19th October 2016 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Industry News

Production at five French nuclear reactors is set to be halted by EDF so they can undergo safety tests.

European power prices displayed strong gains yesterday afternoon as nuclear reactors in France were taken offline due to safety concerns. Units at the Fessenheim, Gravelines, Civaux and Tricastin power plants were all temporarily shut down, in addition to other forced outages at the request of safety officials.

The closures resulted in significant upward movement on the power curve across European markets, with gains also seen on the gas curve due to a rise in gas-fired power generation.

Tests are to be carried out ahead of schedule following requests from the nuclear power safety body, ASN. In total, 13 reactors were taken offline yesterday but six have now restarted, with the remaining seven set to return online soon. However, EDF have confirmed that five of its nuclear units will be taken offline before the end of the year, with the tests expected to take around three months to complete.

Further downtime cannot be ruled out over the next few months and it is thought that power supply could be tight this coming winter; hence the strong price increases for the December-16 and January-17 contracts.

Despite these concerns, a spokesman of EDF claims that these outages will not impact its power output forecast for 2016.