Weather alert for heat in France, Toulouse nuclear reactor shuts down

The strong heat wave that has hit Europe in recent days has not spared France which has recorded scorching temperatures that touch or exceed 40 degrees. In addition to the fires, other inconveniences have occurred: a nuclear reactor, number two of the Golfech plant about ninety kilometers from Toulouse, cannot restart due to the excessively high temperature of the cooling water.

Reactor stopped

French energy giant EDF announced yesterday that it has extended the shutdown of the Golfech 2 nuclear reactor (1.3 gigawatt) in southwestern France because the river water used to cool it has exceeded maximum temperatures. A company spokesman explained that, also due to technical problems, the restart of the reactor, which was supposed to restart on August 21st and has been offline since March 27th, has been postponed until Friday August 25th. According to data provided by Refinitiv, water temperature levels for cooling the Bugey plant and another reactor along the Rhône River in the southeast of the country will also exceed government guidelines by August 24.

Heat wave in France

Apart from nuclear power plants, the situation remains critical in a large part of France. On 21 August, a red alert was issued for four southern regions. This state of alert allows local authorities to cancel events and close public facilities if necessary. The departments concerned are the Rhône, the Drome, the Ardèche and the Haute-Loire.