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EDF's Bugey-5 nuclear reactor restarts after 23-month shutdown (France)

25 Jul 2017

EDF's Bugey-5 nuclear reactor (Ain department, France) restarted operations after 23 months of shutdown for the reparation of its containment building. The 880 MW unit is now reconnected to the grid at reduced capacity and is expected to reach full capacity at the end of July. The plant was stopped in August 2015 because of a containment leakage issue and the restart date has been postponed several times until now. EDF had little room for manoeuvrer for the restart which had to take place before the end of the 2-year window in order to avoid definitive shutdown, according to the French energy transition law.

The Bugey nuclear power station is France's oldest nuclear power plant after Fessenheim and consists of five 880 MW pressurized water reactors (PWRs), commissioned respectively in 1972, 1978 and 1979. Bugey-1 was stopped in 1994 and in January 2017, the French nuclear watchdog ASN (Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire) approved the restart of the Bugey-4 unit. The ASN extended Bugey-2's lifespan from 40 years to 50 years, and the reactor is expected to be decommissioned in 2029 instead of 2019.

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