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France fears for its energy supply

Cattenom nuclear power plant

The nuclear power plant near the German border is known for its susceptibility to errors.

(Photo: dpa)

Paris Not long ago, French nuclear power looked almost compassionately at Germany’s dependence on gas imports. Ironically, at a time when prices are high and deliveries from Russia are low, the French are more dependent on gas than they have been for a long time. The country’s eleven gas-fired power plants are operating at full capacity.

The reason: France has a problem with its nuclear reactors, which are considered to be guarantors of energy policy sovereignty and cover about 70 percent of the electricity supply in normal times. About half of the 56 reactors have been inactive for months and a hot, dry summer threatens to exacerbate the situation.

According to the state-owned energy company EDF, twelve reactors were temporarily suspended from the grid to check the pipelines of the emergency cooling system for smaller cracks. The team took the precautionary measure after signs of corrosion damage were discovered in older systems in December.

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