EDF has announced yearly losses for 2022 of nearly 18 billion euros and debts of 64.5 billion euros, due in part to exceptional numbers of repairs to its fleet of nuclear reactors and a resulting drop in electricity production, a French government cap on energy prices for consumers, and EDF's legal obligation to sell electricity at a loss to smaller utility firms.
Not long ago, artisan bakers were doing well in France's villages, towns and city centres as Covid restrictions encouraged people to shop local. But that has all now changed with the cost of living crisis, as the rising price of energy and raw ingredients has put their finances under pressure. And with households also feeling the pinch from the cost of living squeeze, France's bakers say they cannot keep on putting up prices indefinitely in order to make ends meet. Mathias Thépot reports.
In an effort to lessen the energy supply crisis, utilities giant EDF has committed itself to bringing back into service by this coming winter all 32 of its 56 reactors in France that have been shut down for maintenance and repairs, energy transition minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher said on Friday.
Current heatwaves affecting France have forced utility giant EDF, which operates Europe's largest national fleet of nuclear reactors, to reduce output of plants situated alongside rivers in southern France because of the climbing temperatures of water used for cooling the facilities.
Last month, the French government announced it will re-nationalise utility giant EDF which, also last month, has reported historic first-half losses in 2022 of 5.3 billion euros. EDF’s financial woes are exacerbated by the unprecedented shut-downs due to repairs and maintenance of more than half its fleet of 56 nuclear reactors, and the government’s cap on electricity price rises. Martine Orange reports on the background to what is the most perilous situation the company has known in its 76 years of existence.
French state already owns 84% of EDF, which has been dogged by unplanned outages at its nuclear fleet, delays and cost overruns in building new reactors, and power tariff caps imposed by the government to shield households from soaring electricity prices.
French economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire on Friday announced the injection of 2.1 billion euros into the funds of the country's electricity-based utilty giant EDF, to help offset the halting for servicing of nuclear reactors, and the below-market-price supply of electricity, but also timed with the programme announced this week of the building of several more nuclear energy plants.
A massive leak of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, occurred earlier this month at the Tricastin nuclear power plant, one of the oldest in France, when subsequent radiation levels recorded in groundwater below it reached 28,900 becquerels per litre. Both the plant’s operator, EDF, and the French nuclear safety watchdog, the ASN, insist that the spill has been contained. But, as Jade Lindgaard reports, despite that claim it appears inevitable that that the radioactive effluent will pollute the local environment.
French utilities giant EDF this year decided to close its offices in Taiwan, a democratically self-governed archipelago which China vigorously lays claim to as a province of its own. Curiously, the move comes just as Taiwan launches an ambitious programme to develop renewable energies, an important sector for EDF. It also follows a lucrative deal EDF has signed with China for the construction of offshore wind parks. The French group, meanwhile, denies any link between the two events. Alice Hérait and Adrien Simorre report from Taiwan.
French utility giant EDF has announced that welding repair work ordered by France's nuclear power safety watchdog to its under-contsruction, third-generation nuclear reactor at Flamanville in northern France will add another 1.5 billion euros to the cost of the project, which is already running more than 7 billion euros over budget, while its entry into service, initially planned for 2012, is not now likely before 2023.
A plan to roll out millions of 'smart' meters across France to monitor household electricity consumption has suffered a setback after a court ordered EDF subsidiary Enedis, which manages the grid, to replace the connected 'Linky' meters at the homes of several of its customers after they complained of illnesses caused by the electronic field generated by the devices.
The French nuclear watchdog, the ASN, has ordered state-owned EDF to repair eight faulty weldings in the containment building of its EPR reactor at the Flamanville nuclear plant on the Channel coast, adding further woes to a project already well over budget and deadline, and which raises further questions over its EPR contracts in Finland and for the nuclear plant of Hinkley Point in south-west Britain.
France's nuclear saftey regulator, the ASN, has ordered utilities giant EDF to repair faulty welding at its EPR reactor under construction at Flamanville, northern France, initially due to enter service in 2012 but which has been dogged by a series of safety issues while also running well over its initial budget.