Following several months of negotiations, PreussenElektra placed a major order in mid-December for the dismantling and packaging of the reactor pressure vessel internals in six of its nuclear power plants that are scheduled for dismantling. The contract was awarded to the consortium ZerKon, consisting of the three companies GNS Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service, Westinghouse Electric Germany, and Westinghouse Electric Sweden.
"The award of this contract is an important milestone for us: The removal of the internals in the reactor pressure vessels is of vital importance for the successful implementation of our dismantling strategy for every single decommissioning site and for the entire fleet," said Managing Director Jan Cornelis Homan, responsible for decommissioning and dismantling. "The dismantling and packaging of these internals is technically one of the most demanding and complex projects within the decommissioning process. We, therefore, need experienced and proven partners for this work, who can safely and reliably implement the complexity of the project on one hand, and ensure the sensitivity in terms of safety at work on the other. We are convinced that we have found these partners with the selected companies."
GNS assumes the consortium lead in this ambitious project and is in particular responsible for packaging the waste for final storage. Westinghouse is primarily responsible for the disassembly of the reactor pressure vessel internals, using proven dismantling technology.
The project is planned for more than 10 years. The internals in the reactor pressure vessel incorporate essential facilities which have secured the fuel elements in the container and have ensured the coolant flow. The dismantling and packaging is performed remotely under water. For the six PreussenElektra nuclear power plants, a total of approx. 900 tons must be packed into around 1,100 casks and containers suitable for final storage.