RWE permitted to dismantle Gundremmingen plant

31 May 2024

German utility RWE announced it has received the third and final licence from the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection to decommission and dismantle the former Gundremmingen nuclear power plant.

Gundremmingen (Image: RWE)

The 1284 MWe Gundremmingen B boiling water reactor (BWR) in southern Germany was disconnected from the grid on 31 December 2017 after 33 years of operation. Gundremmingen C - a 1288 MWe BWR - permanently shut down on 31 December 2021.

The licence for dismantling unit B according to the Atomic Energy Act was granted by the Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection in March 2019; the licence for dismantling unit C in May 2021.

"Since then, several thousand tonnes of material have been removed from the two reactor buildings, processed and mostly returned to the recycling cycle," RWE said. "The third permit that has now been granted covers the dismantling of all plant components that were not the subject of the previous permits."

RWE said the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection issued the final licence on 28 May.

"This means that all the prerequisites for the dismantling target set for the mid/late 2030s, namely the release of the plant from nuclear regulatory supervision, are now in place," the company said.

"The granting of the permit enables us to continue the immediate dismantling in accordance with the current Atomic Energy Act and is an important milestone in our dismantling project," said Gundremmingen Plant Manager Heiko Ringel. "The rapid and safe dismantling is guaranteed by a highly-motivated and technically experienced team made up of our own staff and partner companies.

"All work is subject to monitoring by the supervisory authority, which accompanies and supervises the dismantling with the support of various independent experts. Plant safety, occupational safety and health protection have the highest priority in all activities."

In December 2021, RWE awarded a contract to Westinghouse to dismantle the two reactors at the Gundremmingen plant. Under the contract, Westinghouse will dismantle and pack the reactor pressure vessels, including the associated internals, the fuel element storage racks and adjacent concrete shielding structures in units B and C of the Gundremmingen plant. The work is expected to be completed in 2030.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News