Nuclear energy plants in parts of Europe are being powered down because the hot weather has increased the risk of reactors getting dangerously hot or harming wildlife. Reactors are kept cool using water from rivers or the sea but water temperatures are far higher than normal. A reactor at Ringhals in Sweden has been closed after seawater reached 25C, the maximum temperature allowed under safety rules. If water is not cold enough it could result in “disaster”, Vattenfall, the power company, said. Two reactors in France operated by EDF Energy have reduced their output even though there is no safety risk. The company fears that discharging the heated water into the Rhône could harm fish and other organisms. The price of electricity in France has risen due to the restrictions as more people turn on their air conditioning. EDF said that nuclear plants in Britain were not affected because sea temperatures were lower than elsewhere.
Times 3rd Aug 2018 read more »