A nuclear reactor in France shut down due to drought


PARISA nuclear power plant in northern France has been temporarily closed due to a drought in the region, the company that manages the plant said on Tuesday.

The second reactor at the Chooz nuclear power plant, in the Ardennes, on the Belgian border, was shut down late Monday evening, after the operation of the first reactor stopped on Friday evening.

The measures were taken because of the low water levels in the Meuse, the main artery that crosses the area used to cool the two reactors.

The factory owes its name to Chooz, the town where it is located in the Ardennes. The region is at level three of the four drought alert levels.

In a statement on its website, the French energy company EDF, which manages the plant, gave the reasons for the closure.

“Monday at 11:30 p.m. [2130GMT], given the current climatic conditions and in accordance with the agreement between France and Belgium, the plant teams have stopped the operation of reactor number one. ”

The company assured that, given the forecast of rain to come, the two reactors should be operational in the coming days.

Safety issues were ruled out as a cause of reactor suspension.

Water is a crucial ingredient for the safety of nuclear power plants to cool the reactor core.

In 2019, the plant produced 4.7% of French nuclear power, or 17.9 billion kilowatt-hours, according to documents the company shared with Radio France International. The two reactors operate at a capacity of 1,450 megawatts and date from 1996 and 1997.

Water restrictions were imposed this summer in 79 of the 96 metropolitan departments of France due to drought conditions.

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