PARIS, Nov 8 (Reuters) - French utility EDF said prolonged safety checks in 2016 - which spilled into its nuclear outage planning this year - and competency constraints faced by suppliers led to the high number of outages ahead of this winter.
Dominique Miniere, head of EDF’s nuclear fleet, told a French parliament commission hearing that teams at the state-controlled utility were doing everything to have more reactors ready, particularly during the peak winter demand period in January and February.
Some 20 out of EDF’s 58 nuclear reactors are currently offline for planned maintenance, refuelling or for safety checks and repairs ordered by French nuclear regulator ASN.
Seventeen of the 20 reactors are expected to resume production by the end of November.
French nuclear power availability is currently at 66.8 percent of capacity compared with over 90 percent needed in the heart of the winter season. (Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)