Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant


Active reactors ( gross ):

The nuclear power plant is located in the French town of Cattenom Cattenom ( Katte Mayrhofen ) in the Lorraine region, about eight kilometers north of the city of Thionville ( Thionville ) and consists of four pressurized water reactors.


The nuclear power plant is located on the Mosel twelve kilometers from the German border and nine kilometers from the border with Luxembourg. The nearest large city is French Thionville. The plant covers an area of ​​about 415 hectares and is located approximately 20 meters above the river Mosel. It is with his four pressurized water reactors, each with a capacity of 1362 MW gross the third strongest nuclear power plant in France ( 2012). Operator is the French company EDF. The Swiss power plant company BKW refers 6% per year on nuclear energy holding company from the power plant. To cool the nuclear power plant, where about 1,150 people are employed, four cooling towers are used. In addition to the power plant, the reservoir Lac du Mirgenbach is ( Mirgenbacherer lake ), which serves m³ of water as cooling water supplier with a volume of about 7.2 million. As part of planned shutdowns and revisions, the number of employees increased by contractors to approximately 2000.

In 2007 was the site Cattenom with 37 TWh of electricity is the largest producer in France. This represented approximately 8% of the French production of electrical energy. In 1995, a production record was achieved with 38.8 TWh.

In 2005 Cattenom was ISO 14001 - Environmental Management, in 2007, according to ISO 9001 - Quality Management and OHSAS 18001 in 2008 - certified safety and health management.

All 19 French nuclear power plants are inadequately protected against natural disasters. The assessment of the common observer of Luxembourg and the German states of Rhineland -Palatinate and Saarland, according to the stress test has unearthed significant deficiencies in the nuclear power plant Cattenom. According to the report by the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire has submitted to the French government on January 3, 2012 no installation must be shut down immediately.


The construction of the first reactor block was started on 29 October 1979 this was on 13 November 1986. Between 1980 and 1983 began with the construction of three other reactors, which were then taken on September 17, 1987 on 6 July 1990 and on 27 May 1991 in operation. Since the beginning of the planning until the mid- 1990s, there were in French, Luxembourg, Germany and especially in the Saarland countryside of the border nuclear power plant resistance against the nuclear power plant.

A draft resolution, the Saarland's deputies Helma Kuhn- Theis presented to Cattenom, demanded to meet strict European standards stress test and even a withdrawal from nuclear energy and not extend the term of Cattenom. It has brought in Interregional Parlamentarierrat an uproar, with Jean -Pierre Masseret, President of the Regional Council in Metz, angry left the Chamber.


The net electrical capacity of the four reactor units is each 1300 megawatts ( MW), the gross output at 1362 MW. The total installed gross capacity of the power plant is 5448 MW, making it the third largest in France and the seventh largest in the world. 35,200 GWh are fed into the grid average per year, equivalent to about 8 % of the produced under the current EDF in France.


Used fuel

Meanwhile, the French nuclear regulator Autorité de sûreté Nucléaire (ASN ) has the power group Electricite de France (EDF) grants its approval, its 1300 -MW nuclear power reactors with a new generation of fuel rods ( HTC - Skin Taux de Combustion ) equip and a new fuel element management program under the name of Galice ( Gestion avec augmentation de l' irradiation Limitée pour les Combustibles en Exploitation, German: reactor leadership with limited increased irradiation of the fuel used ) apply. This permission also applies to the nuclear power plant Cattenom where the new process in the coming years will be introduced. The novel fuel rods contain a higher proportion of fissile uranium - 235th They should also be used longer in the reactor core in order to reduce the phases of the reactor downtime for refueling.


The nuclear power plant Cattenom is considered a security risk due to lack of seismic safety of technical installations as safety valves would cease to function after an earthquake. According to press reports classifies operator, EDF Cattenom as earthquake-proof to a thickness of 5.4.

Emergency cooling

In over 100 km is located on the west side of the Vosges in Lorraine Speichersee Pierre- Percée (including Lac du Vieux Pré or Lac de la Plaine ). In an emergency, this reservoir is to serve as a water supplier over the Meurthe Creek Plaine and the Moselle Meurthe Creek, to maintain sufficient for cooling flux level in the Mosel. Also, this dam is subject to its dam the locally available earthquake risks.

Disorders and reportable events

On February 17, 2002, a valve opened in Block 1 unexpectedly in a connecting line to the reactor coolant system. There had been a "significant release " of slightly contaminated primary coolant into the containment, writes the authority ASN. To close the valve, a team in protective gear had to go Containment go ( INES classification 1).

On May 16, 2004 Block 2 had to be shut down because it had come in a cable area to a fire that was extinguished by the fire department summoned after 2.5 hours.

In December 2004 it was discovered that over 30 tubes of fire extinguishers of the plant had been scratched. The competent police opened investigations in Thionville on for sabotage, fire extinguishers have been replaced.

In 2009 there were a total of 36 reportable events of level INES 0 ( International Review Nuclear Event Scale ) and nine events of the level INES 1 By June 2010, there were previously 16 reportable events of level INES 0 and two reportable events of level INES 1

On January 18, 2012 There was another incident, the supervisory authority ASN showed off INES level 2. By a missing part of the return flow to the cooling conduits of the storage pool of the fuel assemblies of the blocks 2 and 3 is not prevented. Thus, the storage pool could be empty uncontrollably.

On February 28, 2013, a serious accident occurred in block 4. In material testing work a scaffold collapsed with three workers from a foreign company. Two of them still died at the accident site, one was seriously injured taken to hospital. The reactor block was turned off at the time because of its ten-year revision. However, there was no danger to the reactor as a direct result of the accident.

On 7 June 2013, a transformer in the plant caught fire. Unit 1 of the nuclear power plant was shut down automatically. No one was injured.

On June 11, 2013 entered in block 3 to a defect in a further transformer.

On June 17, 2013, a configuration error in the control valve was found. The error was corrected and rated INES 1.

On 23 or July 24, 2013 ran into the Moselle and into the ground through a leak in a tank 58,000 liters of hydrochloric acid. The French nuclear regulatory authority ASN said the three weeks later, on August 17, 2013, on its website with.

Data of the reactor units

The nuclear power plant Cattenom has a total of four blocks: