Will France ever run out of electricity? Hardly believable in the homeland of nuclear power! By the admission of EDF officials, France is no longer immune to power cuts on very cold days. Here’s why. on January 8, RTE , the subsidiary of EDFin charge of balancing electricity supply and demand, invited households to reduce their consumption in order to avoid a bad surprise. The production capacities, ie 88,200 megawatts, were indeed just sufficient to cover the needs (88,000 megawatts). The day went off without a hitch, but ” the winter of 2020-2021 remains under special vigilance, mainly because of the health crisis,” RTE made a point of clarifying . If the weather conditions turn out to be normal, then no difficulty will be expected with the electricity supply. On the other hand, in the event of a cold snap, difficulties could arise ”. An elegant way to ask us to prepare the candles … Name of a pylon, but how did it come to this, in a country supposedly king of nuclear energy ? The first reason is precisely the state of disrepair of our atomic park. In the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report for 2020, written by a group of international experts led by Mycle Schneider, the chapter devoted to France is particularly harsh for our national electrician. It reveals that the number of days of unavailability of its 58 reactors exploded in 2019, reaching 96.2 on average. This represents more than three months of closure each year for each of our plants. ! Suddenly, the load factor of the tricolor nuclear fleet (in other words its real production compared to its capacities) does not exceed 68.1%, an extremely low figure. By way of comparison, other nuclear countries, such as the United States, show performances close to 90%.
World Nuclear Industry Status Report 21st March 2021 read more »