Concept for Dismantling the Reactor Vessel and the Biological Shield of the Compact Sodium-Cooled Nuclear Reactor Facility (KNK)

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The Compact Sodium-cooled Nuclear Reactor Facility (KNK) was an experimental nuclear power plant of 20 MW electric power erected on the premises of the Karlsruhe Research Center. The plant was initially run as KNK I with a thermal core between 1971 and 1974 and then, between 1977 and 1991, with a fast core as the KNK II fast breeder plant. Under the decommissioning concept, the plant is to be decommissioned completely to green field conditions at the end of 2005 in ten steps, i.e. under the corresponding ten decommissioning permits. To this day, nine decommissioning permits have been issued, the ... continued below

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8 pages

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Hillebrand, I. & Benkert, J. February 27, 2002.

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The Compact Sodium-cooled Nuclear Reactor Facility (KNK) was an experimental nuclear power plant of 20 MW electric power erected on the premises of the Karlsruhe Research Center. The plant was initially run as KNK I with a thermal core between 1971 and 1974 and then, between 1977 and 1991, with a fast core as the KNK II fast breeder plant. Under the decommissioning concept, the plant is to be decommissioned completely to green field conditions at the end of 2005 in ten steps, i.e. under the corresponding ten decommissioning permits. To this day, nine decommissioning permits have been issued, the first one in 1993 and the most recent one, number nine, in 2001. The decommissioning and demolition activities covered by decommissioning permits 1 to 7 have been completed. Under the 8th Decommissioning Permit, the components of the primary system and the rotating reactor top shield are to be removed by late 2001. Under the 9th Decommissioning Permit, the reactor vessel with its internals, the primary shield, and the biological shield are to be dismantled. The residual sodium volume in the reactor vessel was estimated to amount to approx. 30 l. The maximum Co-60 activation is on the order of 107-108 Bq/g; the maximum dose rate in the middle of the vessel was measured in April 1997 to be 55 Sv/h. The difficulty involved especially in dismantling KNK, on the one hand, is posed by the residual sodium in the plant, which determines the choice of neither wet nor thermical techniques to be used in disassembly. Another difficulty is caused by the depth of activation by fast neutrons, as a result of which not only the reactor vessel proper, but also the entire primary shield (60 cm of grey cast iron) and large parts of the biological shield must be disassembled and disposed of under remote control.

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8 pages

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  • Waste Management 2002 Symposium, Tucson, AZ (US), 02/24/2002--02/28/2002

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  • Report No.: none
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 829555
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc781493

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  • February 27, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 26, 2016, 6:51 p.m.

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Hillebrand, I. & Benkert, J. Concept for Dismantling the Reactor Vessel and the Biological Shield of the Compact Sodium-Cooled Nuclear Reactor Facility (KNK), article, February 27, 2002; Tucson, Arizona. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc781493/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.