EDF keeps nuclear output target steady for 2020

PARIS, Jan 13 (Reuters) - France this year is targeting roughly the same nuclear power output it aimed for 2019 at around 395 terawatt hours (TWh), an executive at power utility EDF said on Monday.

EDF missed its 2019 target, with nuclear output hurt by outages falling 3.5% to 379.5 TWh.

Stephane Feutry, in charge of EDF’s nuclear output, told journalists that while EDF’s nuclear target was around the same this year it was likely to be impacted by the planned closure of Fessenheim, France’s oldest operating nuclear plant.

The Fessenheim 1 reactor is to halt generation at the end of February and Fessenheim 2 will stop on June 30.

Around seven EDF reactors are also scheduled to undergo planned 10-year maintenance and upgrades, Feutry said.

He said EDF was increasingly flexible in managing the availability of its fleet.

“In the past we use to do it mostly in spring and at night in summer when demand is demand is low. Increasingly now, we sometimes do it in the middle of winter, depending on the weather,” he said.

“For example in December there was a lot of wind. On Dec. 23, we could have produced 47 gigawatts (GW) but at certain periods during the day we only produced 35 GW because of market conditions,” he added.

EDF operates France’s 58 nuclear reactors which cover around 75% of the country’s electricity needs. (Reporting by Bate Felix)