Third of French nuke plants off line

3rd November 2009, Comments 0 comments

Almost a third of France's 58 nuclear reactors were off line Monday due to a maintenance and refuelling backlog, as power bosses warned they would have to import massive amounts of energy.

PARIS - The EDF power company refused to say how many power plants were out of service, but a telephone survey on nuclear sites by AFP confirmed that at least 19 reactors were down and one operating at 60 percent capacity.

France relies on nuclear power for 76 percent of its consumption, and the RTE power distribution firm warned last week that it could be forced to import energy from neighbouring markets for two months from mid-November.

EDF workers staged a strike earlier this year and some key maintenance and refuelling jobs are running behind schedule, although unions accused the firm of risking breakdowns by farming out repairs to sub-contractors.


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