DECOMMISSIONING OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES IN GERMANY - STATUS AT BMBF SITES Page: 3 of 5
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WM'02 Conference, February 24-28, 2002, Tucson, AZ - pg. 3
For the decommissioning of facilities under the auspices of the German Federal Government no specific funds are
generally set aside during their operating life-time. In order to assure financing of decommissioning projects,
however, long-term cost commitments are accounted for in the Federal budget. To give an example, for decommis-
sioning of the WAK reprocessing pilot plant at the site of the Karlsruhe Research Center, a special fund has been
established into which the electric utility industry paid a lump sum and payments are made regularly by the State
(Baden-Wuerttemberg) and BMBF.
This differs from the way liabilities are dealt with by German industry. German commercial law requires that money
is set aside annually during the operating life -time of a facility. In addition, Germany is an example of decentralized
control with regard to liabilities. Responsibility for the fund is retained by the owner of the facility who has to
follow accepted accounting standards when preparing annual accounts. The operator/owner of the facility has to
justify the provisions to supervisory boards. For plant decommissioning the provisions are accumulated over 19
years beginning at commercial start-up. At the end of the 1990s German electric utility companies reportedly
showed a reserve fund of approximately E 30 billion in their balance sheets for their back-end liabilities, i.e., spent
fuel and waste management as well as decommissioning.
Concerning the decommissioning projects under BMBF's responsibility mentioned above, E 100-150 Mill per year
from the federal budget in addition to the payments from private industry will have to be allocated to these pro-
jects in future years in order to ensure that progress will be made. In Table I details are given for these facilities
where BMBF is the lead agency. Although it is widely known, it deserves mentioning that the cost data contain
some uncertainty which, not the least, are attributable to licensing problems. It was not until 1976 that legislation
regulating nuclear energy was amended in order to become applicable to decommissioning. By this time nuclear
power in Germany was only at one third of the current level and the new law brought in regulations that were
strongly biased by the construction and operation aspects of the existing nuclear facilities. These regulations
Table I. BMBF's Decommissiong Projects
Reason for Shutdown
% of Total
Karlsruhe WAK national reprocessing Total Removal, 900 50
reprocessing given up 2009
FR2 end of operating life time Safe Enclosure, 50 90
KNK FBR development given Total Removal, 210 90
reactor .up ............................... 2005
MZFR end of operating life time Total Removal, 230 100
HDB waste end of operating life time Total Removal, 90 90
cond., storage 2015
Juelich AVR termination of HTR ex- Safe Enclosure, 140 90
reactor periments 2003
FRJ-1 et al. end of operating life time Total Removal, 30 90
technology not promi s
HDR technology not promi s - Green Field, 40 100
reactor ing 1999
SNR-300 FBR development given Fuel Removal 80 100
THTR-300 no licence to resume Safe Enclosure, 45 50
reactor operation 1997
stability of mine
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Papp, R. & Komorowski, K. DECOMMISSIONING OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES IN GERMANY - STATUS AT BMBF SITES, article, February 25, 2002; Tucson, Arizona. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc782025/m1/3/: accessed September 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.