French utility EDF says three employees test positive for coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: A view shows France's oldest Electricite de France (EDF) nuclear power plant near the eastern French village of Fessenheim, France February 20, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

PARIS (Reuters) - French utility EDF EDF.PA said on Tuesday that three employees at three nuclear power plants have tested positive for coronavirus, and several others who came in contact with them have been told to self-isolate for the next 14 days.

A spokesman for the company said the outbreaks at the plants have not affected power generation, and the company has not activated its continuity plan, which would require running on reduced staffing levels.

“Normal operations are ongoing,” the spokesman said, adding that the firm had a pandemic plan in place since 2009, which has been updated and aligned with France’s national plan.

He said EDF was equipped, and had the capacity to continue producing electricity for around 12 weeks in case of a pandemic, but this was not the situation at the moment.

“In the event of a pandemic, electricity production and the safety of installations will be ensured at all times,” the spokesman said.

The positive cases were at the Fessenheim power plant in northeast France, Belleville in the central France, and Cattenom in the northeast.

Fessenheim is in the Haut-Rhin department of France where there is a cluster of the outbreak. EDF said it has restricted travel to principal areas of the outbreak.

(This refile corrects year of EDF’s pandemic plan to 2009, not 2012, in paragraph 3. Corrects outbreak reported at Belleville not Golfech in paragraph 6)

Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by GV De Clercq and Susan Fenton