From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Phénix is located in France
Location of Phénix in France
Country France
Location Marcoule
Coordinates 44°08′36″N 4°42′42″E / 44.14333°N 4.71167°E / 44.14333; 4.71167Coordinates: 44°08′36″N 4°42′42″E / 44.14333°N 4.71167°E / 44.14333; 4.71167
Status Closed
Construction began 1968
Commission date 13 December 1973 (1973-12-13)
Decommission date 1 February 2010 (2010-02-01)[1]
Operator(s) CEA
Nuclear power station
Reactor type FBR
Reactor supplier CEM
Power generation
Make and model CEM
Units decommissioned 1 x 250 MW
Nameplate capacity 250 MW
Capacity factor 27.0%
Annual output 591 GW·h

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.[2]

The Marcoule site, with the Phénix reactor on the left side

Construction of Phénix began in November 1968. The first connection to the French national electricity grid was in December 1973.[1]

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.[3] A decision on construction will be made in 2019.[2]

See also[edit]

  • Superphénix, the main reactor for which this was the demonstration


  1. ^ a b "Nuclear Power Reactor Details - PHENIX". Power Reactor Information System. International Atomic Energy Agency. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Nuclear Power in France". World Nuclear Association. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  3. ^ [1] CEA press release, November 9, 2010 (French)

External links[edit]