EDF 2020 nuclear output could hit 21-year low – update

14/02/2020 11:44 Nuclear


EDF has cut its 2020 nuclear output target to a lower floor of 375 TWh and an upper ceiling of 390 TWh, owing to several unforeseen factors.

If output were to fall to the floor this year, it would be the lowest since 1999 when the nation’s nuclear power generation reached 374.9 TWh, according to data from French TSO RTE.


“In addition to the unavailability on scheduled outages, there are other recurrent causes of non-production (tests, unplanned outages, modulation of operation, environmental constraints, network constraints, etc), which represent a volume about 20-30 TWh per year,” EDF said in a statement late on Thursday.


In January, the French utility said it expected this year’s nuclear production to match its 2019 target of 384-388 TWh.


This is despite the 2019 target being missed and output falling to a three-year low of 379.5 TWh.


Planned outages
EDF said it would carry out six 10-year inspections this year, the same number as last year. And fuel recharging would result in 19 outages, compared to 15 in 2019.


“For 2020 and the following years, the duration of the planned outages is adjusted to take best account of feedback from the past year, the level of uncertainty and the risk of hazard associated with the realisation of a particularly dense and complex maintenance program,” the utility said.


EDF is due close its Fessenheim units 1 and 2 on 22 February and 30 June, respectively, totalling 1.8 GW.


In January, the company’s domestic nuclear power output fell by 6.9% year on year to 37.4 TWh, “due to a higher number of outages”.


Earlier on Friday, EDF said its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose by more than 8% to EUR 16.7bn, thanks to “better price conditions in France and the United Kingdom and a strong performance from EDF Renewables”.


However, it added the results were “adversely affected by a decline in nuclear generation in France and the United Kingdom, and by poor hydropower conditions in France”.


Nuclear power output in France and the UK fell 13.7 TWh while hydropower was down 5.8 TWh after pumping. This had an unfavourable effect estimated at EUR 899m, it said.


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