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To address the energy shortfall, France is turning to coal and other fossil fuels, as well as imported power.
Despite the COP21 carbon emissions agreement, which recently went into force, France is now burning coal at its highest levels in 32 years.
EDF’s nuclear power plants (NPPs) provide up to 75% of France’s power needs.
Its NPPs are spread out over 19 sites and include 34 900-MW units, 20 1,300-MW units, and four 1,450-MW units.
“We are now finding carbon segregation problems from components coming from both Le Creusot and [the Kitakyushu-based Japan Casting & Forging Corp.] JCFC plant.
Additionally, prices in Germany, Europe’s largest power supplier, are also rising.One concerns the carbon content of critical steel parts, steam heat exchangers, and other components manufactured or supplied by AREVA SA, the French state-owned nuclear engineering firm and global producer of nuclear reactors.The second problem concerns forged, falsified, or incomplete quality control reports about the critical components themselves.Following parliamentary hearings on October 25, resulting in a wider probe and likely more plant shutdowns, on October 27, ASN confirmed with that the scope of the problem appears to be expanding.According to an ASN press relations officer, who requested anonymity in line with ASN rules, there are now a significant number of reactors offline, with more to be inspected in the next few weeks.