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Electricity prices rise due to failure of French nuclear power plants

Electricity prices rise due to failure of French nuclear power plants

Electricity prices rose in Europe after France unexpectedly shut down two nuclear power plants and kept two others off the grid for longer than expected. Belgian electricity prices have also reached a record level.

EDF is shutting down two reactors in Chauz, near the Belgian border, to check for any faults in the emergency cooling system. The checks come after defects were identified at a similar plant in Civaux. The four reactors account for 10 percent of France’s nuclear capacity.

The shutdown is making energy markets even more tense than they already are, as low temperatures are just expected. French and German electricity prices for delivery in 2022 soared to a record high.

This also applies to Belgian fares. These rose by 12 percent for delivery in 2022, to €235 per megawatt-hour.

If the shutdowns of Chooz and Civaux continue early next year, a third of France’s nuclear capacity will be out of use. Under normal circumstances, France provides electricity to its neighboring countries, but now it threatens to become an importer of electricity from fossil-combustion plants.

And the French Electricity Company lost 15.5 percent.

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