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How EDF’s Sinking Nuclear Output Sent Power Prices to Records

  • Start of 5 reactors delayed after watchdog asks for more data
  • EDF cuts nuclear output target for third time amid halts
Power transmission lines hang from electricity pylons as the cooling towers of Electricite de France SA's (EDF) nuclear power plant emit vapor in Bugey, France, on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014. EDF's deal with the U.K. to build the nation's first new nuclear plant in two decades faces an in-depth investigation by the European Union, which must approve large state subsidies.
Photographer: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg

Extended outages at some of Electricite de France SA nuclear reactors have sent European power prices to records. On Thursday, the world’s biggest operator of atomic plants cut its 2016 output target for a third time after the regulator asked for more information on five units that had completed required safety checks.

ASN, the watchdog, requested extra checks after an investigation found flaws in large steel components made by Areva SA and Japan Casting & Forging Corp. Nuclear availability was 69 percent on Friday, compared with 81 percent at the same time last year, according to grid data compiled by Bloomberg. EDF’s 58 reactors generate about 73 percent of the nation’s power.