French heatwave causes two nuclear plants to reduce power output

According to Reuters: Electricité de France (EDF) said it expects power generation to be limited at two nuclear power plants along the Rhone river in eastern France due to high temperature forecasts, a few days ahead of similar warnings last year, but affecting fewer plants.In mid-July, hot weather could halve the available power supply at each of the 3.6 gigawatt (GW) Bugis and 2.6 GW St. Alban’s nuclear plants. Water temperatures at the Bougie plant had already exceeded the threshold on July 9 where generation output is limited, according to Lufthansa.

A spokesman for EDF said the company was committed to adapting its power generation facilities to climate change. Since 2000, high river temperatures have caused losses of just 0.3% of power generation. Électricité de France has previously said that a study it carried out showed that last year’s high temperatures had no impact on biodiversity. However, a study carried out by French nuclear watchdog ASN found a slight increase in algae and plankton growth around the Bougie nuclear power plant during the heatwave, while fish populations at the St. Alban’s plant were affected throughout the fall.

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