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Responding to Increased Summer Heat Stress for Nuclear Power Plants

This Ouranos case study explores how EDF Nuclear Power Plants respond to increased summer heat stress.

Summary

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. 

Key take-away

Projected climate change can have a significant bearing on the performance of Best Available Techniques.

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