Vattenfall applies to decommission Krümmel

25 August 2015

Vattenfall yesterday submitted an application to decommission and dismantle the Krümmel nuclear power plant in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Krummel NPP - 460 (Vattenfall)
The single-unit Krümmel plant (Image: Vattenfall)

The Swedish company announced today that it had submitted the application to the ministry of energy transition, agriculture, environment and rural areas in Kiel.

The next step is to submit a safety report on the plant's decommissioning, which Vattenfall said was an important element in the approval procedure for decommissioning and dismantling and would describe the overall decommissioning process over a 15-20 year period. The approval process also includes a public consultation and an environmental impact assessment.

In a statement, the ministry said actual decommissioning of the Krümmel plant could only start "if the approval requirements are fully met and the approval is granted". Until that time - expected to be the end of 2018 - all used fuel from the plant will be held in an on-site interim storage facility. Dismantling of the plant is then likely to take more than 15 years to complete.

The Krümmel plant - comprising a single 1260 MWe boiling water reactor - is jointly owned by Vattenfall and EOn. The plant, which is operated by Vattenfall, was connected to the grid in 1983, but has been out of service for several years. It suffered a transformer fire in 2007 and, following repairs, was restarted in June 2009 but taken offline again the following month due to a transformer fault. Krümmel was one of eight older power reactors that had their operating licences withdrawn by the federal government shortly after the Fukushima accident in Japan in March 2011.

The operating licence for the Brunsbüttel plant (33.3% owned by EOn and 66.7% by Vattenfall) was also among them. Vattenfall applied in late 2012 to decommission that plant - which has also been idle since 2007 following a grid-facilitated trip - and the approval process is under way.

Pieter Wasmuth, managing director of Vattenfall's German subsidiary Vattenfall Europe Nuclear Energy, said: "The approval process in Brunsbüttel serves as experience for us. The experience we have already gained will be applied to Krümmel. Therefore, we assume that we will be able to submit the safety report for Krümmel in the coming months."

In May, 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 the agreement aim "to make the decommissioning and dismantling process of their joint venture nuclear power plants as economical as possible."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News