DECOMMISSIONING OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES IN GERMANY - STATUS AT BMBF SITES Page: 5 of 5
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WM'02 Conference, February 24-28, 2002, Tucson, AZ - pg. 5
2005. The invitation to bid for the dismantling of MZFR's reactor pressure vessel revealed that strong competi-
tion has emerged in the market.
Other than the aforementioned three reactors, the two additional reactors operated by FZK are not on its premises
near Karlsruhe: the HeiBdampfreaktor HDR at Karlstein and the power plant KKN at Niederaichbach in Bavaria.
HDR, after suffering severe fuel damage, was shut down for good in 1971, converted into a test facility and used
for reactor safety (accident simulation) experiments. "Green field" was reached in 1999.
The case of Niederaichbach (KKN) is another example of a type of reactor which did not come to fruition. It did
become, however, the first decommissioning project to reach green field stage (1995).
Finally, the reprocessing pilot plant WAK was an R&D facility for the commercial reprocessing project at Wack-
ersdorf. Due to the cancellation of Wackersdorf in 1989, WAK was terminated likewise, after having reprocessed
some 200 t of LWR fuel in 20 years. Now vitrification of some 80 m of high-level liquid waste (HLLW) stored at
WAK is the most crucial item. As shipment to the vitrification plant in Mol appeared too risky from the political
point of view, a decision was taken to build a vitrification plant on-site.
Apart from concerns about the feasibility and public acceptance of HLLW -shipments, the revision of the concept
is also due to the successful development of vitrification techniques at Karlsruhe. Since the PAMELA plant at
Mol would have required some extensive retrofitting, on-site vitrification was the obvious alternative.
Construction of VEK (Karlsruhe Vitrification Plant) was started in 2000 and vitrification should be completed by
2005. Subsequently, the vitrification and the remaining plants of the reprocessing facility will be totally dismantled
and the WAK site restored to green field conditions by 2009.
In addition to these decommissioning projects BMBF has promoted R&D in this field by allocating on the aver-
age E 3 Mill per year. Spending went into most areas of concern for dismantling techniques with special emphasis
on cutting techniques and measurement for free release.
BMBF assumes that efficient decommissioning of nuclear installations will help stabilize the credibility of nuclear
energy. Critics of nuclear energy kept insisting that a return to green field sites would not be possible. The suc-
cessful completion of decommissioning projects, especially the two green field stages, has refuted these opin-
1. Future Financial Liabilities of Nuclear Activities, OECD/NEA (1996).
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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/m1/5/: accessed December 10, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.