French strike reduces nuclear power output

A general view of the Electricite de France (EDF) nuclear power plant in Avoine near Chinon, France, February 18, 2022. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

PARIS, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Strikes had reduced already low nuclear power generation in France by 1.7 gigawatts (GW) by 0617 GMT on Thursday, according to data from power group EDF (EDF.PA), which is under pressure to increase production in time for the winter.

Three reactors are operating at limited capacity due to the industrial action, with the disruption representing about 4.1% of total production on Thursday morning, the data showed.

French nuclear power output is at a 30-year low due to an unprecedented number of outages at EDF's fleet of 56 reactors.

By 0810 GMT on Thursday, France was a net importer of 6.4 GW of power from Spain, Britain, Germany, Belgium and Switzerland, grid operator RTE data showed.

The usual net power exporter became a net importer this year for the first time since records began in 2012.

Nuclear production is currently at a much reduced 27.3 GW as the country deals with more than half of its fleet being offline due to corrosion issues and scheduled maintenance.

The outages have combined with the uncertainty surrounding gas supplies this winter following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and helped push power prices to all-time highs in recent months.

Reporting by Forrest Crellin Editing by Silvia Aloisi and Mark Potter

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