EDF forced to reduce its electricity production due to heat

The too high temperatures of the Rhône and the Garonne prevent water rejection in these rivers by certain nearby nuclear power plants.


The heat wave is added to the multiple setbacks of EDF. While the thermometer gets carried away everywhere in France, and the water comes in places to miss, the energetician indicated, Friday August 5, having to reduce his production again, because of the heat. In fact, the power plants that must pump water to cool their reactors are subject to regulatory limits of rejection temperature in the rivers that line them.

Currently, two power stations are affected, that of Golfech (Tarn-et-Garonne) and that of Bugey (Ain), while the group had warned, Thursday, August 4, that it could also stop A reactor from that of the Tricastin (Drôme). In Golfech, one of the reactors saw its power lowered. “At the request of the national electricity network manager RTE, the production unit number 2 of the Golfech power station remains in production (minimum power) [which corresponds to 300 megawatts (MW) against 1,300 MW normally] in Respecting the provisions provided for by the decree of September 18, 2006, “said EDF in a press release.

These measures provide that higher thresholds are established “in the event of exceptional climatic conditions”. Which, in this case, is the case in Golfech, where the temperature of the Garonne has reached 28 ° C. For its part, the Bugey power station – which has also been the subject of temporary derogations to raise these thresholds – had to reduce the power of two of its reactors. “The production units number 2 and 5 have been maintained on the network in compliance with the provisions relating to exceptional climatic situations,” said the group, which raises a temperature of the Rhône of more than 25 ° C.

Dams and power plants also

The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) also extended until September 11, the environmental derogation, which initially ran until August 7, already benefited from four power stations in order to continue their operation. “ASN also authorized, Thursday, August 4, a fifth authorization to derogation, concerning that of Tricastin, it was added to the Ministry of Energy Transition, which still has to formally endorse this decision. When this decision is approved by The State, the power plants of Bugey, Blayais [Gironde], Golfech, Saint-Alban [Isère] and Tricastin will benefit from a derogation until September 11. “

For the time being, EDF puts the scope of these hazards, indicating that, since 2000, production losses have represented an average of 0.3 % of the annual production of the park. Nevertheless, this year, these decreases intervened earlier than usual – from May. “Since the beginning of 2022, 470 Gigawattheures [GWH] have been lost compared to 2021 because of the weather,” we calculate at Callendar, a French start-up that assesses the impact of climate change on the park nuclear. This is still limited, corresponding to 0.13 % of total nuclear electricity production.

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/Media reports.