A nuclear-power plant is dismantled
The former Mülheim-Kärlich nuclear power plant is located in Rhineland-Palatinate, north of the town of Koblenz. The plant has been in the process of dismantling since the summer of 2004. This means that all technical facilities are being removed from the reactor building, the turbine hall and other structures. After the vacant buildings are released from the requirements of the Nuclear Energy Act, they will be demolished.
Dismantling signed and sealed in nuclear energy consensus
The decision to shut down and dismantle the Mülheim-Kärlich nuclear power plant is the result of an agreement on phasing out nuclear energy in Germany that was concluded on 14 June 2000 between the federal government of the time and the operators of nuclear power plants.
A brief look back
Construction started in 1975, but the plant was not able to commence nuclear trial operations until 1986. Formal defects led to its shutdown in September 1988 after just 13 months of power operations. The subsequent legal dispute lasting several years showed that it was neither technical nor safety defects that led to the shutdown of the plant.
Approval for shutdown in 2004
In 2001, RWE filed an initial application with the relevant approval authorities. Backed by an in-depth public hearing procedure, the Ministry for the Environment and Forestry in Rhineland-Palatinate on 16 July 2004 issued its approval for the shutdown and for the start of the initial dismantling phase of the Mülheim-Kärlich power plant.
Currently, the dismantling work in the reactor area mainly focuses on the primary cycle: pipelines and pumps have already been removed and the two steam generators will be the next components to be disassembled.
99% of radioactivity removed in 2002
Radioactive waste amounting to approximately 1,700 tonnes will be left over. Since this concerns low- and medium-level radioactive material, everything can be stored in the approved Konrad final-storage facility. As early as summer 2002, the last fuel elements – and, hence, 99% of the radioactive potential – were removed from the Mülheim-Kärlich plant.