PARIS (AP) – France’s Minister for Energy Transition Agnes Pannier-Runacher said on Friday that French electricity giant EDF has committed to restart all its nuclear reactors by this winter to help the country through the broad energy crisis.
She said the government is taking steps to “avoid restrictive measures” over energy use in the winter. France relies on nuclear energy for about 67 per cent of its electricity – more than any other country – and on gas for about seven per cent.
At the moment, 32 of the 56 France’s nuclear reactors, all operated by EDF, are shut down for maintenance and, in some cases, to repair corrosion problems.
“There’s a schedule that provides that starting from October, each week, a new (nuclear) plant is operational again,” Pannier-Runacher said.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne had warned that a worst-case scenario this winter could lead to rolling two-hour power cuts in French homes.
The government will “closely monitor” the situation of nuclear plants that reported corrosion issues. EDF “started taking action and they must confirm to us that it is progressing as they had planned”, Pannier-Runacher said.
France rolled out an “energy sobriety” plan in June, targetting a 10-per-cent reduction in energy use by 2024. Pannier-Runacher said the country’s strategic gas reserves were 92 per cent full.