIS, Sep 1 – PRIME. Energy company EDF must meet the deadlines for repairing nuclear reactors so that France can avoid the need to restart a coal-fired power plant in the east of the country, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Born told France Inter radio on Thursday.

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“I really expect EDF to complete the reactor restart program in the coming weeks and months, and this will allow us to avoid the need to restart the coal-fired power plant,” Born said.

Last week, it was reported that French energy company EDF had postponed the restart of four of 12 nuclear reactors that were shut down due to corrosion problems discovered by France’s Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) in May.

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At the moment, only 24 of the 56 French nuclear reactors are active. Some of them were stopped for planned repairs.

In July, the country’s energy minister, Agnès Pannier-Runachet, said amid an energy crisis, France was considering restarting the Sainte Avold coal-fired power plant in northeastern France.

Earlier this week, outgoing EDF chief Jean-Bernard Levy accused the French government of a shortage of trained personnel capable of effectively managing nuclear power plants in connection with the previous policy of reducing the share of nuclear energy in the country’s energy balance.

During the presidency of François Hollande, a bill was put forward to reduce it from 75% to 50% by 2025. In his first term as president, Emmanuel Macron pushed back that goal to 2035, yet he kept a plan to shut down 14 of the then 58 operating units.

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“The fact that we decommissioned two power units (at the Fessenheim nuclear power plant – ed.) as a result of decisions taken during the presidency of Francois Hollande does not mean that we did not reassure EDF of the need to continue to produce nuclear energy,” Born said.

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In early 2022, France announced that it would keep electricity price increases at 4% to protect the population from a sharp increase in electricity bills. The French government has ordered EDF to increase its nuclear power generation by 20 TWh to 120 TWh, which will be sold at a fixed price in 2022.

In August, EDF filed a €8.34 billion lawsuit in the French Supreme Court seeking to compensate for losses due to the sale of electricity at low prices amid government restrictions on the cost of electricity.

The French government has announced that it intends to increase its stake in EDF to 100%. The French government is ready to spend 9.7 billion euros on the nationalization of the country’s largest energy company.

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