FRM-II finally licensed

17 May 2003

The Bavarian Ministry for Regional Development and Environmental Affairs signed the licence on 2 May following approval from the Federal Ministry of the Environment on 16 April, on the condition that fuel enriched to less than 50% U-235 be used by 2010. Federal environment minister Jürgen Trittin said that the reactor should be converted to use non weapons-grade nuclear fuel by 2010 "at the latest," adding that plans for the FRM-II "had ignored the politics of disarmament for many years." A statement issued by the centre at Garching said: "We expect now a period of 10 to 12 months for taking FRM-II into full operation. The first criticality is expected in August to September and first neutrons at the instruments are expected early autumn 2003. This period will finish with several weeks of full operation at 20MWt. The following routine operation foresees a maximum of five cycles each of 52 days leading up to 260 days operation per year."
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