EDF revises 2020 forecast for French nuclear output

03 July 2020

EDF is revising upwards its nuclear output estimate in France for 2020, to around 315-325 terawatt-hours. In April, the French state-owned utility said it expected generation this year to be about 300 TWh, down from an initial expectation of 375-390 TWh before the coronavirus outbreak.

The six-unit Gravelines plant in northern France (Image: EDF)

In April, EDF said the economic slow-down as a result of lockdowns had brought about a drop in electricity consumption, which could potentially fall by 20% of usual levels, thereby resulting in reduced nuclear output. Working with transmission system operator RTE, and to help provide a continuous supply of power throughout the winter of 2020-2021, it said a number of nuclear reactors may have to be taken off line this coming summer and autumn in order to save fuel at these power plants.

Announcing the revised forecast yesterday, EDF said: "This revision reflects the adjustment of the duration of planned outages for 2020, taking into account the conditions observed on sites for resuming activities." It added, "The output estimate for 2021 and 2022 remains unchanged at this stage."

EDF also announced in April that it had withdrawn its financial targets for 2020 and 2021.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).

EDF operates 56 reactors at 18 sites in France, with a combined generating capacity of 61,370 MWe. Nuclear currently accounts for almost 75% of the country's electricity production.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News