French Nuclear Cuts Extend to Next Week as Temperatures Soar via Bloomberg

  • Reactor availability has shrunk to just 46%, pushing up prices
  • Paris is set to see temperatures of almost 40 degrees Celsius


Lars Paulsson,

Priscila Azevedo Rocha, and

Todd GillespieJuly 15, 2022 at 3:25 AM CDTUpdated onJuly 15, 2022 at 6:21 AM CDT

Electricite de France SA’s nuclear-output cuts are expected to stretch into next week as a heat wave sweeping across Europe pushes up river temperatures, restricting EDF’s ability to cool its plants.


Under French rules, EDF must reduce or halt nuclear output when river temperatures reach certain thresholds to ensure that the water used to cool the plants won’t harm the environment when put back into the waterways.


France’s nuclear reactors were operating at 46% of capacity on Friday, down from 47% on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg calculations using data from grid operator RTE.

The supply constraints have seen French week-ahead power jump 18% since last week to 500 euros a megawatt-hour on the European Energy Exchange AG. That would be the highest weekly close on record. Year-ahead prices are also trading at an all-time high.


Temperatures are forecast to peak in France, Germany and the UK early next week, while heat waves in central and southern Europe may last longer. Paris could see 38 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit) on Tuesday.

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