Vattenfall, EOn team up on German decommissioning

29 May 2015

EOn and Vattenfall have signed an agreement to cooperate in the decommissioning and dismantling of their jointly owned nuclear power plants in Germany.

Krummel NPP - 460 (Vattenfall)
The Krümmel plant - jointly owned by EOn and Vattenfall - was one of eight German reactors shut down in 2011 (Image: Vattenfall)

The long-term cooperation agreement was signed between EOn subsidiary EOn Technologies and Vattenfall's German subsidiary Vattenfall Europe Nuclear Energy (VENE).

In a joint statement the companies said they had signed the agreement "in order to make the decommissioning and dismantling process of their joint venture nuclear power plants as economical as possible."

EOn and Vattenfall said the main objective of the agreement "is to incorporate experience, especially from the largely-completed dismantling of the EOn nuclear power plant in Stade, in the planning and implementation of the decommissioning of the VENE power plants."

Under the agreement, Vattenfall and EOn will jointly develop and implement concepts such as for dismantling large components, as well as logistics, waste treatment and disposal. The companies said the transfer of experts has already begun.

"The expertise acquired by the post-operational phase and dismantling should not only be continuously exchanged between the partners, but also updated," the companies said.

Following the Fukushima accident in Japan in March 2011, the German government announced the withdrawal of the operating licences of eight German nuclear power reactors that started operation in or before 1980. These included EOn's Isar 1 and Unterweser units, as well as the Brunsbüttel plant (33.3% owned by EOn and 66.7% by Vattenfall) and the Krümmel plant (in which they each hold 50%).

EOn owns or has stakes in four reactors still in operation in Germany: Grafenrheinfeld, Grohnde, Brokdorf and Isar 2. Vattenfall retains a 20% stake in the Brokdorf plant. However, under Germany's phase-out plan, all these units are now scheduled to shut down by 2022, starting with Grafenrheinfeld which is set to close by the end of this year.

The 640 MWe Stade pressurized water reactor in Lower Saxony - one of Germany's first commercial nuclear power plants - began operating in 1972 but was shut down in November 2003 for economic reasons. It is two-thirds owned EOn with the remaining one-third owned by Vattenfall. It is currently undergoing decommissioning.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News