Chinon Nuclear Power Plant

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Chinon Nuclear Power Plant
Chinon nuclear power plant.JPG
Official nameCentrale Nucléaire de Chinon
LocationAvoine, Indre-et-Loire
Coordinates47°13′57″N 0°10′13″E / 47.2325°N 0.1703°E / 47.2325; 0.1703Coordinates: 47°13′57″N 0°10′13″E / 47.2325°N 0.1703°E / 47.2325; 0.1703
Construction began1957
Commission dateFebruary 1, 1964 (February 1, 1964)
Nuclear power station
Reactor typePWR
Reactor supplierFramatome
Cooling towers4 × Mechanical Draft
Power generation
Units operational4 × 954 MW
Make and modelAlstom
Units decommissioned1 × 80 MW
1 × 230 MW
1 × 480 MW
Nameplate capacity3,816 MW
Capacity factor71.6%
Annual net output23,925 GW·h
External links
WebsiteCentrale nucléaire de Chinon
CommonsRelated media on Commons

The Chinon Nuclear Power Plant (French: Centrale nucléaire de Chinon) is near the town of Avoine in the French Indre et Loire département, on the Loire river (approximately 10 km from the town of Chinon). The power station has seven reactors, of which three are now closed.

The nuclear power station employs approximately 1,350 full-time workers; the operator is the French company Électricité de France (EDF).


The site housed three of the first generation of French plants, which were of UNGG-type (similar to the Magnox design). Since then, four of the first French PWR series have been built; the site uses four low-profile cooling towers designed to not impede views of the Loire.

The plant is on the large side for a French plant, it feeds approximately 6% of the national electricity demand of France.


Unit Type Net power Total power Construction start Construction finish Commercial operation Shut down
Chinon A1 UNGG 70 MW 80 MW 01.02.1957 14.06.1963 01.02.1964 16.04.1973
Chinon A2 UNGG 210 MW 230 MW 01.08.1959 24.02.1965 24.02.1965 14.06.1985
Chinon A3 UNGG 480 MW 480 MW 01.03.1961 04.08.1966 04.08.1966 15.06.1990
Chinon B1 PWR 905 MW 954 MW 01.03.1977 30.11.1982 01.02.1984 Qualified to operate until 2024
Chinon B2 PWR 905 MW 954 MW 01.03.1977 29.11.1983 01.08.1984 Qualified to operate until 2024
Chinon B3 PWR 905 MW 954 MW 01.10.1980 20.10.1986 04.03.1987 Qualified to operate until 2027
Chinon B4 PWR 905 MW 954 MW 01.02.1981 14.11.1987 01.04.1988 Qualified to operate until 2028


  • During the unusually cold 1986-87 winter, the water intake from the river, as well as several other important pieces of equipment and machinery, froze
  • On December 21, 2005, sand accumulated inside the tertiary cooling circuit, threatening to block it. This could have stopped cooling of all the reactors.
  • On September 4, 2008, some industrial oil was accidentally discharged to the river in a maintenance operation. It was not radioactively contaminated.
  • On April 30, 2009, a bomb alert caused an evacuation of the plant and an intervention by several units of army security forces

Other info[edit]

  • Since 1986, the closed Chinon A1 reactor has been redeveloped to hold the French Atom Museum.
  • The INTRA (INTervention Robotic on Accidents) group, a nuclear event emergency intervention group equipped with remotely guided, radiation hardened machinery, has its headquarters on the plant's areal

See also[edit]

External links[edit]