French energy law might shut down third of EDF

11/02/2016 10:20

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France's energy transition law could oblige state-controlled utility EDF to shut down around a third of its 58 nuclear reactors by 2025, the state audit office declared in its yearly report on Wednesday. The Cour des Comptes predicts that the projected reduction of the share of nuclear in French energy output to 50 percent by 2025 from over 75 percent now might lead to the closure of 17 to 20 reactors if electricity consumption and exports stay at present levels.

It declared that this could influence jobs at EDF and increased the possibility that the utility might require state compensation. The auditor said that it anticipates the cost of improving EDF's older nuclear power stations will total approximately 100 billion euros ($112.79 billion) over the 2014-2030 period. This estimation is well above EDF's 55 billion euro estimate for the 2014-2025 period, which the auditor said is because of the fact that it also comprises EDF's operating expenses over that period. EDF has constantly declared it wishes to maintain its nuclear power stations at the existing capacity level since it expects that the reduction of the share of nuclear in the French energy mix will come from increasing demand, not from closing reactors. For now, EDF intends to shut down its nuclear plant in Fessenheim, close to the German border, in 2018, when it hopes its new Flamanville reactor on the Normandy coast to begin operating.

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