Transformer fire shuts down nuclear reactors in France

February 13, 2024, 12:30PMNuclear News
Chinon nuclear power plant in France. (Photo: Wargus/Wikimapia)

A fire this past weekend at Chinon nuclear power plant in France forced two reactors to be shut down. According to initial reports, a transformer in a nonnuclear sector of Unit 3 caught fire.

The incident occurred February 10 in the early morning hours, local time, and the fire was quickly extinguished.

“The loss of main external power to reactor 3 following this fire resulted in the automatic shutdown of the reactor,” Électricité de France said in a statement. Out of an abundance of caution, the company also shut down Chinon-4, which is coupled to Chinon-3.

Background: The Chinon plant, located in western France, is owned and operated by EDF, the country’s main electricity generation and distribution company and operator of the country’s 56 nuclear reactors.

Chinon has four operating reactors, each with a capacity of 900 MWe. Chinon-3 and -4 came on line in 1987 and 1988, respectively. Three other reactors at the site shut down between 1973 and 1990.

Chinon is one of France’s oldest plants. There is no immediate information about when the reactors will go back on line.

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