France's energy crisis worsened overnight when another nuclear power plant had to reduce electricity output. Power prices jumped as the government requested one of the largest utility companies to restart more nuclear reactors amid cold weather.
Following last week's shuttering of two nuclear power plants by Électricité de France S.A., commonly known as EDF, a French electric utility company primarily owned by the state, after safety inspections found cracks in at least one nuclear reactor, another one was closed Monday due to a worker strike.
EDF said an unplanned outage at the Bugey Nuclear Power Plant in eastern France was due to a strike. Output at reactor four was cut from 800 megawatts to 180 megawatts.
France's grid remains under pressure due to the recent nuclear power plant loss. The day-ahead power price rose to the highest level since 2009 on Sunday and was priced even higher on Monday.
European natural gas climbed above 143 euros.
At least 25% of the EDF's 56 atomic reactors are offline for maintenance. For some context, this is highly unusual for this time of year, considering the Northern Hemisphere winter is about to begin. A cold spell has sent much of the country into a deep freeze as power demand soars.
Like everywhere else in Europe, the power crisis in France has worsened Monday as power prices from France to Germany are at elevated levels.
German power prices hit a record on Monday.
EUROPEAN ENERGY CRISIS: Day-ahead electricity prices across much of Europe set fresh and frightening record highs. Germany jumps to an incredible €431 per MWh. At current prices, energy-intensive industries will rather shut down and re-sell their power on the spot market pic.twitter.com/GZFaxLEJei— Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) December 20, 2021
France's Ecology Minister Barbara Pompili has called on EDF to restart some nuclear power plants to avoid blackouts.
"I asked that EDF employees work to reopen them earlier in order face any possible shortages," Pompili said.
Temperatures are forecasted to hover around zero degrees Celsius in several European countries this week as the power crisis across Europe worsens.