The Saint Laurent Nuclear Power Station is located in the commune of Saint-Laurent-Nouan in Loir-et-Cher on the Loire River – 28 km downstream from Blois and 30 km upstream from Orléans.

The site includes two operating pressurized water reactors (each 900MWe), which began operation in 1983. They are cooled by the water of the Loire River.

Two other UNGG reactors used to exist at the site, which were brought into service in 1969 and 1971 and were retired in April 1990 and June 1992.

The site employs approximately 670 regular workers.

Incidents in Saint Laurent Nuclear Power Plant

On October 17, 1969 50 kg of uranium in one of the gas cooled reactors began to melt. This event was classified at 4 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), and is, as of March 2011, the most serious civil nuclear power accident in France.

On March 13, 1980 there was some annealing that occurred in the graphite of one of the reactors, causing a brief heat excursion. This was also classified as 4 on the INES and has been called the worst nuclear accident in France. Much later, the Institute of Marine Biochemistry at the École normale supérieure de Montrouge claimed that they found traces of plutonium in the river which they believed was released in the 1980 or 1969 accident many years ago.

Flood risk

The initial report following the 1999 Blayais Nuclear Power Plant flood, identified the Saint-Laurent plant as being at risk of flooding, and called for its safety measures to be re-examined. Plans to build a flood wall around the site were made but abandoned, it is thought, due the cost.
Saint-Laurent Nuclear Power Plant
Official name Centrale Nucléaire de Saint-Laurent
Country France
Locale Saint-Laurent-Nouan
Status Operational
Construction began 1963
Commission date March 24, 1969 (Saint-Laurent A)
(Saint-Laurent B)
Decommission date 1990 (Saint-Laurent A-1)
1991 (Saint-Laurent A-2)
Operator(s) EDF
Constructor(s) GTM

Reactor information
Reactors operational 2 x 956 MW
Reactors decom. 1 x 390 MW
1 x 450 MW
Reactor type(s) GCR (retired)
Reactor supplier(s) Framatome

Turbine information
Manufacturer(s) Alstom

Power generation information
Installed capacity 1,912 MW
Annual generation 12,918 GW·h
Net generation 363,287 GW·h