Blayais nuclear power plant, France

A nuclear power plant threatening the Gironde. In December 1999, strong winds produced a sudden rise in the waters of the estuary and the flooding of part of the plant. Risks have not been suppressed.


The Blayais nuclear power plant is a nuclear power generation center located near the town of Blaye, not far from Bourdeaux, in the heart of the Blayais marsh, in the town of Braud-et-Saint-Louis, on the edge of the Gironde. In service since 1981, it is managed by Électricité de France and produces electricity that is injected into the French electricity grid. It is cooled by water from the Gironde estuary which is pumped via underwater pipelines. As early as 1998, the annual safety review of the Blayais power station indicated the need for a 50cm rise in the dikes, but EDF deferred this raising of its protection dike. On 19 November 1999, EDF was ordered to produce a safety work schedule by a letter reminding it to order.

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Basic Data
Name Blayais nuclear power plant, France
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Nuclear
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Nuclear power plants
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsIts four reactors has 951 MW of ower each, and produce around 27 TWh per year meeting 6.15% of French consumption and 1.2 times the electricity needs of the Aquitaine region. Since it was commissioned in 1981, the Blayais nuclear power plant has produced 674 billion kilowatt hours. In 2011, it produced 25.9 billion kWh. Investments to diminish the risks have costes over 100 million euros.
Project Area (in hectares)1500
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected PopulationAll of the Gironde Population
Start Date01/01/1998
Company Names or State EnterprisesElectricité de France International (EDF) from France
Relevant government actorsPresidency of the French Republic

Ministry of the Interior (France)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersTchernoblaye


Europe écologie les verts
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Land occupation
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Air pollution, Fires, Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Potential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Other Health impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Other socio-economic impacts, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Project StatusUnknown
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseNegotiated alternative solution
New legislation
Project cancelled
Development of AlternativesStopping the plans by EDF for the nuclear power plant
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Some associations are trying to stop the project but for the moment there is no solution that had been found.
Sources and Materials

Rapport sur l'inondation du site du Blayais survenue le 27 Décembre 1999
[click to view]

Centrale Nucléaire du Blayais, la lettre qui accuse
[click to view]

[click to view]

Media Links

Greenpeace à nouveau indésirable à centrale nucléaire du blayais
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Other Documents

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Meta Information
ContributorSixtine LE SEYEC ROBERT, Yanis DALI
Last update01/12/2018