January 30, 2018 / 5:30 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-France's EDF says completed checks on seven reactors in components review

(Adds details, quotes, background)

By Bate Felix

PARIS, Jan 30 (Reuters) - French utility EDF has completed checks and submitted files for seven more reactors to regulator ASN in an ongoing nuclear components and manufacturing documents review, its head of nuclear generation said on Tuesday.

Checks carried out by the utility, showed no safety “anomalies”, Philippe Sasseigne told journalists.

French nuclear regulator ASN last year ordered EDF to carry out a review of manufacturing documents of about 1,600 components in its nuclear reactors made by a unit of Areva as part of an investigation into irregularities and falsification.

EDF submitted files for 12 reactors in September in which it said more than 600 “anomalies” were found. Sasseigne said ASN’s review of the 12 files has been completed and the reactors have been cleared to restart production.

He said EDF had now submitted files for Cruas 2; Paluel 1 and 2; Blayais 2; Cattenom 1; Fessenheim 2 and Tricastin 4 reactors, which are offline or expected to go offline for planned maintenance in the weeks ahead.

ASN had said each reactor would only restart after getting a clearance from the watchdog.

Sasseigne said EDF missed its nuclear production target in 2017 due to warmer-than-expected weather at the end of the year which curbed demand, and due to outages ordered by the country’s ASN nuclear regulator.

EDF’s nuclear power output was at 379 terrawatt-hours (TWh) during the year, short of a revised target of 383 to 387 TWh.

Part of the reason for the below-forecast production was because the weather was mild in December, Sasseigne said, adding that January was also expected to be milder than forecast.

He said EDF’s cost of nuclear power production was 32 euros ($39.84) a megawatt-hour, including costs for the upgrade of its reactors. The company reports its full 2017 results on Feb. 16.

The French Cal’19 year-ahead power contract traded down 2.35 percent at 39.50 euros/MWh on Tuesday. (Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and David Evans)

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