Nuclear energy

Chooz-b1 Nuclear Power Plant, France

Chooz-b1 Nuclear Power Plant, France

The Chooz nuclear power plant is a nuclear power plant in Chooz, France. That is, its function is to harness the nuclear energy of nuclear fission reactions to generate electricity. The nuclear power plant is located in a meander of the Maas. Also, the nuclear facility is located on the Pointe de Givet, about 25 km from the Belgian Dinant.

The first of the two nuclear reactors available to the nuclear plant was built in the 1960s with the participation of Belgian industry. In this way, the location near the French-Belgian border is explained in part.

More than 700 EDF employees work with over 200 subcontractor employees at the Chooz nuclear power plant. During maintenance work and inspections, the number of additional temporary workers can be up to 2000 people. Both Electrabel and SPE, both Belgian energy companies, participated in the power plant.

In 2009, the construction of a new international research center on the site was initiated at the initiative of the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA) and the National Scientifique Research Center (CNRS).

So far, there have been no nuclear incidents at the Chooz nuclear power plant (level 2 or higher of the INES scale).

Nuclear Reactors of the Chooz Nuclear Power Plant

The Chooz nuclear power plant divides two nuclear power plants: Chooz A and Chooz B.

Chooz Nuclear Plant A

The Chooz A nuclear power plant was built in 1960 and entered service on April 15, 1967. It was the first pressurized water nuclear reactor (PWR) to be launched in France.

The Chooz A plant was put out of service on October 30, 1991. The closure of the plant has begun and will be completed between 2020 and 2025. Chooz A is located on the right bank of Maas, on the outside of the meander in one place of 20 hectares.

Chooz B Nuclear Plant

The Chooz Be nuclear plant is still in use. The Chooz B France plant consists of two 1,500 MW production units. The type of nuclear reactor, in both cases, is the type of nuclear pressurized water reactor (PWR) of French design. These two reactors were the first of a new generation of N4, precursors of the European pressure reactor.

Both nuclear reactors were connected to the network in August 1996 and April 1997, respectively. The commercial use of this plant began in the year 2000.

The site occupies most of the land area within the meander south of the village of Chooz. In contrast to the Chooz A nuclear plant, this much larger site of 134 ha is located on the left bank of Maas.

The power plant uses water from Maas as a coolant.

Electric Power of Nuclear Reactors

The current power plant comprises two reactors, each with 1,500 megawatts. In its 2008 peak year, the plant produced 23,415 GWh in a year with 90% availability. However, the following year the availability fell to 60% with a production of more than 16,400 GWh. In 2010, the plant had an availability of 70% with a production of more than 19,400 GWh.

At present, the Choaz reactors (type N4), together with the reactors of the Civaux nuclear power plant, are among the most modern in France.

Security Zones of the Chooz Nuclear Power Plant

The nuclear power plant is 4 km from the border between Belgium and France. Therefore, it is within the safety zone that is maintained around nuclear power plants in Belgium.

The Federal Public Service of Internal Affairs considers that there is a nuclear risk for more than 93,000 Belgian residents in 32 municipalities distributed in the provinces of Namur and Luxembourg. There are cooperation protocols between France and Belgium with respect to the operation, controls and emergency plans of the Chooz nuclear power plant.

Reactor typePressurized water reactor (PWR): working and pros and cons
Reactor modelN4 REP 1450
Grid connection1996-08-30
OwnerElectricite De France
OperatorElectricite De France

Published: January 6, 2013
Last review: March 12, 2019

Nuclear power plants in France