Areva-EWN to dismantle Brunsbüttel internals

09 June 2017

Vattenfall has awarded a contract to dismantle and package the reactor pressure vessel internals of the Brunsbüttel nuclear power plant in Germany to the Areva-EWN Consortium. The work should be completed by 2020.

Brunsbuttel NPP - 460 (Vattenfall)
Brunsbüttel (Image: Vattenfall)

Areva said the segmentation and packaging of core waste and reactor pressure vessel internals will be carried out underwater. "Proven technology and a qualified underwater robot will be used to enhance efficiency and reduce the time required for the operation," it said.

The single-unit Brunsbüttel plant was among the eight oldest German reactors taken out of service in March 2011. The 771 MWe boiling water reactor (BWR) had been idle since 2007 following a grid-facilitated trip. Brunsbüttel was one of eight older power reactors that had their operating licences withdrawn by the federal government shortly after the Fukushima accident in Japan in March 2011. Vattenfall - which owns a 66.7% stake in the plant with EOn holding the remaining 33.3% - applied in late 2012 to decommission that plant and the approval process is under way.

The contract Vattenfall signed with the Areva-EWN Consortium includes an option for the Krümmel plant, should decommissioning and dismantling also be decided for that plant.

The Krümmel plant - comprising a single 1346 MWe BWR - is also jointly owned by Vattenfall and EOn. It too was among the older units that had their operating licences withdrawn in 2011. Vattenfall submitted an application to decommission and dismantle the plant in August 2015.

In May 2015, EOn and Vattenfall signed an agreement to cooperate in the decommissioning and dismantling of their jointly owned nuclear power plants in Germany. The companies said that agreement aimed "to make the decommissioning and dismantling process of their joint venture nuclear power plants as economical as possible".

Energiewerke Nord GmbH (EWN) - which is decommissioning and dismantling the Greifswald and Rheinsberg nuclear power plants in Germany - was renamed ENW Entsorgungswerk für Nuklearanlagen in February. The company is also responsible for the disposal and interim storage of used fuel and the resulting radioactive wastes. The German government has assigned EWN to manage the final disposal of all radioactive waste from the public sector.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News