* Aims to postpone to Feb/Mar
* Three reactors due to return by Dec 20, four by Dec 31
* Outages do not affect 2016, 2017 targets
France's EDF asked nuclear safety authority ASN to postpone the outage of the 1.5-GW Civaux-1 and the 900-MW Tricastin-2 reactors to March and February respectively, while confirming the restart of the remaining four reactors due back online on December 31.
"We asked for Tricastin-2 to be delayed towards February and Civaux-to to March," an EDF spokesman said Monday, speaking during a press call. "If the reply is positive it will be easier for us."
The Civaux-1 and Tricastin-2 reactors are currently both due to go offline December 23 and return on January 15.
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Of the two reactors taken offline or due to be taken offline in December, EDF said the 900-MW Fesssenheim-1, which went off the grid for safety tests on December 10, should return to the grid within approximately three weeks.
The remaining 900-MW Gravelines-4 reactor will be taken offline as planned on December 17, EDF said, with its return expected January 10.
"The objective is for us is to bring the reactors back online by 3-4 January when demand is due to return after the holidays," the EDF spokesman said.
Over the weekend, EDF brought forward the restart of three reactors cleared by ASN to December 20. The three reactors -- 900-MW Tricastin-3, Gravelines-2 and Dampierre-3 -- were previously slated to return online December 31.
These three reactors are among the seven units that received a conditional greenlight from ASN last week.
The remaining four are due to return as planned on December 31, EDF said Monday. These are the 900-MW Bugey-4, Tricastin-4, Tricastin-1 and the 1.5-GW Civaux-2.
Market players have been concerned in particular about the restart of Tricastin-4 and Bugey-4, after ASN last week said it needed more information from EDF in order to finalize its generic decision on the safety of the reactors
"The only difficulty we could have is regarding the Tricastin plant, with more reactors on the same site set to restart on the same day on December 31. We have to prioritize them, we have to take extra care, but otherwise there are no concerns, we will adjust the production accordingly," the spokesman said.
EDF also confirmed its 2016 nuclear output target of 378-385 TWh and its 2017 target of 390-400 TWh. It said it aims to have a nuclear availability of 90% in January.
--Ana-Maria Tolbaru, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Lisa Miller, email@example.com