EDF decreases its annual nuclear output forecast for 2020

16 April 2020

French energy group EDF estimates that its nuclear output will be in the region of 300TWh in 2020, down 20% on previous forecasts.

EDF said on 23 March it would lower its 2020 nuclear power production target of 375-390TWh due to the coronavirus health crisis, but did not say by how much.

EDF, which operates 57 nuclear reactors in France, said that it has made adjustments to all its activities in order to protect personnel working on its nuclear plants.

"Work that was due to be performed during the maintenance outages has been significantly affected, thereby reducing power output capacity," EDF said today, adding that it is adjusting its maintenance outage plan in order to optimise output capacity.

EDF also noted that the economic slowdown has led to a drop in electricty consumption. French transmission system operator RTE said, 8 April, that electricity demand in the country had fallen by between 15% and 20% since the coronavirus lockdown.

Working alongside the transmission system operator (RTE), and to help provide a continuous supply of power throughout the winter of 2020-2021, EDF said a number of nuclear reactors may have to be taken offline this summer and autumn in order to save fuel on these power plants.

"In view of these facts, EDF estimates that its annual nuclear output will be in the region of 300TWh in 2020, whilst ranging from 330 to 360TWh each year in 2021 and 2022," a statement said.

In 2019, French reactors generated 379.5TWh of elecricity, accounting for 70% of net electricity production in the country, according to figues from the International Atomic Energy Agency's PRIS database.

Earlier this week EDF announced it had withdrawn its financial targets for 2020 and 2021 as the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic impacts key areas of its business.

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