France: Heat Wave Prompts Extended Higher Discharge Limits

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The French government this week extended an exemption to thermal discharge rules at certain EDF nuclear plants as a severe drought continued to batter much of France and Europe. This summer's brutal heat wave has arrived in the midst of a growing European energy crisis, and with power prices soaring to unprecedented levels, French regulators have been forced to back away from rules preventing the discharge of cooling water heated beyond a certain level. The move has prompted backlash from environmental organizations worried about its impact on wildlife populations, but public attention is for the most part focused on the forest fires and dried-up rivers that have resulted from the heat wave, and the human impact.

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