Rückbau des Kernkraftwerkes Rheinsberg

Dismantling of Rheinsberg NPP

The dismantling project provides for the immediate dismantling of the Rheinsberg Nuclear Power Plant in a gradual manner. Over time we gained a lot of experience in the fields of dismantling, conditioning and disposal on the on hand as well as maintenance and reconstruction on the other.

This means:

  • The dismanting of all technical equipment
  • The dismantling of contaminated building structures
  • Demolition of the building after release from the Atomic Energy Act
  • Disposal or recycling of waste and residual materials accumulating in the process (disposal)

The immediate dismantling of the nuclear plant was given priority over a possible safe enclosure as the building design (no containment construction) presents too great a technical and financial challenge for safe enclosure, the existing functional technical equipment, for example lifting gear would have to be renewed for subsequent dismantling and the necessary competent and experienced staff are on hand when the plant is switched off.

Proposals to shut down and dismantle Rheinsberg Nuclear Power Plant were developed at the beginning of the 1990s and a cost and time estimation for all necessary work was compiled and agreed upon with the proprietors.

In April 1995 the competent nuclear supervisory authority for the federal state of Brandenburg gave permission for the shutting down and partial dismantling of Rheinsberg Nuclear Power Plant. The dismantling of the nuclear plant commenced directly afterwards.

Decommissioning and Dismantling

The following steps have been fulfilled so far:

  • Dismantling of no longer needed machines and electrotechnical equipment of the secondary loop (especially in the turbine house)
  • Maintenance of the building stock including transport and supply facilities for further use during the ongoing dismantling process
  • Dismantling of equipment from the controlled area (e.g. equipment from the primary loop and the special water treatment system)
  • Disposal of nuclear fuel and selected core components
  • Dismantling of activated components and the reactor pressure vessel 
  • Dismantling of the Hot Cell
  • Dismantling of equipment and buildings of the Storage Facility for Liquid and Solid Waste following the complete disposal of the waste inside

Current Operations

  • Establishing radiological conditions in more than 350 rooms of the controlled area for their subsequent demolition
  • Demolition of residual building structures of the former Storage for Liquid and Solid Waste
  • Installation of infrastructural facilities to provide for work safety and security at the dismantling site (e.g. an external exhaust-air system to replace the ventilation system of the controlled area; replacement of the manlock)
  • Adjustment of operational rules and standards in accordance with legal reforms and technical progress on a regular basis

Future Goals

  • Demolition of the main buildings
  • Dismantling of no longer required infrastructure
  • Full release of the site from the requirements of the German Atomic Energy Act


One important prerequisite for the dismantling of Rheinsberg Nuclear Power Plant is the safeguarding of continuous disposal of all waste and residual materials which accumulate during the dismantling process.

The following disposal routes are used:

  • Disposal of used fuel elements which were located on the site at the time the plant was switched off in four CASTOR® type transport and storage containers into the Interim Storage Facility North set up at the site of Greifswald Nuclear Power Plant
  • Transport of the radioactive operational and shutdown waste to the final repository for radioactive waste in Morsleben (ERAM) up to its closure in 1998 and after this to the Interim Storage Facility North for further processing and for subsequent transport to a final storage facility,
  • Non-radioactive residual material and residual material cleared after clearance measurement are reintroduced to the recovered substance cycle or disposed of as waste if they cannot be recycled.

For each individual part, the individual data and the disposal route are completely documented: material quality, radiation intensity, weight, location of the removal, type of disposal.