German utility PreussenElektra, a subsidiary of E.ON, said on 23 January that it had signed a decommissioning contract with the ZerKon consortium to dismantle and package of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) internals at six of its nuclear plants.
These include Brokdorf, Grohnde and Isar 2, which are still in commercial operation but scheduled for closure in 2022, and Grafenrheinfeld, Isar 1 and Unterweser, which are already shut down. The contract does not cover two closed reactors at Stade and Würgassen. The ZerKon consortium includes GNS Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service, Westinghouse Electric Germany and Westinghouse Electric Sweden.
GNS, whose shareholders are four German nuclear utilities including PreussenElektra, will lead the consortium and will primarily to responsible for preparation of radioactive waste generated during the dismantling and for final storage. It will involve packaging some 900 tons of radioactive materials into 1100 containers. The Westinghouse units will be responsible for the dismantling the RPVs. Dismantling and packaging of the pressure vessel internals will be performed remotely, underwater. The work is expected to take more than ten years
PreussenElektra's managing director for decommissioning and dismantling, Jan Cornelis Homan, said: "The dismantling and packaging of [the] internals are 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."
Photo: Isar nuclear plant (Credit: PreussenElektra)