Almost 500 anomalies found in nuclear components – EDF

14 September 2017 16:46 Source:ICIS

Fresh information about anomalies discovered in nuclear reactors operated by French power incumbent EDF fed into an already bullish French power market on Thursday.

EDF has detected 471 anomalies in nuclear components used in twelve reactors, although none of them would endanger the safety of the units, the company said in a statement.

The news was considered a supporting factor for gains on the French electricity curve on Thursday with the winter quarters reacting particularly strongly.

The Q4‘17 and Q1’18 Baseload contracts opened the session on fresh highs, with prices dipping slightly in the late morning before recovering again in the afternoon.

“The EDF story caused the strong buying in the morning. Afterwards it was sold a bit as it [EDF] also states that it should not affect operations.

“Still [there is] obviously high uncertainty,” one trader active on the French market said.

The front quarter traded at €53.05/MWh, while the Q1’18 changed hands at €56.45/MWh shortly before the ICIS market close at 16:00 London time.

Bullish coal and emissions prices were additional drivers for the French power market on Thursday.

Anomalies

EDF said it had submitted twelve summary reports to the French nuclear safety authority ASN relating to 309 nuclear components of which EDF has found 471 anomalies and 130 non-conformance deviations (click here to read report).

Anomalies imply that a component does not comply with a contractually binding or statuary requirement. Non-conformance, by contrast, is a deviation that relates to one of manufacturer Areva’s own standards.

To date, EDF has found the most anomalies - 93 in total - in the 910MW Bugey 3 nuclear unit, followed by the 1.3GW Paluel 4 reactor with 55 anomalies detected.

The market has been particularly sensitive to any information about French nuclear availability since 16 August when safety watchdog ASN ordered EDF to provide documentation of nuclear components manufactured by Areva’s foundry Creusot Forge on suspicion of doctored paperwork (click here to read story).

EDF has to submit information no later than two months before the restart of each reactor offline for maintenance and refuelling (click here . to read ICIS briefing on French nuclear problems). herman.moestue@icis.com

By Herman Moestue