According to a report in French magazine Capital, of 450 dams inspected by EdF, 200 showed signs of dilapidation, including cracks, leaks and corrosion with those at Mauzac in the Dordogne region and at Viclaire in Savoie among the worst. Capital cited a confidential EdF report written last year after the company ordered a full inspection of all of its dams following an incident at the Tuillieres damn on the Dordogne.

“The technical risks found at the hydroelectric plants were measured and a €500 million (US$656 million) investment programme (between 2007 and 2011) should respond to all maintenance needs,” EdF said, adding, “The average age of EdF’s hydroelectric plants is only 50 years and they attain satisfactory levels of performance and safety.”