Borssele (Netherlands)

Map of Borssele

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PWR 450 MW constructed by KWU; grid connection in 1973

Facilities in Borssele

plantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down

Dutch utility EPZ has applied for a license to use mixed-oxide fuel in Borssele, notably to "decrease its dependence on the volatile natural uranium market," the company said May 8. EPZ said it was submitting a Project Initiative Document to the environment ministry, VROM, to start the licensing process by writing an environmental impact statement on the use of MOX fuel in the PWR.
The EIS will demonstrate the feasibility of using MOX in Borssele, examine alternative options and select the best available option, EPZ said. It said it expects to submit the EIS by first-half 2009.

In June 2006, the Dutch government concluded a contract with the Borssele operators and shareholders. The reactor would be allowed to operate until 2034 on certain conditions, including that it would be maintained to the highest safety standards. Following the extension of its operating life to 2033, a turbin upgrade boosted its capacity from 452 to 485 MWe.

Used nuclear fuel from Borssele has been reprocessed at Franceßs La Hague by Areva NC for som time , and a contract exists to continue this until 2015.
But reprocessing MOX-fuel is somewhat different. It has been demonstrated at La Hague with small quantities, but there is currently no industrial strategy to reprocess MOX.
But in the Netherlands there is no facility for direct storage of used fuel only for reprocessed waste. There has to be made a decision anyhow on whether to continue reprocessing after 2015 and since the parliament has to approve such a contract, it will be an important issue.

There is no storage facility for plutonium in The Netherlands, nor will there be any, Government stressed on many occasions. EPZ claims they sold all reprocessed plutonium to EDF.. Bruno Lescoeur, Senior Executive Vice President, International Industrial and Public Affairs of EDF for the first time confirmed publicly in Paris on 6 may 2008 that EDF gets paid by EPZ, to take title of the plutonium from the reprocessing of Dutch spent fuel.


The new Dutch government coalition has agreed to shut the Borssele nuclear power plant in 2013, after 40 years of operation - instead of the end of 2003, as had been sought by antinuclear political groups.


The new Dutch government confirmed its intent to let the power plant operate past 2003. In a coalition agreement published this week, the new center-right government said "it is not sensible to close Borssele prematurely" and said the cabinet should talk with the plant's owner about keeping it open for "economical and safe operation." The nuclear reactor was under the threat of early closure from the previous government, though owner EPZ had successfully challenged the government's unilateral modification of its operating license to force closure on Jan 1, 2004.


Siemens plans an extensive upgrading of safety systems to reduce core damage risk 20-fold - the program will take several years to complete - the high costs of max. 270 million US$ would lead to life extension from 2004 to 2007 - 93 million $ have been already spent for backfit.
Parliament decided that Borssele should be allowed to remain in service at least until the end of 2003. Government has now to decide, but the main question is wether the shareholders will go ahead with the expensive backfit pogram if the 3 extra years are not guaranteed. In December the dutch government and utility partnership SEP agreed that the plant will be shut at the end of 2003. In exchange the utility will be compensated US$ 40 million allowing it to proceed with the safety backfit program.