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Cattenom Nuclear Power Plant
Nuclear Power Station Cattenom
Nuclear Power Station Cattenom
Country France
Operator EDF
Built 1979
Start of commercial operation November 13, 1986
Reactors active 4 (5,448 MW)
Total power generation in 2006 34,084 GW·h
Average annual generation (last 5 yrs) 35,547 GW·h
Net generation 583,422 GW·h
Other details
Site c/o EDF
As of July 22, 2007

The Cattenom Nuclear Power Station is located in Lorraine in the Cattenom commune, France on the Moselle River between Thionville (10 km upstream) and Trier (80 km downstream). It is close to the towns of Luxembourg (35 km) and Metz (40 km).

The site consists of 4 Pressurized Water Reactors that were all built between 1979 and 1991 and have an electric output of 1300 MW each. The plant is a relatively modern and large nuclear power station. In 2006 it produced the third most electricity (34 TWh) of the nuclear plants in France behind Gravelines (34.4 TWh) and Paluel (34.9 TWh).

The plant employs about 1200 regular employees and about 1000 more during outage times.

The station received its ISO 14001 certification in 2005, and should have its ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 in 2007.



The site uses 4 separate cooling towers which uses water from the Moselle. Additionally, a water reserve on site, Lake Mirgenbach, was created. In 1985 an artificial lake was also created in the Pierre-Percée valley in the Vosges Mountains. The creation of this lake has led to the flooding of the subterranean portions of Ouvrage Kobenbusch, part of the Maginot Line.

During the 2003 European heat wave it was permitted to dump the water used for cooling directly into the Moselle river. The heating of the water in these cases is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius by prefectoral decree. Heating to 2.2 degrees was accidentally caused once.


  • In March 2001, the reactor building of Unit 3 was evacuated with 131 people, apparently due to a false alarm. No one was hurt and there were no radiation releases.[1]

There were several incidents involving casualties,[citation needed] the latest being

  • On March 12, 2008, an employee was exposed to about 1/20 of the annual maximum allowed dose.[2]
  • Eight workers were exposed to radiation in March 2005.[3]

This list is not meant to be complete. The references include the official ASN list[4] which names 88 events between march 2000 and march 2008.

Earthquake resistance

The area around Cattenom has been found to be very low risk of earthquakes by the Ministry for Ecology.


  1. ^ ASN on evacuations in March 2001
  2. ^ Disclosure by the EDF concerning the radiadion of an employee in March 2008 (french)
  3. ^ Notification of the ASN concerning the radiation of eight workers in March 2005 (french)
  4. ^ the pages of the french ASN (french)

Coordinates: 49°24′57″N 6°13′05″E / 49.4158°N 6.2181°E / 49.4158; 6.2181



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