EDF could extend Golfech nuclear power plant outage because of heatwave

FILE PHOTO: The logo of EDF (Electricite de France) is seen on the French state-controlled utility EDF's headquarters in Paris, France, February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - French utility EDF EDF.PA could prolong planned outages at its two Golfech nuclear reactors because of a heatwave expected across France this week, the power utility said on Monday.

EDF plans to halt production at the 1,300 megawatt (MW) Golfech 2 reactor from Tuesday until July 29 and will stop power generation at Golfech 1 on Wednesday until same day next week.

The utility had said on Friday that it could halt electricity generation at the 2,600 megawatt (MW) Golfech plant in southern France because of high temperatures forecast on the Garonne river, water from which is used to cool the reactors.

EDF said on Monday that the current forecast for the end of the outages was based on available temperature forecasts and that the outages at both reactors could be prolonged.

The company’s use of water from rivers to cool its reactors is regulated by law to protect plant and animal life. It is forced to cut output when water temperatures rise or when river levels and the flow rate are low.

Another spell of sizzling temperatures is expected in France and much of western Europe this week, the second heatwave this summer. A record temperature of 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 Fahrenheit) was set in southern France last month.

Separately, EDF delayed the restart of its 1,500 MW Chooz 2 nuclear reactor by a couple days to Aug. 1, saying that the planned maintenance outage could be extended because of the amount of work required for its second 10-year overhaul.

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by David Goodman