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Responding to increased summer heat stress for nuclear power plants

Submitted by Élyse Fournier 10th August 2017 3:47

“La centrale nucléaire de Belleville” by François Goglins licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 


In recent years, summers warmer than average have increased stress on nuclear power plants. During the European summer 2003 heat wave, Électricité de France (EDF) was required to limit the production of several of its nuclear reactors due to maximum water discharge temperature regulations. As a response to the heat wave, EDF developed a Climate Change Strategy to address the risks associated with changes in climate extremes and normal and commissioned research in strategic field. EDF has become a world leader in climate change adaptation by investing in a portfolio of preventive actions. EDF increased the cooling capacity of two nuclear plants. EDF also benefits from a sophisticated in-house meteorological and hydrologic forecasting system. Finally, a risk-management unit coordinates responses and stakeholder management during climate-related crises. 

At a Glance

Industry sector: Generation
Type of resources: Nuclear
Type of energy: Electricity
Adaptation type: Informational Climate services Management Regulatory exemptions and contracts Insurance and financial risk management Design and operation standards, guidelines, tools and schedules Physical New generation, carrying and transformation capacity
Organization: EDF
Organization type: Utility