France’s EDF flags problems with nuclear welds, shares dive

PARIS- EDF has been informed of anomalies in welds on some steam generators and components used in nuclear reactors, it said on Tuesday, sending shares in the French power provider sharply lower.

France has the world’s second largest fleet of nuclear reactors behind the United States and has exported its technology to China, Finland, South Africa and South Korea with Britain also set to use it.

“(French nuclear conglomerate) Framatome has informed EDF of a deviation from technical standards governing the manufacture of nuclear-reactor components,” EDF said in a statement.

EDF shares fell by more than 7% in early trading.

“The market does not know what to make of it. People fear the worst initially until there are further details,” a London-based energy trader said.

EDF said it was investigating to ensure all reactors and components were fit for service.

“EDF informed the French nuclear regulatory authority of its initial investigations,” the power group said. “EDF will provide additional information as characterization work progresses.”

France’s ASN nuclear safety authority did not respond to requests for immediate comment.



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