The Bugey Nuclear Power Station is located in Bugey in the Saint-Vulbas commune (Ain), about 30 km from the Swiss border. The site occupies 100 hectares. It is on the edge of the Rhône River, from where it gets its cooling water, and is about 30 km upstream from Lyon. About 1,200 people work at the site.

The site houses 4 currently operating units, all being pressurized water reactors. The 5th reactor (unit 1) is currently being dismantled, it was the last UNGG reactor built in the world.

Some of the cooling comes from direct use of the Rhône water (units 2 and 3) while some is done by the use of cooling towers (units 4 and 5).

Seismic activity

According to reports from the Autorité de sûreté nucléaire, some safety functions may not be provided in the event of an earthquake, however The area is not known for its seismic activity.

In the last few years, the plant was modernized to updated earthquake resistance standards.

Heat dumping

During the heat wave on July 20, 2003 water was directly dumped into the Rhône, which is permitted in extreme cases, for about 2 hours and the maximum heat difference was 0.9 degrees Celsius. Again on July 30, 2003 water was directly discharged into the Rhône for 9 hours.

Reactor units of Bugey Nuclear Power Plant

Reactor Unit Type Average Output Rated Power Commercial operation Close of reactor
Bugey 1 Gas-cooled reactor 540 MW 555 MW 01-07-1972 27-05-1994
Bugey 2 PWR 910 MW 945 MW 01-03-1979 2019 planned
Bugey 3 PWR 910 MW 945 MW 01-03-1979 2019 planned
Bugey 4 PWR 880 MW 917 MW 01-07-1979 2019 planned
Bugey 5 PWR 880 MW 917 MW 30-01-1980 2020 planned

Bugey Nuclear Power Plant
Country France
Coordinates 45°47′54″N 5°16′15″E / 45.79833°N 5.27083°E / 45.79833; 5.27083Coordinates: 45°47′54″N 5°16′15″E / 45.79833°N 5.27083°E / 45.79833; 5.27083
Construction began 1964
Commission date April 15, 1972
Owner(s) EDF
Operator(s) EDF

Reactor information
Reactors operational 3,724 MW capacity
Reactors decomm. 555 MW capacity

Power generation information
Annual generation 25,654 GWh
Net generation 645,711 GWh

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