France's EDF returns to profit as nuclear power generation rebounds

EDF (Electricite de France) headquarters, the main French electricity provider, is seen in the La Defense business district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, March 2023.
EDF (Electricite de France) headquarters, the main French electricity provider, is seen in the La Defense business district in Courbevoie near Paris, France, March 2023. Copyright Aurelien Morissard/Copyright {2023} The AP. All rights reserved.
By Angela Barnes
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French energy company EDF said on Friday that it returned to profit in 2023 as nuclear fleets reopened.

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The power giant reported a net profit of €10 billion for last year, compared to the €17.9 billion loss it posted in 2022. This was largely due to higher nuclear power output in 2023.

"In France, the 41.4TWh increase in nuclear power output to 320.4 Terawatt hour (TWh), in the upper end of the range announced for the year, illustrates EDF’s very good operational performance. 

"This turnaround was achieved by good management of the stress corrosion repairs and reactor outages, thanks to efficiency and reactivity of the teams to improve the fleet availability," a company statement said.

For this year, EDF confirmed it was aiming for a target of 315-345 TWh.

The company also highlighted that 46 reactors were online at the beginning of January 2024, representing total capacity of 50GW.

"15 of the 16 reactors most sensitive to stress corrosion were repaired by end-2023, and the last one will be repaired during its 10-year inspection which starts in February 2024. Additionally, the 2023 programme of checks on welds repaired during reactor construction has been completed," EDF said.

Meanwhile, it noted, the estimates of nuclear output in France are confirmed at 315-345TWh for 2024 and 335-365TWh for 2025 and 2026.

Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, England (file photo)
Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset, England (file photo)Kin Cheung/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved

EDF is also the owner of the Hinkley Point C power plant in the UK, which has taken a near €13bn hit after delays and cost overruns.

In the same statement, EDF said it had taken a €12.9 billion impairment charge on the project, which is now set to be completed by 2031 at a cost of around  €39 billion.

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