French nuclear supply and maintenance disrupted by strike

Workers on strike of the Energy branch of the French CGT labour union gather in front of the Engie power plant at the Montoir-de-Bretagne LNG Terminal near Saint-Nazaire, France, June 28, 2022. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

PARIS, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Strikes by workers reduced power generation at EDF's (EDF.PA) nuclear reactors in France by 1.4 gigawatts (GW) by 1018 GMT on Thursday and lowered hydropower output by 220 megawatts (MW), the company said.

Four reactors were affected by the strike, with the reduction representing about 4% of total production on Thursday morning, CGT and grid operator RTE data showed.

Trade union CGT said earlier that production at five reactors representing 1.5 GW of supply were affected.

France is currently a net power importer of 9.8 GW from Britain, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Spain, RTE data showed.

Maintenance work on an additional 11 reactors has been suspended, which will delay their return to the grid, CGT spokesperson Virginie Neumayer said.

RTE requested the union return some units online this morning to increase power in certain sections, Neumayer added.

The strike is part of a larger social movement throughout France - over wage demands, pensions and purchasing power as inflation spirals across Europe - that has seen refining strikes restrict fuel supply in the north of the country.

The disruption could slow EDF's plans to return the nuclear fleet from its recent low capacity after delayed maintenance and stress corrosion problems dropped production to a 30-year low in 2022.

However, maintenance work on three reactors affected by stress corrosion finished on Tuesday.

Reporting by Forrest Crellin Editing by David Goodman, Kirsten Donovan

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