Strike disrupts 20 French nuclear reactors ahead of Thursday's talks

PARIS, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Twenty of France's nuclear reactors remain affected by a strike, with maintenance work delayed at 17 and lower production at three, ahead of planned talks with operator EDF (EDF.PA), a power union representative said on Wednesday.

The first plenary session between the union and management at EDF is set to begin on Thursday, the CGT-FNME union said in a statement.

The union is seeking a 120 euro ($117.38) per month increase in 2023 on top of the recently signed branch agreement, which was for 80 euros a month, for a total of 200 euros per employee next year, and is asking for a mid-2023 salary review, it said.

Maintenance delays at nine reactors have caused the loss of 4.4 terawatt hours (TWh) of nuclear power generation - nearly a quarter of the power produced in September - compared to the maintenance schedule before the strikes began, data from consultancy Energy Aspects showed.

France's nuclear output was already expected to hit a 30-year low this year because of a record number of reactor outages due to corrosion issues and planned maintenance, at a time when Europe is facing an energy crunch triggered by the Ukraine war.

Power supply has been further hit in recent weeks as the FNME-CGT union has been staging rolling strikes over wages at some nuclear power plants, costing the company millions of euros per day for each reactor that remains offline.

Some reactors have had their restart date pushed back by up to three weeks since the beginning of the strike, and two reactors have not been able to start planned maintenance.

Power grid operator RTE warned on Tuesday that prolonged strikes could have "heavy consequences" for electricity supply over the winter.

($1 = 1.0223 euros)

Reporting by Forrest Crellin; Editing by Jan Harvey, Jacqueline Wong and Tomasz Janowski

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.