EDF lowers annual output forecast to 300 TWh

16 April 2020

EDF estimates that the coronavirus pandemic will reduce its annual nuclear output in France to about 300 terawatt hours this year and to 330-360 TWh each year in 2021 and 2022. The estimate is down from an initial expectation of 375-390 TWh before the outbreak.

EDF's Blayais nuclear power plant (Image: EDF)

EDF has extended outages at three nuclear reactors, including Flamanville units 1 and 2, by five months until the end of October, Reuters reported today. The reactors have been offline since September and January 2019, respectively, for maintenance and had been scheduled to resume production at the end of May.

"In response to the public-health crisis, EDF has made adjustments to all its activities in order to protect personnel working on its nuclear power plants," the French state-owned utility announced today. "The execution of work that was due to be performed during the maintenance outages has been significantly affected, thereby reducing power output capacity. EDF is consequently adjusting its maintenance outage plan in order to optimise output capacity," it added.

The economic slow-down as a result of lockdowns has brought about a drop in electricity consumption, which could potentially fall by 20% of usual levels, thereby resulting in reduced nuclear output, it said. By ‘usual levels', the company referred to customers counted at the end of 2019 per delivery site, with each customer able to have two delivery points - one for electricity and another for gas.

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

EDF announced on 14 April that it had withdrawn its financial targets for 2020 and 2021. These targets include the lower end of the forecast range for its core earnings in 2020 of EUR17.5 billion (USD19 billion).

Asked if EDF’s targets included EDF Energy, a spokesman for the latter said: “EDF in the UK is not a listed company and does not publish UK-specific financial targets so nothing further will be coming from us.”

Researched and written by World Nuclear News