French nuclear capacity almost restored

France is set to have its usual nuclear power capacity almost completely restored by mid-January, after a number of plants come back online following inspections.

Only 4 out of 58 nuclear power plants will be offline by the middle of next month, and power prices have fallen sharply, as worries about shortages eased. Gravelines nuclear power plant

EDF confirmed on Monday that seven nuclear reactors shut down for safety checks would be up and running again by the end of December and there would be no problem with power supplies this winter.

The company said its reactors were safe and also confirmed revised 2016 targets for nuclear production of 378-385 terawatt hours, as well as for its core earnings.

Grid operator RTE said that three of the seven reactors offline - Gravelines 2, Dampierre 3 and Tricastin 3 - would resume production from December 20th and that four more would restart before December 31st.

The seven reactors are among 12 that have been slated for inspections under orders from the nuclear regulator ASN following the discovery of high carbon concentrations, which could weaken their steel.

"For the January and February months we will be in a configuration that is similar to previous years and there is no reason to think we will not have the power required to meet customers' needs," Dominique Miniere, head of EDF's French nuclear network, told reporters on a call.

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