Dismantling

Dismantling

The protection of humans and the environment is of primary importance during the dismantling of nuclear plants. This short film shows how a nuclear plant is dismantled:

General Explanation

Shut down nuclear power plants may not be left to their own devices. They are still subject to nuclear law and thus require the supervision of federal and regional authorities. Separate permission is therefore required for the decommissioning and dismantling of all plants. Special challenges are presented by the dismantling of heavily contaminated and/or activated parts with a high dose rate and the safe management of the resulting radioactive waste.

The shutting down of nuclear plants and laboratories and prototype facilities used for nuclear research and thus also their dismantling is a demanding task. It requires specialist knowledge in many fields. In Germany, a number of smaller reactors have already been shut down and completely dismantled, for example in Niederaichbach, Grosswelzheim and Kahl. Commercial reactors are also being dismantled or projects have already been completed, such as the dismantling of Würgassen Nuclear Power Plant.

Dismantling in Detail

The EWN Group’s experts have gained extensive experience with dismantling nuclear facilities through the successful dismantling of a number of plants of various kinds.

Nuclear facilities like research and power reactors consist of plant components such as pumps and pipes and concrete structures. These can generally be recycled conventionally– for example as scrap or demolished concrete in road construction. On average, around three quarters of the accumulated materials can be recycled without harm, monitored by the supervisory authorities. The remainder is radioactive waste and has to be decontaminated. There are several options available for this in the plants.

Radioactive waste materials which accumulate during dismantling projects are first decontaminated as far as possible. Further information is available at:

Decontamination 

Radioactive waste is stored temporarily at the Interim Storage Facility North until it can be handed over to a federal final store. Further information is available at:

 Interim Storage Facility North

Worldwide, there are currently two possible ways to dismantle a nuclear power plant: