Areva to decontaminate Germany's Kruemmel

22 December 2015

Vattenfall Europe Nuclear Energy has chosen Areva NP to decontaminate the primary loop of the Kruemmel nuclear power plant, located near Hamburg, Germany.

Kruemmel, a 1402MW boiling water reactor, started operations in September 1983 and was permanently shut down in August 2011 as part of the post-Fukushima nuclear phase out in Germany.

Areva said the decontamination project, which aims to reduce the radiation levels in the reactor pressure vessel, auxiliary systems and piping, would start in 2015 and that decontamination would be carried out in the first half of 2016.

Two techniques have been selected for the project: Areva's CORD UV® and the AMDA® processes. Decontamination will involve the "progressive injection" of chemical products into the reactor's primary circuit. Once the process is completed, the chemical substances used will be decomposed into carbon dioxide and water, leaving behind no additional waste.

In August 2015, Vattenfall, which owns Kruemmel jointly with Germany's E.On, submitted an application to decommission and dismantle the plant. But actual decommissioning can only start if approval is granted by the ministry of energy transition, agriculture, environment and rural areas in Kiel (expected in 2018) and is likely to take more than 15 years to complete.

E.On and Vattenfall also have an agreement in place to cooperate in the decommissioning and dismantling of their jointly owned nuclear power plants in Germany.

Photo: Kruemmel nuclear plant (Source: Vattenfall)

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