PARIS — Strikes have affected 11 French nuclear power plants, an FNME-CGT power union representative said on Tuesday, delaying maintenance at 17 different reactors.
Power production was also reduced by 1.8 gigawatts (GW) at three other nuclear reactors, data from operator EDF showed.
Members of FNME-CGT have been staging rolling strikes at French nuclear power plants for several weeks over wages, heightening the risk of power supply shortages as the French utility struggles to get enough reactors back online for winter.
A wage agreement for the energy and gas industries sector was signed earlier, FNME-CGT representative Virginie Neumayer said. Negotiations will now be held at a company level with a first session with EDF due on Wednesday.
The restart date of at least six of EDF’s reactors have been moved back as the rolling strikes have expanded on some days to up to 11 nuclear plants over the past weeks.
A spokesperson for EDF confirmed that the strikes have moved the restart dates of the Cattenom 1 reactor by 11 days from that announced last Friday to Nov. 12, the Cruas 2 by two weeks to Nov. 13, and the Tricastin 3 by three weeks to Nov. 14.
Also, the restart of the Bugey 4 was pushed back four days to Nov. 1, the Cruas 3 five days to Oct. 25, and the Dampierre 3 three days to Nov. 27.
Maintenance operations are continuing on the reactors that are currently shutdown despite the strikes, an EDF spokesperson said on Monday.
The disruption could slow EDF’s plans to return the nuclear fleet from its recent low capacity after delayed maintenance and stress corrosion problems dropped production to a 30-year low in 2022.
The strike is part of a general strike on Tuesday that has affected train traffic, schools and other sectors. (Reporting by Forrest Crellin; Editing by Jon Boyle, Alexandra Hudson)