Gravelines Nuclear Power Station

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Gravelines Nuclear Power Station
Centrale nucléaire de Gravelines.JPG
Gravelines Nuclear Power Station
Official nameCentrale Nucléaire de Gravelines
LocationGravelines, Nord
Coordinates51°00′55″N 02°08′10″E / 51.01528°N 2.13611°E / 51.01528; 2.13611Coordinates: 51°00′55″N 02°08′10″E / 51.01528°N 2.13611°E / 51.01528; 2.13611
Construction began1974
Commission date13 March 1980 (13 March 1980)
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePWR
Reactor supplierFramatome
Power generation
Units operational6 × 910 MW
Make and modelAlstom
Nameplate capacity5460 MW
Capacity factor76.9%
Annual net output38,462 GW·h
External links
CommonsRelated media on Commons

The Gravelines Nuclear Power Station is one of the largest nuclear power stations (the seventh largest) in the world, and the largest in Western Europe. It is located near the commune of Gravelines in Nord, France, approximately 20 km (12 mi) from Dunkerque and Calais. Its cooling water comes from the North Sea. The plant consists of 6 nuclear reactors of 900 MW each. In 2017 the plant produced 31.67 TWh of electric energy, 5.9% of French electricity production.[1] Two reactors entered service in 1980, two in 1981, and two in 1985.

The site employs 1,680 regular employees. As of 2 August 2010, it became the first nuclear station anywhere in the world to produce over one thousand terawatt-hour of electricity.[2]

The reactors of units 5 and 6 were initially intended for export to Iran, but the order was cancelled after the Iranian revolution in 1979. Their design, known as CPY, was the basis for the Chinese CPR-1000.[3] An intermediate derivative is called the M310.[4]

The power station as seen from a ferry running the route from Dover to Dunkerque.


  • In August 2009, during the annual exchange of fuel bundles in Reactor-1, one bundle got stuck to the upper handling structure, stopping the operations and causing the evacuation and isolation of the reactor's building.[5]
  • In 2007, the plant experienced four separate events that qualified as Level-1 on the INES Scale, the lowest level on the 7-point scale.
  • In 2006 when Unit-3 was taken offline for routine refueling. It was discovered that an electrical wire had not been plugged in correctly during the last outage in 2005. This too ranked Level-1 on the INES Scale.

Cooling Water[edit]

The cooling water that carries waste heat from the plant is used by a local commune of aquafarmers who raise European seabass and gilt-head breams.[citation needed] The warm water helps them grow faster.

The power station

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "French nuclear plant reaches landmark". World Nuclear News. 2011-11-02. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
  3. ^ "CPR1000 Design, Safety Performance and Operability, slide 16" (PDF). International Atomic Energy Agency. 5 July 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help); Invalid |dead-url=Yes (help)
  4. ^ Chinese reactor design evolution, Nuclear Engineering International
  5. ^

External links[edit]