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Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant
Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant
Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant
Official nameCentrale nucléaire de Cattenom
LocationCattenom, Moselle, Grand Est
Coordinates49°24′57″N 6°13′5″E / 49.41583°N 6.21806°E / 49.41583; 6.21806
Construction beganUnit 1: October 29, 1979
Unit 2: July 28, 1980
Unit 3: June 15, 1982
Unit 4: September 28, 1983
Commission dateUnit 1: April 1, 1987
Unit 2: February 1, 1988
Unit 3: February 1, 1991
Unit 4: January 1, 1992
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePWR
Reactor supplierFramatome
Cooling towers4 × Natural Draft
Cooling sourceMoselle River, Lac du Mirgenbach
Thermal capacity4 × 3817 MWth
Power generation
Units operational4 × 1300 MW
Make and modelP'4 REP 1300
Nameplate capacity5200 MW
Capacity factor80.65% (2017)
73.78% (lifetime)
Annual net output36,739 GWh (2017)
External links
WebsiteCentrale nucléaire de Cattenom
CommonsRelated media on Commons

The Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant is a nuclear power plant located in Grand Est in the Cattenom commune, France, on the Moselle River between Thionville (7 km upstream) and Trier (48 km downstream). It is close to the city of Luxembourg (22 km) and Metz (32 km). It is the ninth largest nuclear power station in the world.


The site consists of 4 pressurized water reactors that were all built between 1979 and 1991 and have an electric output of 1300 MW each. The plant is a relatively modern and large nuclear power plant. In 2006 it produced the third most electricity (34 TWh) of the nuclear plants in France behind Gravelines (38.5 TWh) and Paluel (34.9 TWh).

The plant employs about 1200 regular employees and about 1000 more during outage times.

The station received its ISO 14001 certification in 2005, and gained its ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 in 2007.


The site uses 4 separate cooling towers which use 890,000,000 m3 (3.1×1010 cu ft) of water from the Moselle annually.[1] Additionally, a water reserve on site, Lake Mirgenbach, was created. The creation of this lake has led to the flooding of the subterranean portions of Ouvrage Kobenbusch, part of the Maginot Line. In 1985 an artificial lake was also created in the Pierre-Percée valley in the Vosges.

During the 2003 European heat wave the plant was permitted to pipe the waste heat water used for cooling directly into the Moselle river. The heating of the water in these cases is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius by prefectoral decree. Heating to 2.2 degrees was accidentally caused once.


  • In March 2001, the reactor building of Unit 3 was evacuated with 131 people, apparently due to a false alarm. No one was hurt and there were no radiation releases.[2]
  • Eight workers were exposed to radiation in March 2005.[3]
  • On March 12, 2008, an employee was exposed to about 1/20 of the annual maximum allowed dose.[4]
  • On 28 February 2013, two contract workers have died and a third seriously injured in an accident during maintenance work in a reactor building. They were working on a platform which appears to have become detached, dropping the workers several meters to the floor below.[5]
  • On June 7, 2013, the power transformer of unit 1 caught fire. The block turned itself off automatically and nobody was hurt.[6]
  • On June 11, 2013, the power transformer of unit 3 caught fire.[7] Polychlorinated biphenyl has been used in the construction of the transformer, which is known to be toxic and carcinogenic when inhaled.[8]
  • On the evening of January 31, 2017, around 10pm, an administrative building caught fire. The reactors were not shut down and continued normal operation after the fire.[9]

This list is not meant to be complete. The references include the official ASN list,[10] which names 88 events between March 2000 and March 2008.

Earthquake resistance

The Ministry for Ecology has declared the area around Cattenom to run a very low risk of earthquakes.


  1. ^ Eléments de diagnostic de la partie française Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine Agence de l'Eau Rhin Meuse, published April 2005, accessed 2011-03-30
  2. ^ ASN on evacuations in March 2001 Archived 2008-04-12 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Power Transformer Manufacturers
  4. ^ Disclosure by the EDF concerning the radiadion of an employee in March 2008 (french)[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "transformer of unit 1 caught fire (German)". Archived from the original on 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
  7. ^ transformer of unit 3 caught fire (German)
  8. ^ PCB in transformer of unit 3 (German)
  9. ^ Administrative building fire (English)
  10. ^ the pages of the french ASN (French)[permanent dead link]
This page was last edited on 25 January 2021, at 20:18
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