A new energy problem for Europe after Russian gas: France’s nuclear reactor fleet

France has delivered only a fraction of its potential nuclear output, and state-owned giant EDF has announced that three more plants will reduce output as temperatures rise. The rivers used to cool the reactors became too hot to cool the units.

Recently, France has been overtaken by Sweden, which has become Europe’s largest energy exporter Reuters.

High prices for everyone

Energy prices rose sharply on French stock markets as nuclear reactors shut down.

And because of the problems, northern Italy, which depends on France’s energy exports, is now also affected.

As France caps consumer bills, the cost of energy EDF will buy to cover the output gap is estimated at €24 billion this year.

According to the site cited, France is setting the price to “maintain the myth of cheap nuclear energy and protect French pride.”

“Europe’s Problem Child”

Energy analysts cited by Renew Economy say France’s nuclear problems are now a bigger threat to energy supplies than Russian gas.

“Europe’s problem child in energy supply is definitely France,” says Bruno Berger, a researcher in the field at Fraunhofer ISE, an institute for solar systems.

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Burger says France’s significant energy shortages will create problems for Europe in the long term, as France’s lower production leads to shortages in European energy markets and higher prices for all countries.

Germany uses natural gas to heat most homes, so there are fears that Russia could cut supplies and face winter shortages.

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France goes nuclear

But homes in France are heated by electricity, which risks a shortage next winter.

“Because of the many problems with its nuclear fleet, France is more dependent on other countries than before and cannot supply other states as it did with Italy in the past,” Burger says.

EDF said the repair and maintenance program is continuing.

Another 15 years of deficit

The Franco-German Energy Transition Office estimates that France’s energy deficit will last for another 10-15 years, meaning that increased capacity in renewable energy will benefit French consumers, the press site reported. Clean Energy Wire.

The price of electricity for 2023 in the French market recently exceeded 600 euros/MWh, the highest in Europe.

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What is the situation in Germany?

In Germany, nuclear generation fell from 11 percent to 6 percent, but the decline was offset by increased penetration of renewables, the site notes.

Germany’s last three nuclear power plants are due to shut down at the end of the year, but there is pressure to extend their lives.

As gas flows from Russia dwindle, Germany stresses consumers Energy saving. At the same time, coal production increased.

Officials said the gas supply will take place during winter.


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