The modernisation of the French nuclear fleet is the “best means of producing competitive electricity by 2030”, according to a spokesman for power incumbent EDF. Yet market observers are divided on the ability of the company to bear the costs. EDF plans to invest a total of €51bn over the period 2014-2025, increasing its annual investment commitments to €4.2bn from €3bn. The operating cost of the French nuclear industry will reach €55.00/MWh, according to the company’s own calculations, while the wholesale power price for delivery in 2019 has not been above €33.00/MWh this year, despite the government’s plans to introduce a carbon price floor in 2017. The average age of French nuclear reactors is now 30 years and the oldest reactors will reach the originally intended lifespan of 40 years in 2017. The lifespan is not fixed by law and extensions are considered case by case on the basis of ten-year reviews. The first reactor to undergo its fourth ten-year review will be the 915MW Tricastin 1 in 2019.
ICIS 6th June 2016 read more »