Gravelines Nuclear Power Station

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Gravelines Nuclear Power Station
Centrale nucléaire de Gravelines.JPG
Gravelines Nuclear Power Station
Gravelines Nuclear Power Station is located in France
Gravelines Nuclear Power Station
Location of Gravelines Nuclear Power Station in France
Official name Centrale Nucléaire de Gravelines
Country France
Location Gravelines, Nord
Coordinates 51°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
Status Operational
Construction began 1974
Commission date 13 March 1980 (13 March 1980)
Operator(s) EDF
Nuclear power station
Reactor type PWR
Reactor supplier Framatome
Power generation
Units operational 6 x 951 MW
Make and model Alstom
Nameplate capacity 5,706 MW
Capacity factor 76.9%
Annual output 38,462 GW·h

The Gravelines Nuclear Power Station is the sixth largest nuclear power station in the world,[1] the second largest in Europe (after the nuclear power station of Zaporizhia, Ukraine) 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 2006 the plant produced 38.14 TWh, 8,1% of the whole amount of electricity produced in France. Two reactors entered service in 1980, two in 1981, and two in 1985.

The site employs 1680 regular employees. As of the 2nd of 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]


  • 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]


External links[edit]