|Commission date||13 December 1973|
|Decommission date||1 February 2010|
|Reactors decom.||1 x 250 MW|
|Annual generation||591 GW·h|
|Net generation||22,742 GW·h|
|As of 11 November 2010|
Phénix (French for phoenix) was a small-scale (gross 264/net 233 MWe) prototype fast breeder reactor, located at the Marcoule nuclear site, near Orange, France. It was a pool-type liquid-metal fast breeder reactor cooled with liquid sodium. It generated 590 MW of thermal power, and had a breeding ratio of 1.12 (12% more plutonium produced than consumed), but normally had to be stopped for refueling operations every 2 months. Phénix continued operating after the closure of the subsequent full-scale prototype Superphénix in 1997. After 2004, its main use was investigation of transmutation of nuclear waste while also generating some electricity. Phénix was shut down in 2009.
Construction of Phénix began in November 1968. The first connection to the French national electricity grid was in December 1973. The Phénix reactor was finally shut down by the end of 2009.
The ASTRID (Advanced Sodium Technical Reactor for Industrial Demonstration) reactor, with a power generating capacity of 600 MWe, is likely to succeed Phénix in its role as a French-built sodium-cooled fast reactor and is also part of the international Generation IV reactor programme. It is envisaged to be built in the 2015-2020 time frame, next to the old Phénix reactor at the Marcoule site.
- Superphénix, the main reactor for which this was the demonstration