Strike causes outages at French NPPs

30 May 2016

French NPPs suffered a series of unplanned outages on 26 May after trade unions at power company EDF joined a nationwide strike against the government's planned labour reforms. At least 11 of France's 58 reactors suffered outages, according to grid operator RTE, lowering output by about 5GWe, or 6% of total nuclear capacity. Members of the CGT union at France's 19 NPPs voted on 25 May to join the strike. EDF is required to maintain a minimum output level to prevent power cuts during any strike action and the lower nuclear power output should not be noticed by the public. However, the fall does mean higher costs for EDF, already under financial strain, as it must bring on line more expensive coal- and gas-fired plants and increase electricity imports. France's power imports, mostly from Germany and Switzerland, rose to about 3.3GWe from approximately 800MWe in the morning of 26 May, RTE data showed. Some 10% of EDF's staff were participating in the strike, a company spokeswoman said. RTE said the outages were not having an immediate effect on electricity supply, but "if it worsens, it will have an impact on the management of the network".



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