Imminent power shortage – nuclear power plants: France issues special regulations for water cooling – News

  • Due to the risk of power shortages, five French nuclear power plants are allowed to return to rivers warmer than usual cooling waters until mid-September.
  • This exception is intended to prevent power plants from having to reduce or interrupt power generation.
  • This was stated in a decree published in the French Official Gazette on Saturday.

For each nuclear power plant in France, the temperature that may not actually be exceeded is set very specifically so as not to endanger the flora and fauna of the river. This has now been partially relaxed.

Due to maintenance work and technical problems, only about half of France’s 56 nuclear reactors are currently operating. Due to early heat waves this year, two nuclear power plants have already been temporarily choked since May so that the rivers do not heat up too much.

Because rivers carry less water after less winter and spring precipitation, they are warmed more quickly by the cooling water that is returned.

Bale has often been off in the recent past

The exceptional rules now identified relate to the nuclear power plants at Golfech on the banks of the Garonne, Blayais on the Gironde, Saint-Alban, Tricastin and Bugey on the Rhone. According to the decree, the introduction of warmer cooling water now allowed “is accompanied by stricter environmental control.”

As early as mid-July, an exception was issued – then limited to three weeks – to the usual regulations on water temperature for piles in Golfech, Blayias and Saint-Alban. A total of five power plants are now allowed to bring warmer-than-normal water into rivers through 9/11.

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In recent years, French nuclear power plants have been closed several times when rivers have warmed too much. However, there was an exception in the cooling water temperature in 2018 at the nuclear power plant in Golfech.

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