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EDF extends nuclear reactor outages as virus outbreak hit maintenance plans

·1-min read
A logo of French electric company EDF is seen at an office building in La Defense business district in Courbevoie near Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - French utility EDF <EDF.PA> on Thursday extended outages at three nuclear reactors including the Flamanville 1 and 2 facilities by several months as it adjusts its maintenance schedule due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The utility said earlier on Thursday that it expected a sharp drop in its domestic nuclear power output to a record low in 2020 as a result of the fall in business activity caused by the coronavirus.

EDF extended the outages at the 1,300 megawatt each Flamanville 1 and 2 reactors in the north of France by five months until the end of October.

It had already reduced staffing at the nuclear power plant to around 100 from 800 because of a cluster of coronavirus outbreaks in the area.

The reactors have been offline since September and January 2019 respectively for maintenance and had been scheduled to resume production at the end of May.

The company said that the outages could be extended due to complex maintenance activities.

It extended the production shutdown at its 1,300 MW Paluel 2 reactor by four months until Dec. 31, saying the "duration of the outage maybe be longer due to technical issues requiring the implementation of a new and complex process".

The Paluel 2 reactor was halted in October for refuelling and maintenance and had been expected to resume on at the end of August.

(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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