July 31, 2018 / 9:10 AM / 19 days ago

France's EDF plans maintenance at Fessenheim reactors in 2019

PARIS, July 31 (Reuters) - French utility EDF published on Tuesday the planned maintenance schedule for its two Fessenheim reactors in 2019, signalling that the reactors could be operational until the second half of next year.

The reactors, which are the oldest in France, are expected to shut down when the new generation Flamanville 3 EPR reactor starts production.

EDF said last week that problems with weldings had forced it to delay the start-up date for the troubled Flamanville 3 to the second quarter of 2020. It said loading of the nuclear fuel was postponed to the fourth quarter of 2019.

EDF said in a note on its website that the 900 megawatts (MW) Fessenheim 1 will be halted for planned maintenance from Jan. 19 to March 20, 2019, while the similar capacity Fessenheim 2 will be halted for maintenance from May 18 to July 17.

EDF’s head of nuclear Dominique Miniere, said separately on Tuesday that it will communicate on Fessenheim reactor closure calendar today or in coming days.

In April 2017, France’s previous government signed a decree which said the Fessenheim nuclear power plant would stop electricity production by April 2020 once Flamanville 3 was operational. (Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta )

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