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Nuclear Power Production Curtailed in France, Worsening Europe’s Energy Crisis

August 4, 2022

High temperatures in river water are reportedly forcing Electricite de France SA (EDF) to cut power generation at some of its nuclear plants. The news is particularly troubling as several European nations struggle to cope with an energy crisis caused by gas cuts made by Russia in retaliation against sanctions placed on it due to the war in Ukraine.

River water is often used in many parts of the world to cool steam condensers at all types of thermal power plants, including at nuclear, coal, and gas-fired units. The water picks up heat as it passes through the condenser and returns to the river. However, regulators often place temperature restrictions on the cooling water to prevent harm to the environment, which could be caused if limits were exceeded.

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