EDF's nuclear output availability falls in 2007

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

PARIS, Feb 20 (Reuters) - EDF said on Wednesday its nuclear output availability rate dropped by 3.4 percentage points to 80.2 percent in 2007 due to heavy works on its steam generators and low production levels at its Paluel plant.

EDF said the work on its steam generators was likely to continue through 2008 and into 2009.

Works on the steam generators would impact availability at its plants by 2 percent in 2008 and 2 percent in 2009, EDF said.

"EDF's nuclear availability rate was at 83.6 percent at the end of 2006, and this fell to 80.2 percent at the end of 2007," EDF Chief Financial Officer Daniel Camus said at a presentation of the group's 2007 results.

Half of the unavailability was due to lower production at the 1,300-megawatt (MW) Paluel power plant and the other half was due to heavy works on steam generators on the group's 900 MW and 1,300 MW nuclear reactors.

EDF said it planned in the next three to four years to reach an availability rate at its nuclear plants of 85 percent, which would be a new record for the company.

EDF stopped its Cruas reactor number 2 for over four months last year to clean its steam generators, a fault the company said it had not foreseen.

It also stopped its 1,300-MW nuclear reactor 1 at the Cattenom plant last week with works expected to last until June. (Reporting by Muriel Boselli; editing by James Jukwey)

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