Cruas nuclear plant (Credit: EDF)EDF has cut its forecast for nuclear energy production this year after suspending operations at the three units of the Cruas nuclear plant in the Ardeche region following an earthquake on 11 November.

The 5.4 magnitude earthquake was felt across a wide area between the cities of Lyon and Montelimar, especially in Teil, just 15km from the plant.

The reactors were shut down for checks, as required by the law, although no damage has so far been found. EDF continued to operate its Bugey, Saint-Alban and Tricastin nuclear plants, which are located in the surrounding area.

EDF said it was cutting its projection for nuclear energy production this year to 384-388TWh, down from the previous forecast of 390TWh. The original forecast of 395TWh had previously been cut in October due to outages at Flamanville 2 and Paluel 4, and the unplanned shutdown of the Flamanville 1.

EDF expects the Cruas units to come back online on 2, 6, and 16 December. The results of the inspections will be forwarded to the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (Nuclear Safety Authority) for final clearance to restart.

Nuclear electricity generation in France fell by 1.8 TWh to 288.2TWh in the nine months to the end of September, compared with the same period in 2018.

Photo: Cruas nuclear plant (Credit: EDF)