to cope with falling temperatures and strong heating demand, the nuclear safety Authority has authorized EDF to postpone the shutdown to control the reactor. On Tuesday, the minister of Energy has estimated that France was “too” dependent on the atom.
More than ever, in this period of great cold, the dependence of France on nuclear energy, is felt. To avoid power outages, the nuclear safety Authority (ASN) authorized on Wednesday, EDF to postpone the shutdown of a reactor, scheduled that day for the controls on his steam generator. This decision is valid at the latest until 17 march. Last week already, EDF had obtained permission to postpone the shutdown of another reactor Tricastin 2, in the Drome – for the same reasons.
The electricity supply in the country is worrying the authorities. An inter-ministerial meeting was held at this time at the Elysée about the “great cold”. On Tuesday, the minister of Energy and the Environment, Ségolène Royal, has recognized that there exist in France “too much dependence” on nuclear power. “We see it currently (…) as soon as there are several shutdown reactors for reasons of controls of nuclear safety by the ASN (nuclear safety Authority), one realizes that there is a voltage on the energy,” said Ségolène Royal during the vows to his ministry.
The minister stressed the need to rebalance the energy mix in France, on the basis of the law of energy transition. This law intends to reduce from 75% to 50% the share of nuclear in electricity production in 2025. “By changing its behaviour, we can save the output of four nuclear reactors,” said Ségolène Royal, adding that it also allowed to lower the price of electricity because “the more demand, the more pressure on prices”. The French heat mostly (38%) to electricity, with an average bill of 1726 euros, according to a study conducted by the site QuelleEnergie.fr.
“on the one side, there was a lot of waste and on the other side a fuel poverty with people who do not have the means of heating”. In France, a French on five just to pay his energy bills. Finding that there was “a margin for action to reduce the voltage on the current and energy poverty”, Ségolène Royal has “called for the extinction of all the offices at night”.
For his part, the manager of the electricity transport network RTE has ensured that France would be sufficiently supplied with electricity Wednesday, to face the cold wave. “The situation remains under strong vigilance” on Thursday and Friday, has also reported a spokesperson for the group during a conference call, “since the wave of cold will continue until the end of the week.”