Concern is mounting within the government. The Minister for the Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili asked EDF on Friday to take measures to improve the security of electricity supply, after the shutdown of several nuclear reactors, raising fears tensions this winter .
In a press release issued by the Minister, it is indicated that EDF was asked to act “to strengthen the security of supply in the short term, as well as to conduct an independent audit on industrial control and the optimization of reactor outages, in order to strengthen the availability of French nuclear power plants in the medium term”
A winter under “particular vigilance”
EDF announced on Wednesday evening that it had decided to shut down the two nuclear reactors at Chooz (Ardennes) “as a precautionary measure”, and to extend the shutdown of the two reactors at the Civaux (Vienne) power plant, after the detection of defects near welds of pipes of the safety injection circuit of this one.
Even before the revelation of these problems, the manager of the electrical network RTE predicted a winter under “particular vigilance” as regards security of supply for France, which almost 30 depends on nuclear power to produce its electricity, the health crisis having affected the maintenance schedule.
A requested audit
RTE estimated on Friday that the security of supply was “well ensured during the week next ”and is due to update its forecast for January towards the end of the year. Barbara Pompili, who received EDF CEO Jean-Bernard Lévy on Friday, asked him “to implement all relevant means to increase the availability of EDF production resources and also seek to promote the flexibility of its consumer customers ”.
“ She also asked the company to conduct an independent audit on the industrial control of reactor outages ”, with a progress report expected before mid-March, the ministry said. The government had already regretted the shutdown of 20% of the French nuclear fleet at the end of November. The Minister of Industry Agnès Pannier-Runacher had suggested “raising our level of requirement for the availability of the park”, believing that “we can collectively do better”.