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EDF has signed green bank loans for a total some €5.8bn ($6.3bn), partly in dollars and partly in Japanese yen, with a maturity of 3-5 years. The funding, which will be used to finance the life extension of its existing nuclear fleet in France, is in line with EDF’s Green Financing Framework and is aligned with the European taxonomy. In July 2022, the European Parliament voted to include certain nuclear and gas activities within the European Union's list of officially approved "green" investments.

This funding was concluded with major international banks including BNP Paribas, Bank of America, CIB Agricultural Credit (including the extension of a €1bn green loan signed in October 2022), ING, Natixis CIB, Société Générale, and Wells Fargo. In addition, EDF signed a bank loan of €300m with a five-year maturity to finance its general needs.

In 2011, EDF announced its Grand Carénage life extension programme for the nuclear fleet with plans for investment of some €55bn by 2025 for upgrades to NPPs to enable their continued operation beyond 40 years. The investment was revised to €45bn in 2018, and again in 2020 to €49.4bn.

French regulator Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) in 2021 listed the conditions for continued operation of EDF's 900 MWe pressurised water reactors (PWRs) beyond 40 years to ensure the safe operation of the units for a further 10 years. Unit 1 of the Tricastin NPP in August 2023 became the first reactor licensed to operate beyond 40 years.

EDF’s 32 operating 900 MWe reactors began operation between 1977 and 1988, and include the oldest plants. These operate at the Blayais, Bugey, Chinon, Cruas-Meysse, Dampierre, Gravelines, Saint-Laurent and Tricastin NPPs. EDF also operates more modern 1300 MWe and 1450 MWe N4 PWRs.

Image: Tricastin nuclear power plant (courtesy of EDF)

Date: Wednesday, 15 May 2024
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