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German nuclear outages to stretch deeper into January amid delays

London (Platts)--30 Dec 2016 1230 pm EST/1730 GMT


German nuclear outages will stretch deeper into January after RWE and EnBW delayed the planned return dates of two reactors amid additional maintenance on top of the planned short refueling stops due to the nuclear fuel tax expiry at the end of this year, the latest transparency data shows.

EnBW delayed the return of the 1.4 GW Philippsburg 2 reactor by another two weeks to January 30. The reactor was taken offline earlier than planned before Christmas due to repairs needed to the ventilation and emergency cooling systems, which the operator had to upgrade to category 1 on the INES incident scale. RWE also pushed back the planned return date of its Gundremmingen C reactor to January 6 as well as the Emsland return to January 7 from an initial return date of January 1, although many market participants were skeptical about the indicative January 1 return date.

Another three German reactors are scheduled to come offline for unprecedented winter refueling stops in January and February, plant operator data shows.

Behind the unprecedented maintenance schedule is the expiry of Germany's nuclear fuel tax on December 31, but with recent statements highlighting more the additional maintenance work on the reactors. Traditionally, nuclear power plants in Germany have their annual maintenance and refueling stops scheduled during the second and third quarter over the summer months.

--Andreas Franke, andreas.franke@spglobal.com

--Edited by Maurice Geller, maurice.geller@spglobal.com




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