PARIS (Reuters) - French utility EDF said on Thursday that electricity generation at its 3,600 megawatts (MW) Tricastin nuclear plant could be restricted from Oct. 27 due to the forecast flow rate of the Rhone river where it draws water to cool the reactors.
The Tricastin plant in the southeast of France has four 900 megawatt reactors.
Low river levels and flow rate due to dry weather conditions have forced EDF, which operates France’s 58 nuclear reactors, to reduce power generation at several reactors in the past weeks.
EDF’s use of water from the rivers as a coolant is regulated by law to protect plant and animal life. It is obliged to reduce output during hot weather when water temperatures rise, or when river levels and the flow rate are low.
The company separately extended the outage at its 1,500 MW Chooz 1 reactor until Oct. 29 saying the duration of the outage due to environmental issues would be reassessed according to the weather forecast.
EDF had warned on Oct. 4 that power production at the Chooz nuclear plant could be impacted by the forecast flow of the Meuse river in the northeast of the country.
France’s available nuclear generation, which accounts for over 75 percent of its electricity needs was at 72.8 percent of capacity on Thursday. [POWER/FR]
Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta