With one of the largest nuclear power programmes in the world, France derives approximately 70 per cent of its electricity from nuclear energy.
We were contracted by Électricité de France (EDF) – the state-owned electricity generation and distribution company – to update the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the Chooz nuclear power plant in north-eastern France.
What is the Chooz nuclear power plant and why is it significant?
Situated in the Grand Est region near the France-Belgium border, the 200-hectare Chooz site contains three nuclear reactors – one of which is being dismantled.
Chooz A was the first commercial pressurised water reactor (PWR) to be built in Europe. At 310 megawatts, it supplied electricity to France and Belgium from 1967 to 1991 when it was permanently shut down and later became the first PWR to be decommissioned in France.
With a combined net capacity of three gigawatts, Chooz B1 and Chooz B2 were first connected to the grid in 1996 and 1997 respectively.
Together, they produced 17.9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2019, accounting for roughly 4.7 per cent of the total nuclear power produced in France and more than 43 per cent of the total power consumption in the Grand Est region.
Addressing social and environmental impacts
Our EIA evaluated the impact of the Chooz nuclear power plant on factors such as water, soil and subsoil, air quality, climate, natural resources, traffic, noise, biodiversity and radioecology.
We also reassessed potential health impacts. For example, the radiological, chemical and microbiological impact of the site.
All data was interpreted, and the results were presented in a clear and digestible format for the client.
A collaborative effort
As this was an entirely new assessment, we worked closely with EDF experts, holding regular meetings to share feedback throughout the process.
By working collaboratively in this way – and by bringing our own best practice methodologies and our deep knowledge of French environmental regulations to the project – we were able to help EDF ensure full compliance with the latest environmental and health regulations.