Coal-fired power stations are due to close in 2022. However, since mid-September, the authorities have asked the Saint-Avold (Moselle) site to restart for about twenty days. A rare decision for the Force Ouvrière union, and motivated by the drop in electricity production in recent months. At present, 22 of the 56 nuclear reactors in France are under maintenance; work that was delayed during the coronavirus pandemic.
So, in the event of a big cold snap, the authorities warn: power cuts could occur. A minimal risk, according to Didier Julienne, energy expert. “The Covid crisis considerably reduces consumption, he assures. This involves restaurants that do not work, TGVs that work less, industries that work less (…). Consequently, a certain equilibrium was struck between a drop in production and a drop in consumption.“To avoid possible tensions, the authorities could ask businesses, as well as citizens, to consume less.