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One reactor at Cattenom nuclear plant back online

One reactor at Cattenom nuclear plant back online

by Yannick HANSEN 2 min. 09.07.2022 From our online archive
Production right across the border resumes in the same week that Luxembourg said it is planning to sue Brussels over labelling nuclear as "green energy"
Cattenom is one of France's largest nuclear power plants
Cattenom is one of France's largest nuclear power plants
Photo credit: AFP

France's problem-riddled Cattenom nuclear power plant - right on Luxembourg's doorstep - resumed production on Friday after operator EDF finished repair works on one of the plant's units.

Unit 2 at Cattenom, about 20 kilometres south of Luxembourg's border, had come offline last month to allow teams to resolve issues with a ventilation system, EDF said in a statement on Friday.

That meant the power plant completely stopped functioning, after reactor 1 shut down a month ago for maintenance, while the other two reactors, 3 and 4, are idle to allow “expert assessments”, EDF said.

Suspected corrosion has required the French energy giant to halt work at more than 50 reactors across the country, to enable lengthy checks and repairs just at a time that energy prices are soaring because of the war in Ukraine.

France took full control of the utility giant this week, adding the remainder of the shares to the 84% stake it owned already.

The news of Cattenom's partial resumption comes as the EU parliament approved a controversial green label for nuclear energy and natural gas, a decision that Luxembourg said it would sue the Commission in court over.

The green investments label would remove the last major barrier to billions of euros of funding from investors. Luxembourg politicians have long been united in their opposition against nuclear power, but two opposition parties recently broke that consensus in the absence of viable alternatives.

Troubles at Cattenom have long been a thorn in Luxembourg's side. The government raised concerns in a letter to the company in April after EDF found corrosion in reactor 3, calling to close all reactors

Luxembourg and Germany - another ardent opponent of nuclear energy - have long called for the closure of Cattenom, a movement that gained momentum after the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011.

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