October 25, 2019 / 8:51 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-French utility EDF lowers 2019 nuclear output forecast

(Adds details of EDF statement)

PARIS, Oct 25 (Reuters) - French utility EDF lowered its 2019 nuclear power generation forecast in France by 1.2 percentage points to around 390 terawatt hours (TWh) on Friday, citing prolonged maintenance outages of its reactors.

But it left its financial targets for 2019 and its ambitions for 2020 unchanged.

The company, which operates France’s 58 nuclear reactors covering around 75% of the country’s electricity needs, said the year was expected to be “particularly complex” because seven reactors were due to undergo 10-year maintenance overhauls.

“The overlapping of some intensive operations planned for the second half of the year affecting all plants is resulting in extensions to scheduled shutdowns,” EDF said in a statement.

An unplanned shutdown of its Flamanville 1 reactor for maintenance work on diesel generators, combined with weather conditions that led to more outages, forced it to review the output forecast, it said.

Nuclear electricity generation in France stood at 288.2 TWh at the end of September, down 0.6% compared with the same period last year.

The downward revision of its output forecast came a day after the country’s ASN nuclear regulator said EDF could continue operating nuclear reactors that have generators with defective welding.

Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten and Bate Felix; Editing by Nick Tattersall

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