atw 2019-03

inforum

nucmag.com

2019

3

131

Nuclear Power Plant

Flexibility

141 ı Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Wind Energy in Germany and Europe

149 ı Spotlight on Nuclear Law

Extended Interim Storage – Impact on the

Environmental Impact Assessment?

151 ı Decommissioning and Waste Management

The German Quiver Project

ISSN · 1431-5254

24.– €

168 ı Special Topic | A Journey Through 50 Years AMNT

Core Problems 1982 – More Open Discussion

Register Now!


7. – 8. Mai 2019

Estrel Convention Center Berlin, Deutschland

www.unserejahrestagung.de

#50AMNT

Unsere 50. Jahrestagung gewährt einen Rückblick

auf vergangene Tage und einen Ausblick auf die Zukunft

– mit über raschenden Highlights, anspruchsvollen

Vorträgen und spannenden Diskussionen.

Registrieren Sie sich für die

50. Jahrestagung Kerntechnik unter

› www.amnt2019.com

Medien Partner

Lassen Sie sich dieses bemerkenswerte Jubiläum nicht entgehen!


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

0, the Facts Remain ...

Dear reader, the number “0” certainly has a special meaning in the world of numbers, science and also in everyday

life. For some it is a blessing, for others it is a curse. As the 37 th element in the roulette game, it guarantees the gambling

casino a competitive advantage below the line on probabilities; as zero in philosophy, it represents nothing.

Zero has a place in algebra and contrary to its “worthlessness”

it is very meaningful: zero (0) is neither positive

nor negative. It is completely harmless in addition and

subtraction – it does not change a number in the result. In

multiplication it makes everything null and void out of

any number, no matter how large. As a divisor it is even

forbidden in division, because it would overturn our

complete number system.

Since such numbers and number systems can be used

independently of languages, they are also suitable for

depicting connections uniformly and carefully, i.e. in an

internationally understandable way.

In the internationally agreed language of nuclear

power, the “International Nuclear and Radiological Event

Scale – INES” is certainly of particular importance as a

­recognised classification system.

Since 1990, i.e. for almost 30 years, events in the field of

nuclear technology have been classified according to this

scale, which was developed by the International Atomic

Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Nuclear Energy Agency

(NEA) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and

Development (OECD). On the one hand, the INES scale

should enable technical experts to explain the safety

­significance of an event to the public in an understandable

way. On the other hand, the public can interpret the

­significance of events just as easily and clearly by means of

absolute numbers. The INES evaluation scale comprises

7 levels for the events recorded: from level 1 to level 7. The

classification into the levels is based on safety-oriented or

radiological criteria. Events of level 1 to 3 are classified as

incident and events of level 4 to 7 are classified as accident

with increasing consequences.

In order to also record events that are neither incident

nor accident and are generally referred to internationally

as operating deviation, the level zero (0) below the actual

INES scale has also been introduced. According to the

­internationally valid and binding definition, these events

have “no safety significance”.

The application of the INES scale in 74 countries

worldwide today – including all countries operating

nuclear power plants – and the extension of the scale to

other areas, such as medicine and the industrial application

of radioisotopes and ionizing radiation sources,

­underscores the practical benefits and broad acceptance of

the scale. In addition, the IAEA contributes to the international

public transparency of event reports by posting

infor mation on the Internet platform www-news.iaea.org.

The INES scale is not intended and not suitable for

performance comparisons between the participating

countries or for deriving safety-related developments

from statistics – this has been agreed and recognised

by all participating countries. Nevertheless, in the media

context, “chronicles of incidents” or “evaluations” based

on INES reports are sometimes almost ritualised. Germany

is a well-known pioneer in this field and so the media,

under the title “AKW Brokdorf und Grohnde melden

meisten Störfälle” (“Brokdorf and Grohnde nuclear power

plants report most incidents”), knew before the end of

2018 on an internet blog post as a source that with

79 incidents in 2018, “German nuclear power plants

would have reported as many as they had not for 7 years”.

However, all these incidents that have been cleverly

verbally pushed into the realm of near catastrophes are

­INES “zero” events, i.e. they have no safety significance

and have no connection with the term “incident” nor the

term “accident” – reading helps, understanding even more.

It will now be a bit complicated for the interested citizen

to get his own interpretation. The individual reports on

“Reportable Events” available in the WWW at the Federal

Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management can

be used to evaluate all reports and thus the safety-related

“zero” summary for Germany's nuclear power plant

operation in 2018 can be drawn – an optically differentiated

presentation of these internationally agreed facts

based on the INES criteria would already be helpful for the

interested public at this point.

Beyond journalistic attention, an evaluation of the

­reportable events for Germany since their first application

in 1991 shows that almost all (99 %) events are assigned to

category “0” of the INES scale; i.e. with the participation

and after determination by the responsible state authorities,

events are "without safety-related" significance (this

is no statement in terms of statistics!).

The summary is: INES 0 = no “fault”, no “incident”, no

“accident” – “0” in all its fullness of “nothing” and also

actually a "zero report".

Christopher Weßelmann

– Editor in Chief –

123

EDITORIAL

Editorial

0, the Facts Remain ...


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

EDITORIAL 124

0, es bleibt dabei ...

Liebe Leserin, lieber Leser, die Zahl „0“ besitzt in der Welt der Zahlen, der Wissenschaft und auch im Alltagsleben

eine sicherlich besondere Bedeutung. Für die einen ist sie Segen, für die anderen ist sie Fluch. Dem Spielcasino

garantiert sie als 37stes Element im Roulettespiel unter dem Strich über Wahrscheinlichkeiten den Wettbewerbsvorteil,

als Null in der Philosophie stellt sie das Nichts dar.

Die Null hat einen Platz in der Algebra und entgegen ihrer

„Wertlosigkeit“ ist sie sehr bedeutungsvoll: Die Null (0) ist

weder positiv noch negativ. In der Addition und Subtraktion

ist sie völlig harmlos – sie verändert im Ergebnis

keine Zahl. In der Multiplikation macht sie aus jeder noch

so großen Zahl alles null und nichtig. Als Divisor ist sie

in der Division sogar verboten, da sie unser komplettes

Zahlensystem umwerfen würde.

Da solche Zahlen und Zahlensysteme unabhängig von

Sprachen verwendet werden können, eignen sie sich auch

dazu, Zusammenhänge einheitlich und sorgfältig, also

auch international verständlich, abzubilden.

In der international vereinbarten Sprache der Kernenergie

hat dabei sicherlich die „International Nuclear and

Radiological Event Scale“, kurz INES, als anerkanntes

Ordnungssystem einen besonderen Stellenwert.

Seit 1990, also seit fast 30 Jahren, werden Ereignisse im

Bereich der Kerntechnik gemäß dieser, von der Internationalen

Atomenergie-Organisation (IAEO) und der

Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) der Organisation für wirtschaftliche

Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (OECD)

entwickelten, Skala eingestuft. Die INES-Skala soll es

dabei einerseits den fachlichen Anwendern ermöglichen,

der Öffentlichkeit auf verständliche Art und Weise die

sicherheitstechnische Bedeutung eines Ereignisses zu

erläutern, auf der anderen Seite kann die Öffentlichkeit

anhand der Einordnung durch absolute Zahlenwerte

ebenso einfach und deutlich die Bedeutung von Ereignissen

interpretieren. Die INES-Bewertungskala umfasst dazu

7 Stufen für die erfassten Ereignisse: von der Stufe 1 bis

zur Stufe 7. Die Einordnung in die Stufen erfolgt anhand

sicherheitsorientierter bzw. radiologischer Kriterien.

Dabei sind Ereignisse der Stufen 1 bis 3 als Störungen

(engl. incident) deklariert und Ereignisse der Stufen 4 bis

7 als Unfälle (engl. accident) mit jeweils zunehmendem

Ausmaß von Folgen.

Um auch Ereignisse zu erfassen, die weder als Störfall

noch als Unfall gelten und allgemein international als

Betriebsabweichung bezeichnet sind, ist zudem die

unterhalb der eigentlichen INES-Skala liegende Stufe

„Null“ (0) eingeführt. Nach der international gültigen und

­verbindlichen Definition haben diese Ereignisse „keine

­sicherheitstechnische Bedeutung“ („no safety significance“).

Die Anwendung der INES-Skala in heute 74 Ländern

weltweit – mit dabei sind alle Kernkraftwerke betreibenden

Staaten – und die Erweiterung der Skala auf

­weitere Bereiche, wie z.B. die Medizin und die industrielle

Anwendung von Radioisotopen und ionisierenden

Strahlen quellen, unterstreicht den praktischen Nutzen

und die breite Akzeptanz der Skala. Zudem trägt die IAEO

durch das Einstellen von Informationen auf der Internetplattform

www-news.iaea.org zur internationalen öffentlichen

Transparenz von Ereignismeldungen bei.

Die INES-Skala ist nicht dazu vorgesehen und auch

nicht dafür geeignet Performance-Vergleiche unter den

beteiligten Ländern anzustellen oder gar mittels Statistik

sicherheitstechnische Entwicklungen abzuleiten – dies

haben alle beteiligten Staaten vereinbart und anerkannt.

Dennoch finden sich im medialen Kontext teils fast

schon ritualisiert auf INES-Meldungen basierte „Störfallchroniken“

oder „Auswertungen“. Deutschland ist hier

­bekannter Vorreiter und so wussten Medien unter dem

Titel „AKW Brokdorf und Grohnde melden meiste Störfälle“

auf einem Internet-Blog-Beitrag als Quelle aufgesetzt

schon vor Jahresende 2018, dass „deutsche Atomanlagen“

mit 79 Vorfällen in 2018 so viele wie seit 7 Jahren

nicht mehr gemeldet hätten. Alle diese geschickt verbal in

den Bereich der Beinahekatastrophe geschobenen Vorfälle

sind allerdings INES-„Null“-Ereignisse, die also keine

sicherheitstechnische Bedeutung haben und in keinem

Zusammenhang mit dem Begriff „Störfall“ stehen – Lesen

hilft, verstehen noch mehr.

Etwas aufwändig wird es nun für den interessierten

Bürger sich dazu ein eigenes Bild zu verschaffen. Über die

im WWW verfügbaren Einzelberichte zu „Meldepflichtigen

Ereignissen“ beim Bundesamt für kerntechnische

Entsorgungssicherheit lassen sich alle Meldungen auswerten

und so kann das sicherheitstechnische „Null“­

Resümee für Deutschlands Kernkraftwerksbetrieb des

Jahres 2018 gezogen werden – eine optisch anhand der

INES­ Kriterien offensichtliche Darstellung dieser international

vereinbarten Fakten wäre an dieser Stelle für die

interessierte Öffentlichkeit sicherlich auch hilfreich.

Jenseits publizistischer Aufmerksamkeit ist mit einer

Auswertung der Meldepflichtigen Ereignisse für Deutschland

seit erster Anwendung im Jahr 1991 festzuhalten,

dass nahezu alle (99 %) Ereignisse der Kategorie „0“

der INES-Skala zugeordnet sind; also mit Beteiligung

und nach Festlegung durch die verantwortlichen staatlichen

Behörden Ereignisse „ohne sicherheitstechnische“

Bedeutung sind (dies ist keine (!) statistische Aussage).

Das Resümee lautet: INES 0 = keine „Störung“, kein

„Störfall“, kein „Unfall“ – „0“ in seiner ganzen Fülle des

„Nichts“ und auch eigentlich eine „Null-Meldung“.

Christopher Weßelmann

– Chefredakteur –

Editorial

0, the Facts Remain ...


Kommunikation und

Training für Kerntechnik

Suchen Sie die passende Weiter bildungs maßnahme im Bereich Kerntechnik?

Wählen Sie aus folgenden Themen: Dozent/in Termin/e Ort

3 Atom-, Vertrags- und Exportrecht

Das Recht der radioaktiven Abfälle RA Dr. Christian Raetzke 17.09.2019 Berlin

Ihr Weg durch Genehmigungs- und Aufsichtsverfahren RA Dr. Christian Raetzke 02.04.2019

22.10.2019

Atomrecht – Navigation im internationalen nuklearen Vertragsrecht Akos Frank LL. M. 03.04.2019 Berlin

Atomrecht – Was Sie wissen müssen

Export kerntechnischer Produkte und Dienstleistungen –

Chancen und Regularien

3 Kommunikation und Politik

RA Dr. Christian Raetzke

Akos Frank LL. M.

RA Kay Höft M. A.

O. L. Kreuzer

Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Steinwarz

Berlin

04.06.2019 Berlin

12.06. - 13.06.2019 Berlin

Schlüsselfaktor Interkulturelle Kompetenz –

International verstehen und verstanden werden

Public Hearing Workshop –

Öffentliche Anhörungen erfolgreich meistern

Kerntechnik und Energiepolitik im gesellschaftlichen Diskurs –

Themen und Formate

Angela Lloyd 20.03.2019 Berlin

Dr. Nikolai A. Behr 05.11. - 06.11.2019 Berlin

November 2019

Greifswald/

Lubmin

3 Rückbau und Strahlenschutz

In Kooperation mit dem TÜV SÜD Energietechnik GmbH Baden-Württemberg:

Das neue Strahlenschutzgesetz –

Folgen für Recht und Praxis

Stilllegung und Rückbau in Recht und Praxis

Dr. Maria Poetsch

RA Dr. Christian Raetzke

Dr. Matthias Bauerfeind

RA Dr. Christian Raetzke

04.04. - 05.04.2019

25.06. - 26.06.2019

10.09.-.11.09.2019

Berlin

24.09. - 25.09.2019 Berlin

3 Nuclear English

Advancing Your Nuclear English (Aufbaukurs) Devika Kataja 10.04. - 11.04.2019

18.09. - 19.09.2019

Enhancing Your Nuclear English Devika Kataja 22.05. - 23.05.2019 Berlin

3 Wissenstransfer und Veränderungsmanagement

Berlin

Erfolgreicher Wissenstransfer in der Kern technik –

Methoden und praktische Anwendung

Veränderungsprozesse gestalten – Heraus forderungen

meistern, Beteiligte gewinnen

Dr. Tanja-Vera Herking

Dr. Christien Zedler

Dr. Tanja-Vera Herking

Dr. Christien Zedler

26.03. - 27.03.2019 Berlin

26.11. - 27.11.2019 Berlin

Haben wir Ihr Interesse geweckt? 3 Rufen Sie uns an: +49 30 498555-30

Kontakt

INFORUM Verlags- und Verwaltungs gesellschaft mbH ı Robert-Koch-Platz 4 ı 10115 Berlin

Petra Dinter-Tumtzak ı Fon +49 30 498555-30 ı Fax +49 30 498555-18 ı seminare@kernenergie.de

Die INFORUM-Seminare können je nach

Inhalt ggf. als Beitrag zur Aktualisierung

der Fachkunde geeignet sein.


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

CONTENTS

126

Issue 3 | 2019

March

Contents

Editorial

0, the Facts Remain ... E/G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123

Inside Nuclear with NucNet

Why UK Is Banking on SMRs as the Future of Nuclear . . . . . . . .128

DAtF Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129

Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130

Feature | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Nuclear Power Plant Flexibility at EDF. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Wind Energy in Germany and Europe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .141

Spotlight on Nuclear Law

Extended Interim Storage – Impact on the Environmental

Impact Assessment? G . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149

Decommissioning and Waste Management

The German Quiver Project

Quivers for Damaged and Non-Standard Fuel Rods . . . . . . . . . 151

Advanced Sectorial Gamma Scanning for the Radiological

Characterization of Radioactive Waste Packages . . . . . . . . . . .160

Special Topic | A Journey Through 50 Years AMNT

Annual Meeting in Mannheim:

Core Problems 1982 – More Open Discussion on Old

and New Insights and Barriers to Progress G . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168

KTG Inside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .172

Cover:

Control rod drive mechanism of nuclear power

plant Krümmel/Germany. Copyright: Bernhard

Ludewig.

News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173

Nuclear Today

Is the UK Ready to See Nuclear Fade Before It Can Shine? . . . . . 178

G

E/G

= German

= English/German

Imprint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

Contents


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

127

Feature

Major Trends in Energy Policy

and Nuclear Power

CONTENTS

131 Nuclear Power Plant Flexibility at EDF

Patrick Morilhat, Stéphane Feutry,

Christelle Lemaitre and Jean Melaine Favennec

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

141 Wind Energy in Germany and Europe

Thomas Linnemann and Guido S. Vallana

Spotlight on Nuclear Law

149 Extended Interim Storage – Impact

on the Environmental Impact Assessment?

Verlängerte Zwischenlagerung – Auswirkungen

auf die Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung?

Tobias Leidinger

Decommissioning and Waste Management

151 The German Quiver Project

Quivers for Damaged and Non-Standard Fuel Rods

Sascha Bechtel, Wolfgang Faber, Hagen Höfer,

Frank Jüttemann, Martin Kaplik, Michael Köbl, Bernhard Kühne and Marc Verwerft

Special Topic | A Journey Through 50 Years AMNT

168 Annual Meeting in Mannheim:

Core Problems 1982 – More Open Discussion

on Old and New Insights and Barriers to Progress

Jahrestagung in Mannheim:

Kernprobleme 1982 – Offenere Diskussion

alter und neuer Erkenntnisse und Hemmnisse

Contents


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

128

Why UK Is Banking on SMRs

as the Future of Nuclear

INSIDE NUCLEAR WITH NUCNET

Vincent Zabielski is a

specialist nuclear

lawyer at Londonbased

law firm

Pillsbury, focusing on

international nuclear

energy matters,

including advice

related to new-build

EPC contracts, power

purchase agreements,

operation and maintenance,

fuel supply

chain, liability issues,

and export controls.

Before joining

Pillsbury, he was

senior nuclear counsel

for the United Arab

Emirates’ nuclear new

build programme,

where he was

responsible for

integration of nuclear

licensing strategy

with the largest-ever

public financing of a

public works project.

The UK is making significant investment in the development of small modular reactors and, despite

­challenges, could have its first unit up and running in the early 2030s, says London-based nuclear lawyer

Vincent Zabielski.

Small modular reactors (SMR) promise to bring

nuclear power to the masses, revolutionising

the nuclear power industry by making its production

increasingly affordable and available to a far wider market.

SMRs are standardised products that are made on a

factory production line, rather than bespoke machines

that are constructed onsite one at a time. Mass production

will ensure consistency in quality and drive down unit

costs, compared to traditional, one-off, and complex large

reactor designs.

SMR components will be much cheaper to transport

than those used in traditional large reactors. SMR reactor

plant and supporting components are all compact enough

to be transported from factory to construction site by boat,

lorry or railway; unlike the huge transporters and road

closures that are required for larger conventional plants.

These designs are also much safer: the smaller reactor

cores, simpler systems, and reliance on built-in passive

safety features all mean that the size of the emergency

planning zone can be reduced to the boundary of the plant,

in contrast to the “plume exposure pathway”, which is up

to 16 km, for traditional large nuclear plants.

In countries with a smaller electrical grid, for example

sub-Saharan Africa and the polar north, SMRs offer

advantages for ensuring grid stability. Their power can be

delivered in bite-sized morsels to the wider grid, resulting

in a stable and incremental expansion of the grid as

demand increases.

SMRs are also much less demanding in terms of siting

as they do not require the same large, low-population

zones as traditional reactors.

Safety improvements aside, the largest economic

advantage of modular design is the great reduction in

­construction risk. Thanks to an SMR’s factory construction,

the site hosting it can be prepared before it arrives,

minimising expensive contract variations. This reduction

in construction risk should mean that budgets and timelines

will be met more reliably.

The UK is easily the most progressive western country

when it comes to nuclear power. The government is taking

steps in the right direction with significant investment in

SMRs, including a fund of up to £20m for supply chain

­development, £7m for regulatory readiness, and up to

£44m in an advanced modular reactor feasibility and

­development project. In June 2018, the Department for

Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy issued its ambitious

nuclear sector deal policy paper. This paper presents plans

for cooperation between the government and the civilian

sector. Those plans include a 30 % reduction in the cost of

new-build projects by 2030; lower generation costs and a

20 % reduction in decommissioning costs to the taxpayer;

and a more competitive supply chain, with more UK

companies using advanced manufacturing methods and

entering domestic and export markets for nuclear goods

and services.

As part of the nuclear sector deal, the government will

set out a framework to support the development and

deployment of SMRs and the technologies that support

them.

The UK nuclear regulatory framework is goal-based

rather than prescriptive, which makes the UK particularly

attractive for deploying SMRs. While nuclear reactor

vendors are required to demonstrate their safety case to

the Office of Nuclear Regulation, the regulations do not

prescribe any particular design solution. In other words,

the ONR requires that SMRs be safe, but it doesn’t tell the

manufacturer how to make them safe – that is the job of

the designer.

As for cost, the current market for nuclear power is

largely limited to wealthy buyers with deep pockets. But,

thanks to its small and modular design, the production

time, introduction period and safety management of SMRs

are all considerably reduced. With this in mind, the cost of

implementing this technology into global power grids

should be significantly lower than traditional large

reactors.

The other positive news is that development of SMRs in

the UK should not be disproportionately impacted by

Brexit and withdrawal from the Euratom treaty. In the very

near term, the UK will need to establish bilateral nuclear

cooperation treaties with major supplier countries in the

EU and elsewhere, but it has already begun to do this.

Western powers, such as Canada, France and the US,

are developing SMRs. There are also promising new

designs from China, Russia, and Japan. However, it seems

that the UK is the most likely to make the greatest strides in

SMR development, given the government’s support of

nuclear.

Realistically, the earliest an SMR will be operational in

the UK is probably the early 2030s. That may seem a long

time, but there is a lot that needs to happen between now

and commercial operation.

Supply chains will need to be developed, ONR generic

design assessments will need to be completed, the SMR

manufacturing facility will need to be designed and built,

and a site will need to be identified and prepared to accept

the SMR. All of this takes time, but if the government holds

its current course, all of these challenges can be overcome.

Vincent Zabielski

Inside Nuclear with NucNet

Why UK Is Banking on SMRs as the Future of Nuclear


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

Notes

Will Electricity Demand Be Secured in Germany?

The Ministry of the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy

Sector Baden-Württemberg published a study by the University of

Stuttgart and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) called “Security

of Energy Supplies in Southern Germany till 2025 – Cover of

Demand in Extreme Situations?”. The objective of this study is to

show if the energy supply of Southern Germany and Germany

as a whole will be secure under new circumstances.

The table below shows the load balance of Germany as a whole.

For self-sufficient consideration, there will be a deficit from the year

2019. It could be covered on the one hand by the Guaranty Standby

(2.6 GW) and the Capacity Reserve (1.9 GW) or on the other hand

by imports from foreign countries. Despite all three reserves, the

demand cannot be longer covered from the year 2023 after all

nuclear power plants will be shut down.

DATF EDITORIAL NOTES

129

There are two different scenarios. The scenario without accelerated

coal phase-out is based on the shutdown of power plants referred

to their supposed life cycle. In contrast to this, the scenario

with accelerated coal phase-out assumes that there will be an

accele rated decline of capacity of coal-fired power plants from

the year 2021 (based on a study by Agora Energiewende, 2016*).

Maximum Load, Secured Load and Balance of Germany

[GW] 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025

Max. Load 80.3 79.3 78.2 77.1 76.1 75.0 74.0 73.0 72.0

Guaranty Standby (GS), Grid Reserve (GR), Capacity Reserve (CR)

GS 0.9 1.8 2.6 2.6 2.2 1.7 0.7 0.0 0.0

GR 6.6

CR 0.0 0.0 1.9

Scenario without accelerated coal phase-out

Assured Capacity 86.8 79.3 74.5 71.5 70.4 66.8 62.4 60.9 59.8

Balance 6.5 0.0 -3.7 -5.6 -5.7 -8.2 -11.6 -12.1 -12.2

Balance (incl. GS & CR) 7.4 1.8 0.8 -1.1 -1.6 -4.6 -9.0 -10.2 -10.3

Balance (incl. GS, GR & CR) 14.0 8.4 7.4 5.5 5.0 2.0 -2.4 -3.6 -3.7

Scenario with accelerated coal phase-out

Assured Capacity 86.8 79.3 74.5 71.5 70.4 65.0 58.8 56.5 54.1

Balance 6.5 0.0 -3.7 -5.6 -5.7 -10.0 -15.2 -16.5 -17.9

Balance (incl. GS & CR) 7.4 1.8 0.8 -1.1 -1.6 -6.4 -12.6 -14.6 -16.0

Balance (incl. GS, GR & CR) 14.0 8.4 7.4 5.5 5.0 0.2 -6.0 -8.0 -9.4

Guaranty Standby: Inoperative coal-fired power plants which can be restarted in extreme situations.

Grid Reserve: Inoperative power plants in Southern Germany which can be restarted if the grid cannot transfer electricity from the windy north to

the south (mainly in winter).

Capacity Reserve: Inoperative power plants which can be restarted in less than 12 hours to cover load peaks (coal-fired plants are not suitable).

https://bit.ly/2If853o

For further details

please contact:

Nicolas Wendler

DAtF

Robert-Koch-Platz 4

10115 Berlin

Germany

E-mail: presse@

kernenergie.de

www.kernenergie.de

DAtF Notes


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

Calendar

130

2019

CALENDAR

03.03.-07.03.2019

WM Symposia – WM2019. Phoenix, AZ, USA,

www.wmsym.org

05.03.-06.03.2019

VI. International Power Plants Summit.

Istanbul, Turkey, INPPS Fair,

www.nuclearpowerplantssummit.com

10.03.-15.03.2019

83. Annual Meeting of DPG and DPG Spring

Meeting of the Atomic, Molecular, Plasma Physics

and Quantum Optics Section (SAMOP),

incl. Working Group on Energy. Rostock, Germany,

Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft e.V.,

www.dpg-physik.de

10.03.-14.03.2019

The 9 th International Symposium on Supercritical-

Water-Cooled Reactors (ISSCWR-9). Vancouver,

British Columbia, Canada, Canadian Nuclear Society

(CNS), www.cns-snc.ca

11.03.-13.03.2019

18 th Workshop of the European ALARA Network:

ALARA in Decommissioning and Site Remediation.

Marcoule, France, European ALARA Network

www.eu-alara.net

11.03.-12.03.2019

Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference.

Washington D.C., U.S.A., Carnegie Endownment for

International Peace, carnegieendowment.org

13.03. – 14.03.2019

Nuclear Engineering for Safety,

Control & Security. Bristol, UK,

The IET, https://events.theiet.org

13.03. – 15.03.2019

NUGENIA Forum 2019. Paris, France, NUGENIA,

www.nugenia.eu


24.03.-28.03.2019

RRFM 20192019 the European Research

Reactor Conference. Jordan, IGORR, the International

Group Operating Research Reactors and European

Nuclear Society (ENS), www.euronuclear.org

25.03.-27.03.2019

Cyber Security Implementation Workshop.

Boston MA, USA, Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI),

www.nei.org

01.04.-03.04.2019

CIENPI – 13 th China International Exhibition on

Nuclear Power Industry. Beijing, China,

Coastal International, www.coastal.com.hk

09.04.-11.04.2019

World Nuclear Fuel Cycle 2019. Shanghai, China,

World Nuclear Association (WNA), Miami, Florida,

USA, www.wnfc.info

ATOMEXPO 2019. Sochi, Russia,

2019.atomexpo.ru/en/

15.04.-16.04.2019

07.05.-08.05.2019

50 th Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology

AMNT 2019 | 50. Jahrestagung Kerntechnik.

Berlin, Germany, DAtF and KTG,

www.amnt2019.com – Register Now!

15.05.-17.05.2019

1 st International Conference of Materials,

Chemistry and Fitness-For-Service Solutions

for Nuclear Systems. Toronto, Canada, Canadian

Nuclear Society (CNS), www.cns-snc.ca

16.05.-17.05.2019

Emergency Power Systems at Nuclear Power

Plants. Munich, Germany, TÜV SÜD,

www.tuev-sued.de/eps-symposium

24.05.-26.05.2019

International Topical Workshop on Fukushima

Decommissioning Research – FDR2019. Fukushima,

Japan, The University of Tokyo, fdr2019.org

29.05.-31.05.2019

Global Nuclear Power Tech. Seoul, South Korea, Korea

Electric Engineers Association, electrickorea.org/eng

03.06.-05.06.2019

Nuclear Energy Assembly. Washington DC, USA,

Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), www.nei.org

03.06.-07.06.2019

World Nuclear University Short Course:

The World Nuclear Industry Today.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, World Nuclear University,

www.world-nuclear-university.org

04.06.-07.06.2019

FISA 2019 and EURADWASTE ‘19. 9 th European

Commission Conferences on Euratom Research

and Training in Safety of Reactor Systems and

Radioactive Waste Management. Pitesti, Romania,

www.nucleu2020.eu

24.06.-28.06.2019

2019 International Conference on the Management

of Spent Fuel from Nuclear Power Reactors.

Vienna, Austria, International Atomic Energy Agency

(IAEA), www.iaea.org

23.06.-27.06.2019

World Nuclear University Summer Institute.

Romania and Switzerland, World Nuclear University,

www.world-nuclear-university.org

21.07.-24.07.2019

14 th International Conference on CANDU Fuel.

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Canadian Nuclear

Society (CNS), www.cns-snc.ca

28.07.-01.08.2019

Radiation Protection Forum. Memphis TN, USA,

Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), www.nei.org

29.07.-02.08.2019

27 th International Nuclear Physics Conference

(INPC). Glasgow, Scotland, inpc2019.iopconfs.org

04.08.-09.08.2019

PATRAM 2019 – Packaging and Transportation

of Radioactive Materials Symposium.

New Orleans, LA, USA. www.patram.org

21.08.-30.08.2019

Frédéric Joliot/Otto Hahn (FJOH) Summer School

FJOH-2019 – Innovative Reactors: Matching the

Design to Future Deployment and Energy Needs.

Karlsruhe, Germany, Nuclear Energy Division

of Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux

énergies alternatives (CEA) and Karlsruher Institut

für Technologie (KIT), www.fjohss.eu

04.09.-06.09.2019

World Nuclear Association Symposium 2019.

London, UK, World Nuclear Association (WNA),

www.wna-symposium.org

04.09.-05.09.2019

VGB Congress 2019 – Innovation in Power

Generation. Salzburg, Austria, VGB PowerTech e.V.,

www.vgb.org

08.09.-11.09.2019

4 th Nuclear Waste Management,

Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration

(NWMDER). Ottawa, Canada, Canadian Nuclear

Society (CNS), www.cns-snc.ca

09.09.-12.09.2019

24 th World Energy Congress. Abu Dhabi, UAE,

www.wec24.org

09.09.-12.09.2019

Jahrestagung 2019 – Fachverband für

Strahlenschutz | Strahlenschutz und Medizin.

Würzburg, Germany,

www.fs-ev.org/jahrestagung-2019

16.09.-20.09.2019

63 rd Annual Conference of the IAEA. Vienna,

Austria, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),

www.iaea.org/about/governance/generalconference

07.10. – 11.10.2019

International Conference on Climate Change and

the Role of Nuclear Power. Vienna, Austria,

IAEA, www.iaea.org

07.10. – 18.10.2019

ICTP-IAEA Nuclear Energy Management School.

Trieste, Italy, IAEA, www.iaea.org

15.10. – 18.10.2019

Technical Meeting on Siting for Nuclear Power

Plants. Vienna, Austria, IAEA, www.iaea.org

22.10.-25.10.2019

SWINTH-2019 Specialists Workshop on Advanced

Instrumentation and Measurement Techniques

for Experiments Related to Nuclear Reactor

Thermal Hydraulics and Severe Accidents.

Livorno, Italy, www.nineeng.org/swinth2019/

23.10.- 24.10.2019

Chemistry in Power Plants. Würzburg, Germany,

VGB PowerTech e.V., www.vgb.org/en/

chemie_im_kraftwerk_2019.html

27.10.-30.10.2019

FSEP CNS International Meeting on Fire Safety

and Emergency Preparedness for the Nuclear

Industry. Ottawa, Canada, Canadian Nuclear Society

(CNS), www.cns-snc.ca

12.11.-14.11.2019

International Conference on Nuclear

Decommissioning – ICOND 2019. Eurogress

Aachen, Aachen Institute for Nuclear Training GmbH,

www.icond.de

25.11.-29-11.2019

International Conference on Research Reactors:

Addressing Challenges and Opportunities to

Ensure Effectiveness and Sustainability.

Buenos Aires, Argentina, International Atomic

Energy Agency (IAEA), www.iaea.org/events/

conference-on-research-reactors-2019

This is not a full list and may be subject to change.

Calendar


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

Feature | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Nuclear Power Plant Flexibility at EDF

Patrick Morilhat, Stéphane Feutry, Christelle Lemaitre and Jean Melaine Favennec

Based upon existing experience feedback of French nuclear power plants operated by EDF (Electricité de France),

this paper shows that flexible operation of nuclear reactors is possible and has been applied in France by EDF’s 58

reactors for more than 30 years without any noticeable or unmanageable impacts: no effects on safety or on the

environment, and no noticeable additional maintenance costs, with an additional unplanned capability load factor

­estimated at only 0.5 %. EDF’s nuclear reactors have the capability to vary their output between 20 % and 100 % within

30 ­minutes, twice a day, when operating in load-following mode. Flexible operation requires sound plant design (safety

margins, auxiliary equipment) and appropriate operator skills, and early modifications were made to the initial

­Westinghouse design to enable flexible operation (e.g., use of “grey” control rods to vary reactor core thermal power

more rapidly than with conventional “black” control rods). The nominal capacities of the present power stations are

sufficient, safe and adequate to balance generation against demand and allow renewables to be inserted intermittently,

without any additional CO 2 emissions. It is a clear demonstration of full complementarity between nuclear and

renewable energies.

1 Introduction: Nuclear and Renewable

energies are the two pillars of France’s

low carbon electricity

The fight against climate change has entered a crucial

phase with the objective set by COP 21 to keep global

warming “well below” +2 °C at the horizon 2100. Today,

energy accounts for most CO 2 emissions worldwide and the

electricity sector in particular is a prime candidate for deep

decarbonization. A recent MIT study [1] says that unless

nuclear energy is incorporated into the global mix of

low-carbon energy technologies, the challenge of climate

change will be much more difficult and costly to meet.

Although nuclear energy raises the problem of nuclear

waste management, solutions have been identified, and it is

the climate change challenge that is overwhelming.

In this respect, France – which already has low carbon

intensity facilities – is a step ahead of its major European

neighbours. This low carbon and competitive mix must be

preserved in the long term, drawing on the complementary

relationship between renewable energy sources and

­nuclear energy. France’s electricity generation is built on a

mix of varied generation units, based upon nuclear power

plants (NPPs), renewable energies sources (RES)

consisting of hydropower plants, wind turbines, solar

farms or biomass plants and a few remaining set of conventional

units.

With an overall net generation capacity of 129.3 GWe

(92.3 GWe in mainland France), generating 580.8 TWh

(424.7 TWh in mainland France) in 2017 [2], the EDF

group is one of the world’s leading electricity producers.

EDF’s fleet generates 87 % carbon-free electricity, due to

the predominance of nuclear and hydropower generation

facilities, in an increasingly restrictive environmental

regulatory context.

EDF is among the world’s 10 largest global power

suppliers, and produces the smallest amount of CO 2

per kilowatt-hour, with direct emissions currently at

82 gCO 2 /kWh 2 (25gCO 2 /kWh for EDF France Mainland),

which is far less than the world average for the sector

(506gCO2/kWh in 2015) and the average for the main

­European electricity providers (275gCO 2 /kWh in 2016).

EDF group’s decarbonization strategy is first and foremost

based on an ambitious industrial policy focused on a

low-carbon generation with a balanced mix of nuclear and

renewable energy.

More specifically concerning nuclear power, EDF is the

world’s biggest NPP operator. EDF operates 58 nuclear

units in mainland France, based on PWR (Pressurized

­Water Reactor) technology; A “unit” is defined here as

a generation facility including a reactor, steam generators,

a turbine, a generator, the related equipment and the

buildings that house them. These units are spread over 19

sites, with an average age of 32 years. They are divided into

three series according to the electrical power available:

a 900 MW series consisting of 34 units, a 1,300 MW series

consisting of 20 units, and a 1,500 MW series consisting of

4 units.

Built in the 1980-90s and originally based on a

Westinghouse design, with upgrades implemented by

EDF and Framatome, the French nuclear fleet grew at a

quick pace, reaching about 72 % of the total electricity

generated in France [3] in 2017 (see Figure 1), 89 % of

France's Installed capacity (130.7 GW)

France's Electricity output (530 TWh)

| | Fig. 1.

France's 2017 installed capacity and electricity output [3].

FEATURE | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 131

Feature

Nuclear Power Plant Flexibility at EDF ı Patrick Morilhat, Stéphane Feutry, Christelle Lemaitre and Jean Melaine Favennec


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

FEATURE | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 132

| | Fig. 2.

EDF's 2017 installed capacity and electricity output in mainland France [2].

electricity generated by EDF alone in mainland France [2]

(see Figure 2). Thus, EDF’s nuclear facilities are already

giving France a major lead compared to its neighbours

in terms of curbing greenhouse gas emissions, while still

ensuring lower electricity costs.

In the past 30 years, EDF has striven to further increase

the operational flexibility of its reactors, to make them

more compatible with load fluctuations and to the

intermittent renewable energy sources that are a crucial

and growing part of any energy mix. France‘s situation is

particular in that nuclear units must themselves be able

to provide this flexibility of generation, because of their

predominant share of electricity supply. EDF relies on

feedback from 30 years’ experience, showing that, except

for some minor impacts on the secondary system (water/

steam cycle), flexibility has no significant operational

impact: in particular, nuclear safety is not affected.

In the rest of the world, most of nuclear plants run on

a full-power basis, also known as base-load operation,

since they contribute to a minor share of electricity supply

(­typically 10 % to 30 %): flexibility is achieved by gas, coal

and other fossil fuel units, contributing to additional CO 2

emissions.

To ensure a continuous supply of electricity, it is

therefore necessary either to store a part of the electricity

generated by renewables and use it when wind and sun

are not available, or to introduce generation units able to

easily modulate their own electricity output.

2 What is Plant Flexibility?

Although high electricity storage capacity is the current

target for electricity utilities worldwide, electricity cannot

yet be stored on a significant industrial scale [4]. Thus an

electrical power system must be able to adjust to rapidly

varying electricity demand/generation balance. Whereas

balancing levers exist on the demand side, this document

focuses on balance on the generation side.

Base-load operation refers to a steady power output

which depends on the unit series [5]. Power changes may

occur, whether planned (reduction or shut-down for

­refueling or periodic maintenance) or unplanned (specific

maintenance to address emergent plant issues); but for a

base-load operated plant, these are triggered by events

occurring at plant level rather than grid system level.

Historically, most of the nuclear power plants in the world

have been operated as base-loaded units: operating at a

constant power level is simpler and less demanding in

terms of plant equipment and fuel, not to mention the

­economic benefit to operate as long as possible nuclear

power plants that have high investment costs with low

variable costs. (nuclear variable costs are mainly fuelrelated

costs and represent less than 30 % of operating

costs).

In contrast to base-load operation, flexible NPP

operation refers to any mode of operation in which power

output varies to meet the demand of the electrical grid

system. As electricity demand varies continuously, the gap

between output and demand results in variation in grid

frequency: frequency drops when demand increases (lack

of generation) and rises when demand decreases (excess

of generation).

Two types of flexibility are usually distinguished: large

load variation programs agreed in advance between grid

operator and plant operator, known as “load following”

(applied to nuclear plants in France but not in all

countries), and minor automatic load variations aimed

at controlling grid frequency, known as “primary and

secondary frequency control”, usually implemented on all

nuclear plants when available. These two types of ­flexibility

can be superimposed.

In Load Following mode [6], the nuclear power plant

follows a load pattern determined to match the electrical

demand expected by the grid operator (depending on

time, day, week, season or emergent grid events) and the

actual capabilities of the plant. The power output is set

manually by the plant operator. Power ranges between

maximum output (depending on the series: i.e., 900 MW,

1,300 MW or 1,500 MW) and a minimum output

corresponding to the minimum required to supply the

automatic plant controls (about 20 % of the nominal

­power of the plant: i.e., 180 MW for standard 900 MW

plants, 260 MW for 1,300 MW PWRs, and 370 MW for

1,500 MW PWRs). In France, a nuclear power plant is able

to ramp up or down between 100 % and 20 % of nominal

power in half an hour, and again after at least two hours,

twice a day.

In Frequency Control mode, the power plant has to

monitor the frequency of the grid and immediately adapt

its level of generation in order to keep the frequency stable

at the desired value (50 Hz ± 0.5 Hz in Europe). This

is achieved through an Automatic Frequency Control

(AFC) process, which acts at different amplitudes and time

scales.

Primary frequency control allows short-term adjustments

(in less than 30 seconds) and is used to stabilize grid

frequency transients. An automatic control implemented

on the turbine increases the electrical output if the

frequency falls, or decreases output if the frequency rises.

Feature

Nuclear Power Plant Flexibility at EDF ı Patrick Morilhat, Stéphane Feutry, Christelle Lemaitre and Jean Melaine Favennec


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

The magnitude of variation under primary frequency

­control is set at ±2 % of the unit’s nominal power.

Secondary frequency control operates over a longer

timeframe (up to 15 minutes), and is aimed at what

is known as the “frequency restoration reserve”, an

operational reserve activated to restore grid frequency to

the nominal frequency at national and European scale.

An automatic signal is sent remotely by the grid operator

to the plant to change its power output within a range of

±5 % of the unit’s nominal power (i.e., 50 MW for 900 MW

plants, 65 MW for 1,300 MW plants and 75 MW for 1,500

MW plants).

Taken together, primary and secondary control provide

additional flexibility up to ±7 % of the unit’s nominal

­power (i.e., 70 MW for 900 MW series, 90 MW for

1,300 MW series and 100 MW for 1,500 MW series).

An example of a flexible operation power record for

a French NPP is shown in Figure 3 below. It illustrates

typical power variations in a single reactor (unit) at a

1,300 MW PWR plant over a 24-hour period.

| | Fig. 3.

Power generated by one plant reactor (1,300 MW capacity) over a 24-hour

period in Sept’ 2015, in response to variations in electricity demand and in

supply of local intermittent renewables.

Load-following and frequency control are two levers

of flexibility at the within-day timescale. Other levers

are worth mentioning. On a timescale of a week, plant

­availability can be adjusted by shifting routine tests

by a few days. On a seasonal timescale, refueling and

maintenance operations can be scheduled during periods

of low demand, providing 100 additional TWh during the

season of highest demand.

A study by EDF showed that, until 2030, the nominal

capacities of EDF’s nuclear NPPs (2 variations per day:

change from 100 % to 20 % power in half an hour) are

­sufficient to balance the intermittency of renewables in

most situations [7]. EDF is able to keep two in three units

in flexible mode (capable of power variation between

100 % and 20 % of nominal power). In spring or summer,

when 12 to 15 reactors are shut down for maintenance

or reloading, about 45 nuclear units out of 58 remain

connected to the grid. If 30 units can vary their output

by 500 MW each, the total fleet has a flexibility capacity

of 15,000 MW, in addition to the existing capacities of

hydro-generation, fossil-fuelled power stations and

export/import surplus.

EDF has also striven to limit or optimize operating

rules which could reduce the present flexibility: a simple

example is the optimization, so as to meet flexibility

requirements, of scheduling of periodic full-power tests

such as flux mapping tests (performed to calibrate core

instrumentation).

3 Nuclear and Renewable alliance:

Getting along with flexibility

There are two main constraints for dispatchable power

plants: power variations due to consumers’ fluctuating

­demand, and the inevitable fluctuations of intermittent

renewable energy generation because of varying weather

conditions and the day/night cycle. This requires flexibility

from large power plants, such as nuclear or fossil-fuelled

units, in addition to hydro-generation which is naturally

flexible.

3.1 Electricity consumption

Electricity consumption obviously varies constantly. In

France, the annual difference between maximum and

minimum hourly consumption can exceed 60 GW:

30,199 MW on August 13 at 7 am and 94,190 MW on

January 20 at 9 am. Risk in supply-demand balance differs

between winter and summer, as seen in Figure 4 and

Figure 5, mainly due to heating in winter.

| | Fig. 4.

Demand in France in a 2017’ summer week.

| | Fig. 5.

Demand in France in a 2017’ winter week.

In terms of frequency control, the winter risk (lack of

capacity) is greatest at the peak hour of 7 pm on weekdays,

whereas the summer risk (risk of over-capacity) is mainly

around the lowest consumption levels, encountered early

morning at weekends, between midnight and 5 am.

French generating facilities are sized to meet the winter

consumption peak.

3.2 Inherently variable renewable energy:

Wind and solar

Renewable energy sources are of two types: dispatchable

or controllable sources such as hydroelectricity, biomass

and geothermal power; and non-dispatchable sources,

also known as variable renewable energies (VRE), that

are intrinsically highly fluctuating (like wind and solar

power).

Approximately 1,800 MW of renewable energy have

been added to the French generation capacity every year

since 2010, the equivalent of one new nuclear unit every

year. Wind power capacity amounted to 13,559 MW as

of December 31, 2017 [3]. Wind power generation saw

a sharp increase of 14.8 % compared to 2016. A new

maximum wind turbine production rate was recorded at

FEATURE | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 133

Feature

Nuclear Power Plant Flexibility at EDF ı Patrick Morilhat, Stéphane Feutry, Christelle Lemaitre and Jean Melaine Favennec


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

FEATURE | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 134

| | Fig. 6.

Trajectories for VRE in France. Source : RTE adequacy report' 2017.

1.30 pm on December 30, with power output of 11,075 MW.

With 887 MW new capacity in mainland France, solar

­energy capacity reached 7,660 MW in 2017. Solar power

generation increased by 9.2 % compared to 2016.

The 2015 French “Energy transition for sustainable

growth” law set a target of 40 % of renewables in power

generation by 2030 in France.

In 2017, RTE – the French Transmission System

Operator – issued a comprehensive study to identify

challenges and solutions for upcoming developments in

the electricity production/consumption balance [8]. The

document forecast an increase in wind capacity of 1.5 to

2 GW per year and an increase in solar capacity of 1.4 to

1.8 GW per year up to 2023. Beyond 2023, the pace of

development is expected to be maintained, reaching 40 to

51 GW wind capacity and 28 to 36 GW solar capacity by

2030, for a production of 96 to 122 TWh for wind energy

and of 33 to 43 TWh for solar energy (see Figure 6).

At the European level, renewables have been a feature

of the power system for many decades, in the form

of hydroelectricity. The countries with the highest

proportions of renewables today have a mix that is heavily

reliant on hydro resources: Norway (96 %), Sweden

(47 %), Switzerland (59 %) and Austria (60 %).

The power systems of these countries have low carbon

intensity (see Figure 7). Countries with higher carbon

intensity, usually with limited hydro potential, are turning

to VRE generation, in the form either of wind or solar

power or a combination thereof, in a bid to lower CO 2

emissions from power generation: for example, Germany,

Ireland, Denmark and Spain. However, reducing CO 2

emissions through massive VRE development greatly

depends on the generation mix, and may not be immediately

successful. France stands out in this regard, with

carbon intensity comparable to countries with large hydro

resources with only about 10 % hydroelectric generation,

thanks to the development of nuclear energy combined

with renewables.

For the next decades, the European Commission has

set targets for the reduction of CO 2 emissions and the

development of renewable energy to help the EU achieve a

more sustainable energy system. Targets for 2020 are

binding and call for a reduction of 20 % in carbon emissions

compared to 1990, a 20 % share of renewable energies in

the final gross energy consumption, and a 20 % gain in

­energy efficiency. Targets for further horizons call for a

reduction in CO 2 emissions of 40 % by 2030 and at least

80 % by 2050 compared to 1990, and a renewable energy

share of 27 % in the final gross energy consumption by

2030. This last target is under discussion and might be

increased to 32 %, but the focus is mostly on the heating

and transport sectors.

For the power sector, a set of European reference

scenarios, taking account of European targets and policies

agreed upon at EU and member-state level, were developed

in 2016. They include ambitious development of solar

and wind power across Europe through 2030, with

most European countries able to lower their CO 2 emissions

by 2030. Therefore, the share of VRE is increasing in every

country, changing the landscape of the power system.

France’s neighbors will be net importers by 2030 (see

Figure 8), while France, with its renewable capacity and

nuclear fleet, will continue to export a large volume of

competitive low-carbon electricity.

| | Fig. 8.

European-wide yearly net exchange balance (Source: 2015 – eia.gov and

2030 – EU Reference Scenarios 2016).

| | Fig. 7.

Left – percentage of non carbon-free production in total country generation; Middle – percentage of RES

production in country generation, Right – percentage of Variable Renewable Energy production in

country generation. Source: 2015 – EIA.gov, 2030 – EU Reference Scenarios (2030).

3.3 Merit order

The term “merit order” refers to the order in which the

electricity market uses the various sources of electricity

production. Use of the fleet’s various components is managed

by giving priority, at any given time, to the generation

type offering the lowest variable costs: non-dispatchable

production such as wind or photovoltaic solar power, and

river hydropower plants are used for base generation,

since these resources (river flow, wind, sun) are “free” and

lost if not converted into electricity; nuclear plants, because

of their low variable operation costs, are used for

base and mid-merit generation; adjustable hydropower

Feature

Nuclear Power Plant Flexibility at EDF ı Patrick Morilhat, Stéphane Feutry, Christelle Lemaitre and Jean Melaine Favennec


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

| | Fig. 9.

Impact of RES share increase on the merit order.

generation (lakes, pumped storage stations) and the

­thermal fleet (mostly gas turbines or combined cycles) are

used for mid-merit and peak generation.

But, obviously, VRE generation depends on local

weather conditions (wind, sun, clouds, etc.), which are not

necessarily present when needed. For instance, a sunny

day in the summer will show a strong variation following

sunrise, and production will be highest at 2 pm: the power

increase rate can be as much as 900 MW in 1 hour, which is

equivalent to one PWR, and therefore will be dispatched to

several NPPs.

A similar situation can occur with wind, in case of peak

wind speed. On the other hand, a cloudy day in winter

with no wind provides no renewable generation, and

“ conventional” generation (fossil fuels, nuclear power,

etc.) has to satisfy the demand. Nuclear power must adapt

to the variations in residual demand.

Therefore, as shown Figure 9, the introduction of a

greater share of renewable energies (including hydro) will

displace the merit order, shifting away high variable cost

units (coal, gas, oil) and putting market price at the level of

nuclear generation costs.

The typical model for pure base-load generation is to

produce at maximum power all year long and pay back the

costs on the energy-only market by spreading the variable

and marginal costs. Today, nuclear plants in France have to

adapt to demand variations when net demand gets very

low and deviates from the maximum power-only model.

Load-following allows nuclear plants to provide ancillary

services, for which they are paid: they provide an

additional service needed for the stability of the power

system. Load-following also allows the producer to

optimize the scheduling of refueling operations, thereby

giving additional value to the fuel loaded in the core. The

periods where net demand is low have a marginal cost for

the system that is low. Saving the fuel in the core when the

spread is small, usually over the spring or summer, allows

the power producer to use it when it is most needed and

consequently when prices are highest, usually in winter.

This ensures that the largest number of plants are available

over the period of highest demand and that no plants are

offline for refueling during these periods.

A future with a large volume of renewable wind and

solar energy entails a power system with a large proportion

of non-synchronous generation. Therefore, complementary

services not provided by non-synchronous generation

will emerge, and the storage value of fuel will increase.

Producers will find new compensations for their base

plants. For example, the recent capacity market provides

complementary payments to suppliers. In future, massive

growth of renewable energy will lead to new services to

ensure the safety of the power system, and these services

will have payments associated.

One example of new services could be payback for

inertia service. The rotational speed of alternators is

important to control and stabilize grid frequency.

Conventional technologies such as nuclear or hydropower

plant alternators comprise heavy rotating masses with

high inertia, a physical phenomenon which impedes rapid

slowdown or acceleration of rotation. Consequently, they

have a very significant stabilizing effect on grid frequency.

In contrast, wind turbines, not to mention solar panels,

have lower inertia effects. Therefore, a major change in

production technology could decrease grid frequency

stability, which in turn could lead to a need to reward

inertia capability.

Nuclear plants can play a front role in these new

services. At the same time, their fuel will be able to provide

flexibility to the system, and optimizing fuel use throughout

the campaign will allow producers to maximize return.

In tomorrow’s power system, producers will be paid for

their production from a variety of sources and not only

from the energy market. Nuclear plants with their intrinsic

characteristics will be a great asset for the power system

and its safety.

4 Safe and cost-effective plant flexibility

at EDF’s nuclear plants

4.1 Basics of flexible operation

As can be seen in Figure 10, heat generated in the primary

water by uranium fission and neutron absorption reactions

in the vessel is transferred to a secondary system through

| | Fig. 10.

Typical 1,300 MWe unit able to perform power flexibility (power control in the reactor core, water/steam

cycle energy conversion, and electrical power output from the generator).

FEATURE | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 135

Feature

Nuclear Power Plant Flexibility at EDF ı Patrick Morilhat, Stéphane Feutry, Christelle Lemaitre and Jean Melaine Favennec


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

FEATURE | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 136

| | Fig. 11.

Control rod.

insertion in the

reactor core

a steam generator where water is transformed into

steam, which feeds turbines in turn driving an electrical

generator. The electricity is then transferred through

transformers and lines to the electricity grid.

The nuclear plant’s electrical output is controlled by

changing the mass flow rate that enters the turbine. To do

so, plant operators can vary the steam production from the

steam generator, and thus the nuclear reaction in the vessel.

An alternative solution is to maintain constant reactor

core thermal power and divert steam away from the turbine

through bypass or relief valves to the condenser or the

atmosphere. However, this solution has some limitations:

potential thermal pollution of the environment, condenser

integrity concerns, impaired plant ­efficiency, etc.

4.2 Control of reactor core thermal power

Changing reactor-core thermal power, by modulating

­fission reactions, is effective but has significant impact on

core neutronics (flux distribution, burn-up rate, fission

by-products), materials (thermal limit) and safety

( response to transients). Two main means of reactivity

control are used: control rods and boric acid concentration,

both being neutron absorbers.

Control rods allow real-time control of the uranium

­fission process. Composed of materials that absorb

neutrons, the rods provide a reactivity margin able to

ensure reactor safety, and are used for rapid reactor power

changes (e.g., shutdown and start-up).

Compared to the original pressurized water reactors

design (Westinghouse’s), the main change in EDF’s PWR

fleet was to adjust the types of control rods and their

positions in the reactor core [9] (Figure 11).

It is noteworthy that French nuclear power plants (PWR

900 and 1,300) have the greatest worldwide experience

in using “grey” control rods specially adapted for plant

­flexibility [10].

Whereas most nuclear reactors are still fitted with

standard “black” control rods, with high neutron­ absorbing

effect, most of EDF’s reactors have “grey” control rods,

designed to have lower neutron-absorption, allowing

­adjustment to local power patterns. “Grey” control rods

lessen the deformation of neutron flux distribution that

occurs when standard “black” control rods are inserted in

or withdrawn from the core. This feature makes them

particularly suited to governing core thermal power

changes: when power load has to be reduced, several

groups of grey rods are gradually inserted.

Another mean of controlling core reactivity is boric acid

reactivity control. Boric acid is a soluble neutron absorber

added to the reactor coolant to provide negative reactivity

throughout the fuel cycle, thereby assisting regulation of

the core’s long-term reactivity. Boric acid control, unlike

control rods, ensures an even power and flux distribution

over the entire core.

When full power load is stabilized, xenon, a neutronabsorbing

fission product, is distributed homogeneously in

the reactor core. Xenon is produced by fission reactions

(proportional to local power) and builds up and then later

decreases, at a certain delay, if the power decreases. Once

the power is lowered, the amount of xenon changes, its distribution

varying locally: this is managed by injecting boric

acid in the primary circuit, to compensate for an overall

decrease in xenon concentration, or by dilution to reduce

the concentration when xenon levels increase.

Boron dilution explains the reduced amplitude of

possible power variations in the last third of the cycle. With

the boron concentration in the circuit decreasing along the

cycle, it takes more and more water to remove the same

quantity of boron. As the flow of dilution is limited, the

amplitude of power decreases has to be reduced to manage

power changes at the normal pace.

4.3 Characterization of Load following

transients recorded from 2002 to 2016

In the following sections, analysis of the impact of flexible

operation is based on load-following operations recorded

by EDF. We focus on the period 2002-2016, representing

15 years of experience feedback in flexible operation, for

which a comprehensive study was conducted by EDF in

order to obtain the most representative assessment of

the potential impact of large load transients. Two main

parameters were recorded: overall load transient duration,

and depth of load drop.

Statistical analysis showed that PWR 900 MW and

1,500 MW units presented fewer load transients

( respectively, about 40 transients/unit/year and 30

­transients/unit/year) than 1300 MW units (average of

about 70 transients/unit/year).

Furthermore, the analysis indicated that the great

­majority of load transients occurred when the fuel cycle

(period between two refueling outages) had less than 60 %

coverage. Only 13 % of load transients occurred in cycles

with more than 80 % coverage.

5 Impacts of power flexibility

on plant systems and components

Feedback from 40 years’ experience in reliable flexible

operation allows EDF to draw some conclusions about the

impact of load-following and frequency control on plant

operation and maintenance [11]. The following sections

­address the main fields (Figure 12) that have been

assessed.

| | Fig. 12.

Relevant fields for assessing the safety of flexibility in existing PWR units.

5.1 Safety first: additional safety studies

to demonstrate the safety of flexibility

conditions for nuclear core integrity

EDF’s studies showed that operating in a flexible mode had

no impact on reactor safety, since all variations in power

were within areas of operation for which modeling and

experimental studies demonstrated the absolute safety of

the nuclear core.

This also means that, if any incident occurred during an

operation at intermediate load (lower than full nominal

power), the reactor could be operated according to existing

procedures, and also if the event occurred at full load.

Feedback from EDF’s experience shows that safety-risk

events (IAEA INES level 0 or 1) due to load-following

were rare. No additional LCOs (Limited Conditions of

Feature

Nuclear Power Plant Flexibility at EDF ı Patrick Morilhat, Stéphane Feutry, Christelle Lemaitre and Jean Melaine Favennec


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

­Operation) or SCRAMs (automatic shutdown) were

­reported due to flexible operation.

For a reactor operating a few days per year at any level

of intermediate power, safety studies have to be extended

to the full operating power range. The operator must

demonstrate that accidental situations would be handled

safely regardless of the initial state of the reactor at the

time of the event.

Load reduction occurs firstly with partial insertion of

rods in the core. The power flux pattern, roughly homogeneous

at full load, is then locally modified: less power

where rods are inserted, and proportionally more power in

areas not reached by the rods. It follows that, if half of the

rated power was provided by only a quarter of the height of

the core, the concentration of power, and thus the

fuel-cladding temperature (or other local parameters)

would be locally very high, with a risk of exceeding acceptable

limits.

To avoid such a situation, load variation is maintained

within an area of operation which ensures that the specified

limits are respected at all times.

5.2 Absence of impact on nuclear fuel integrity

A specific safety concern is the phenomenon known as

“pellet-clad interaction”. By design, there is a gap in a fuel

rod between the cladding and the pellets. Inside the

cladding of the fuel rods, there are uranium pellets (Figure

13), but also gas: gas deliberately introduced during fuel

rod fabrication, but also fission gas generated by the

nuclear reactions. When the reactor is operating, fuel

pellets expand, and exert contact stress on the cladding.

At a given power level, a balance is reached between

the external pressure of the cladding (155 bars: i.e., the

pressure of the water in the vessel and primary system)

and the internal contact stress to the cladding, and the fuel

is then said to be “conditioned”. When thus “conditioned”,

the fuel can be used for limited periods at power levels

lower than the conditioned power level. But, if the power

level is kept below the conditioned power level for an

extended period of time, clad creeping reduces rod

diameter. In that case, if reactor power increases, excessive

contact stress between fuel and cladding (i.e., pellet-clad

interaction) may occur, and may eventually lead to a crack

in the cladding. Subsequently restrictions on power ramp

rates and operating times at reduced power must be

applied.

Moreover, where control rods are inserted, local power

decreases and fuel irradiation is lower. Once rods are

extracted at full load, these areas provide increased local

power. This increase must remain within certain limits,

otherwise hot spots would appear. These limitations are

taken into account by using specific credits that are defined

for a fuel cycle (period between two unit outages) and

followed on a daily basis.

Therefore, EDF has implemented permanent monitoring

of the state of fuel conditioning, to ensure sufficient

margins in clad stress during power transients. The Operational

Technical Specifications thus provide for monitoring

of a coefficient, “credit K”, corresponding to the available

stress margin and determining the number of days authorized

at reduced power operation. Specific studies and feedback

from years of experience have shown that current

flexibility situations do not increase this particular risk in

any way as long as credit K remains positive.

The credit is consumed over time if the unit operates

with extended reduced power: this is the case for all power

decreases exceeding 8 hours over any 24 h period. The

| | Fig. 13.

Relevant fields for assessing the safety of flexibility in existing PWR units.

credit is reconstituted when the plant operates at base

load, over which the primary and secondary frequency

controls can be superimposed.

As long as credit K remains positive, contact stress

between cladding and pellets is limited. These credits are

sufficient to enable changes in power and the introduction

of a significant share of renewable energy. The integrity of

the first containment barrier is thus not jeopardized by

­operation in the current flexibility mode.

5.3 Nuclear flexibility has no impact on primary

system components integrity

Like the second containment barrier, the primary circuit

(vessel, pressurizer, pumps, steam generators and

associated pipes) has been designed with mechanical

restrictions and a limited number of allowable stress cycles,

based on the power changes expected over plant lifetime.

The number of transients allowed for a given amplitude

is determined by studies, and periodic inspections are

scheduled. As long as the circuit has not reached this limit,

impact on materials and welds is non-significant.

Reactor thermal power changes during flexible operation

result in more frequent variations in reactor coolant

system temperature and volume, and in particular in the

surge line and pressurizer, where hot water expands and

pressure is controlled. While pressure remains stable at

155 bar, temperature varies by more than 30 °C on the

side of the hot legs (between the vessel and the steam

generator).

Regular cycle counting (counting the number of cycles

at an expected stress level, to determine fatigue usage

­factor) is implemented in EDF’s nuclear plants. Each

change in temperature exceeding a certain threshold is

logged as a situation of transient loading. Throughout

plant lifetime, continuous monitoring counts and keeps

track of the number of transients, to ensure that the

­remaining margin is sufficient, by comparing accumulated

cycles versus allowable limit. For some specific locations,

online fatigue monitoring have been implemented and

tested (determining actual fatigue based on measured

conditions).

Feedback shows that, in practice, actual power

variations since unit commissioning remain well below

allowed cycle-counting limits and are fully compatible

with vessel aging.

Operating in flexible mode increases wear in control

rod drive mechanisms (CDRMs), depending on power

­variation frequency and amplitude. CRDMs currently used

in EDF’s French nuclear reactors were redesigned

mechanically to allow for an increased number of rod

FEATURE | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 137

Feature

Nuclear Power Plant Flexibility at EDF ı Patrick Morilhat, Stéphane Feutry, Christelle Lemaitre and Jean Melaine Favennec


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

FEATURE | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 138

movement cycles under flexible operation. Cycle counting

ensures they are replaced before fatigue failure occurs.

­After a predefined number of maneuvers, CDRMs have to

be changed, with associated direct and indirect costs

( components, outage, dosimetry).

No noticeable effect of flexible operation has been

detected on I&C (Instrumentation and Control).

5.4 Plant flexibility has no noticeable impact

on the Environment

In order to assess the impact of flexible plant operation

on the environment, the following issues have been

examined: additional waste quantities (solid, liquid,

­gaseous), effluent temperature and discharge volume, and

respect of environmental regulatory limits.

1. Chemistry considerations

One drawback of flexible operation is the increased

demand on plant chemistry systems. Reactivity control

by boric acid requires the operator to borate and dilute

the reactor coolant system frequently. Primary coolant

dilution uses large volumes of water, which must be

stored and processed before use (to maintain reactor

grade purity) and after use (due to presence of dissolved

radionuclides) in the primary system. If water is added

to the circuit, an equivalent amount must be removed:

plant operation thus produces primary effluents,

without, however, any additional emission into the

­environment. These effluents are removed, stored in

closed circuits and tanks and treated (gas stripper,

evaporator to separate boron from water). Water is

first degassed, then distilled to separate boron from

pure water. The boron is returned to water tanks for

re-injection of into the primary system. The hydrogen

concentration in the primary circuit also needs continuous

monitoring by the control room operator. Boric

acid reactivity control affects reactor coolant chemistry

pH. Lithium, in the form of lithium hydroxide (LiOH), is

commonly added, to raise primary coolant pH and

inhibit corrosion.

Providing this monitoring and good coordination

between chemistry and operation is adhered to, no

­negative impact on chemistry has been noticed in EDF’s

nuclear plants since the beginning of flexible operation

It is noteworthy that, since tritium and carbon 14

­releases are directly correlated to neutron flux, and

hence to the energy produced, the total quantity of

tritium produced and released in a plant operating

under load-following (i.e., not at full load) tends to be

less than with a base load unit.

2. Liquid waste and chemical reagent

consumption

Feedback from EDF’s experience with its fleet identifies

two main factors regarding liquid waste volume

and chemical reagent consumption: power variation

amplitude and the timing of the variation within the

fuel cycle. Power variations at the end of the fuel cycle

(later than 66 %) and at low power (below 45 % of

nominal power) have the greatest impact. Therefore,

planning large power variations at low burn-up and

smaller variations at high burn-up is a straightforward

way to reduce the volume of liquid effluent due to plant

flexibility. Additional volume averaged +20 % of the

annual volume released by the Nuclear Island Liquid

Radwaste Monitoring and Discharge System. Impact in

terms of additional radioactivity was undetectable. No

impact of plant flexibility on liquid effluent from the

secondary circuit, and hence on consumption of

chemical reagents used for secondary-side chemistry

control, was identified.

3. Solid waste

With increasing use of boric acid for reactivity control,

nuclear units operating in flexible mode require greater

volumes of primary water for boron dilution, generating

greater volumes of liquid effluent, plus variations in

primary circuit pH and corrosion product solubility,

and requiring more demanding use of water purification

systems circuits, filters and demineralizers.

The impact, but still slight, of flexibility is on the boron

recycling system, used for the treatment of primary

­liquid effluent. This impact was estimated on two types

of solid waste: spent ion exchange resins (+5.6 % of the

average annual volume) and wastewater filters (+3.4 %

of annual consumption). However, the increase had no

impact on waste management (storage, emission limits,

transportation or workforce).

4. Thermal Discharge

The maximum thermal discharge of a plant may be

limited by a number of factors, including maximum

plant outlet temperature, maximum temperature

change from plant inlet to plant outlet, and maximum

plant volumetric flow rates as specified in environmental

permits.

Flexible units have less impact on the open environment

because they release less heat into the cooling

source ( river or sea water, in either open or closed

circuit: see Figure 14). Local conditions vary greatly

from one plant to another (depending on river flow,

temperature, and season). When the plant is operating

| | Fig. 14.

Cooling of a nuclear unit, by river or sea water in an open circuit (left), or with a cooling tower in a closed circuit (right).

Feature

Nuclear Power Plant Flexibility at EDF ı Patrick Morilhat, Stéphane Feutry, Christelle Lemaitre and Jean Melaine Favennec


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

under flexible con­ditions, the unit will obviously ­release

less heat into the cooling source.

The various chemicals used for water cleaning and

treatment (e.g., in the condenser, which is the largest

heat exchanger with the cooling source) are used in

quantities limited by regulations.

5. Environmental Limits

Based on feedback from EDF’s flexible operations over

the period 2012-2015, an internal study showed that

flexible operation had very limited environmental

impact, well within regulatory limits. No noticeable

­effect was identified for additional radioactivity or

­operation limitations, even for the most flexible plants

(PWR 1,300 MW series).

5.5 Flexibility has limited impact

on the secondary systems

The secondary system (water and steam thermal cycle)

consists mainly of heat exchangers connected by pipes,

valves and pumps. During variations in load, these circuits

encounter variations in pressure, temperature and steam

characteristics. Valves open or close, depending on power

level. Repetition of these transients can accelerate erosion,

possibly including circuit corrosion that can sometimes

lead to short unplanned outages. Statistically, comparison

of groups operating in load-following mode versus groups

permanently at full load shows only very slight differences

in performance, and certainly no impact on operational

safety. The most noticeable impacts on secondary circuits

are leakage at welded joints, erosion of pipes and ageing of

heat exchangers.

5.6 Flexibility does not significantly

increase maintenance costs

Feedback from experience with EDF’s PWR fleet showed

no significant additional costs. From 2000 to 2014, 10 units

were deliberately maintained at full stable load (no flexibility

periods): in terms of operating performance, the

difference between these base-load operated plants and

other units operating in load­ following mode were within

normal scatter: i.e., difficult to evaluate.

Further investigations showed that, since 2010, the

load factor unavailability capability in EDF NPPs has

­remained around 2-2.5 %, 0.5 % of which is attributed to

flexible operation (as observed for the PWR 900 series).

Statistical studies showed a minimal increase in

maintenance costs in EDF units resulting from increased

flexibility.

5.7 Plant operators’ skills are called upon

to manage more frequent power ramps

The ability to operate in load-following mode is part of the

control room operator’s training and skill.

While control rod positions are determined by power

output, water and boron management is ensured manually

by the control room operator. The operator’s skill is

regularly called upon for control of the core. A good understanding

of physical phenomena such as changes in xenon,

water and boron levels and rod effects is required. As

xenon effects are not immediate, the control room operator

must be attentive to reactor control several hours after

load­following.

To help control room operators, full-scope simulators

are used for training, and technical specifications and

procedures provide general instructions.

Detailed conditions depend strongly on recent core

history. After 3 days at full load, power and xenon are

balanced in the core; a power decrease ramp will have

simple, foreseeable effects. But, if the reactor shows 3 or 4

variations in the period, with different amplitudes and

­durations, power profile and xenon distribution will be

different.

The next power decrease liable to change these balances

should be managed with care; a control strategy must

­always be defined and adjusted by the control room

operators, under the control of the shift manager of the

unit. Training courses include this issue, but controlassistance

tools have also been developed over the last

15 years. These applications calculate change power flux

balance, and allow the operator to better anticipate

phenomena and optimize control strategy so as to remain

within the center of the authorized area and better predict

transient following. Based on recent core history records,

these dedicated simulators help control room operators to

forecast xenon levels and prepare dilution/borication

strategies.

6 Conclusion and perspectives: Nuclear

flexibility is the safe CO 2 -free solution to

extend the share of renewables in France

While renewable energies have a key role to play in the

European strategy for the decarbonization of electricity

production, dispatchable generation remains necessary in

order to ensure system stability and security of supply.

Long term study aimed at understanding the technical and

economical feasibility of massive deployment of wind and

solar across the European system shows that a con tribution

of nuclear is necessary in order to obtain the required CO 2

reductions [12].

Flexible operation of nuclear reactors is possible, and

has in fact been implemented in France in EDF’s fleet of 58

reactors for more than 30 years without any noticeable or

unmanageable impact on safety or the environment, nor

any significant additional maintenance costs.

Flexible operation requires sound plant design (safety

margins, auxiliary equipment) and appropriate operator

skills. But three decades of best practices and feedback

from a huge experience show that the nominal capacities

of the installed fleet (two significant power decreases

per day, transitions from 100 % to 20 % of power in half

an hour) are safe and able to balance demand with

generation, even with renewables on the grid.

New power plant designs with a larger capacity, such

as EPRs, include flexibility features. Studies for future

small modular reactors (SMRs, units ranging from 50 to

300 MW) include flexibility features in their specifications.

To remain the leader in very low carbon electricity

generation, the EDF group is intensifying the development

of renewable energies while ensuring the safety, performance

and competitiveness of the existing nuclear

facilities and new nuclear investments. EDF announced a

plan to increase its portfolio of renewable energy

generation by 2030. Investments in renewable energy,

with the launch of the Solar Power Plan, represent a

­significant step towards meeting the Group’s goals. By

2035 in France, 30 GW of solar capacity will have been

installed with partners. This amounts to quadrupling the

country’s current solar capacity. In addition to its solar

roadmap, EDF has recently introduced an electricity

storage plan. EDF will invest to ramp up storage capacity

to 10 GW. It is likely that the increase in renewables and

storage facilities will keep on challenging the flexibility

capabilities of nuclear power plants. R&D studies are

on-going on to determine future prospects up to 2050.

FEATURE | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 139

Feature

Nuclear Power Plant Flexibility at EDF ı Patrick Morilhat, Stéphane Feutry, Christelle Lemaitre and Jean Melaine Favennec


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

FEATURE | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 140

| | Editorial Advisory Board

Frank Apel

Erik Baumann

Dr. Erwin Fischer

Carsten George

Eckehard Göring

Florian Gremme

Dr. Ralf Güldner

Carsten Haferkamp

Christian Jurianz

Dr. Guido Knott

Prof. Dr. Marco K. Koch

Ulf Kutscher

Herbert Lenz

Jan-Christan Lewitz

Andreas Loeb

Dr. Thomas Mull

Dr. Ingo Neuhaus

Dr. Joachim Ohnemus

Prof. Dr. Winfried Petry

Dr. Tatiana Salnikova

Dr. Andreas Schaffrath

Dr. Jens Schröder

Norbert Schröder

Prof. Dr. Jörg Starflinger

Prof. Dr. Bruno Thomauske

Dr. Brigitte Trolldenier

Dr. Walter Tromm

Dr. Hans-Georg Willschütz

Dr. Hannes Wimmer

Ernst Michael Züfle

Electricity is a key factor for the direct reduction of CO 2

emissions, as well as a substitute for fossil fuels in the

transport, construction and industrial sectors. In the

forward­ looking scenarios limiting global warming to

+2°C, low-carbon electricity should thus become the

­leading source of energy by 2040-2050: the use of

electricity should therefore be stepped up, in order to bring

down emissions to a quarter of current levels by 2050, and

to aim at carbon neutrality.

In this perspective, a strong alliance between nuclear

and renewables is a safe, cost-effective and clean solution

to achieve a low-carbon generation mix to combat climate

change and meet the goal of going beyond the 2°C target

set by COP21.

References

1. The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World, an interdisciplinary MIT study, MIT

Energy Initiative, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2018); http://energy.mit.edu/

wp-content/uploads/2018/09/The-Future-of-Nuclear-Energy-in-a-Carbon-Constrained-World.pdf

2. EDF’s reference document for the 2017 financial year (2018); https://www.edf.fr/sites/default/

files/contrib/groupe-edf/espaces-dedies/espace-finance-en/financial-information/

regulated-information/reference-document/edf-ddr-2017-accessible-version-en.pdf

3. RTE, 2017 Annual Electricity Report (2018); http://www.rte-france.com/sites/default/files/

rte_elec_report_2017.pdf

4. Comité de prospective de la Commission de Régulation de l’Electricité, “La flexibilité et le stockage

sur les réseaux d’énergie d’ici les années 2030“ (2018); http://www.eclairerlavenir.fr/wp-content/

uploads/2018/07/Rapport_GT2.pdf

5. “Non-baseload operation in nuclear power plants: load following and frequency control modes of

flexible operation”, IAEA Nuclear Energy Series NP-T-3.23 (2018); https://www-pub.iaea.org/

MTCD/Publications/PDF/P1756_web.pdf

6. S. FEUTRY, “Load following EDF experience feedback”, presented at the International Atomic

Energy Agency (IAEA) Technical Meeting on Flexible (Non-Baseload) Operation Approaches for

Nuclear Power Plants, Paris, France, September 4-6, 2013.

Imprint

| | Editorial Office

Christopher Weßelmann (Editor in Chief)

Im Tal 121, 45529 Hattingen, Germany

Phone: +49 2324 4397723

Fax: +49 2324 4397724

E-mail: editorial@nucmag.com

Martin Schneibel (Editor)

INFORUM, Berlin, Germany

Phone: +49 30 498555-43

Fax: +49 30 498555-18

E-Mail: martin.schneibel@nucmag.com

| | Official Journal of

Kerntechnische Gesellschaft e. V. (KTG)

| | Publisher

INFORUM Verlags- und

Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH

Robert-Koch-Platz 4, 10115 Berlin, Germany

Phone: +49 30 498555-30

Fax: +49 30 498555-18

www.nucmag.com

| | General Manager

Christian Wößner

| | Advertising and Subscription

Petra Dinter-Tumtzak

Phone: +49 30 498555-30

Fax: +49 30 498555-18

E-mail: petra.dinter@nucmag.com

| | Layout

zi.zero Kommunikation

Antje Zimmermann

Berlin, Germany

| | Printing

inpuncto:asmuth

druck + medien gmbh

Baunscheidtstraße 11, 53113 Bonn, Germany

7. S. FEUTRY, “Production renouvelable et nucléaire : deux énergies complémentaires”, Revue

Générale Nucléaire, N°1 January-February, 23, (2017); https://doi.org/10.1051/rgn/20171023

8. RTE Generation Adequacy Report, “Bilan prévisionnel de l’équilibre offre-demande

d’électricité en France “ (2018); https://www.rte-france.com/sites/default/files/

synthese-bilan-_previsionnel-2018.pdf

9. S. FEUTRY, “Flexible nuclear and renewables alliance for low carbon electricity generation”,

presented at the OECD meeting, July 18th, 2018

10. H. HUPOND, “Load following and Frequency Control Transients vs. Loading and Design- EDF

experience and practice” presented at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Technical

Meeting on Flexible (Non-Baseload) Operation Approaches for Nuclear Power Plants, Paris,

France, September 4-6, 2013.

11. “Program on Technology Innovation: Approach to Transition Nuclear Power Plants to Flexible

Power Operations“, Final Report N°3002002612, Electric Power Research Institute (2014).

12. A. BURTIN, V. SILVA, “Technical and economic analysis of the European electricity system

with 60 % RES”, report INIS FR 15-0634 (2015). http://www.energypost.eu/wp-content/

uploads/2015/06/EDF-study-for-download-on-EP.pdf

Authors

Patrick Morilhat

EDF Research & Development

6 Quai Watier

78401, Chatou, France

Stéphane Feutry

EDF Generation Division

Christelle Lemaitre

Jean Melaine Favennec

EDF R&D

| | Price List for Advertisement

Valid as of 1 January 2019

Published monthly, 9 issues per year

Germany:

Per issue/copy (incl. VAT, excl. postage) 24.- €

Annual subscription (incl. VAT and postage) 187.- €

All EU member states without VAT number:

Per issue/copy (incl. VAT, excl. postage) 24.- €

Annual subscription (incl. VAT, excl. postage) 187.- €

EU member states with VAT number

and all other countries:

Per issues/copy (no VAT, excl. postage) 22.43 €

Annual subscription (no VAT, excl. postage) 174.77 €

| | Copyright

The journal and all papers and photos contained in it are protected by

copyright. Any use made thereof outside the Copyright Act without the

consent of the publisher, INFORUM Verlags- und Verwaltungsgesellschaft

mbH, is prohibited. This applies to reproductions, translations,

micro filming and the input and incorporation into electronic systems.

The individual author is held responsible for the contents of the

respective paper. Please address letters and manuscripts only to the

Editorial Staff and not to individual persons of the association´s staff.

We do not assume any responsibility for unrequested contributions.

Signed articles do not necessarily represent the views of the editorial.

ISSN 1431-5254

Feature

Nuclear Power Plant Flexibility at EDF ı Patrick Morilhat, Stéphane Feutry, Christelle Lemaitre and Jean Melaine Favennec


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Wind Energy in Germany and Europe

Status, potentials and challenges for baseload application:

European Situation in 2017

Thomas Linnemann and Guido S. Vallana

Introduction Wind power is a cornerstone of rebuilding the electricity supply system completely into a renewable

system, in Germany referred to as “Energiewende” (i. e. energy transition). Wind power is scalable, but as intermittent

renewable energy can only supply electrical power at any time reliably (security of supply) in conjunction with

­dispatchable backup systems. This fact has been shown in the first part of the VGB Wind Study, dealing with operating

experience of wind turbines in Germany from 2010 to 2016 [1],[2]. This study states among other things that despite

vigorous expansion of on- and offshore wind power to about 50,000 MW (92 % onshore, 8 % offshore) at year-end 2016

and contrary to the intuitive assumption that widespread distribution of about 28,000 wind turbines, hereinafter

­referred to as German wind fleet, should lead to balanced aggregate power output, no increase in annual minimum

power output has been detected since 2010, each of which accounted for less than 1 % of the relevant nominal capacity.

A question of grid losses

These observations illustrate that an increased interconnection

in Europe would necessitate the transmission

of electricity over very long distances. This raises the

question of the extent of grid losses, as it has so far been

the rule of thumb in the electricity industry to build power

plants as close as possible to the consumer to keep grid

losses low. These comprise load-dependent and loadindependent

losses, losses due to power transformation

and losses from reactive power compensation. However,

the majority of the losses are heat losses caused by the

ohmic resistance of the power lines.

With the transmission of electricity via high-voltage

alternating current (HVAC) overhead lines, specific ­total

losses of around 1 % per 100 km transport distance arise

[26], which remain roughly constant across a broad range

of transmission capacities.

Current technical limits in terms of HVAC trans mission

are extra high voltage of around 765 kV, transmission capacities

of up to 3,000 MW and transport distances up to

around 1,000 km, the latter being ­limited by transmission

angle and reactive power requirement [27].

With established high-voltage direct current (HVDC)

transmission via overhead lines with ±500 kV, specific

grid losses of around 0.5 % per 100 km have to be ­factored

in [26]. Converter stations are required here at both end

points of the transmission route to transform alternating

current into direct current and vice versa, and each of

these causes additional losses of around 1 % of the transmission

capacity [26],[27].

At present, HVDC transmission routes via overhead

lines are designed for extra high voltages of ±800 kV,

transmission capacities of around 6,400 MW and ­transport

distances of up to about 2,000 km. With extra high ­voltages

of this kind, the specific conduction losses fall to just under

0.4 % per 100 km transport distance. Technical limits in

terms of HVDC transmission are extra high voltages of

±1,100 kV, transmission capa­cities up to 12,000 MW and

distances up to 3,300 km [28].

For HVAC transmission via 380kV overhead lines over

an average transport distance of 1,500 km between centers

of national wind fleets in 18 European countries, grid

­losses of at least 15 % of the transmission ­capacity would

have to be expected, if considered seriously at all. In the

case of HVDC transmission with ±500 kV the level would

be just under 10 % [26], [27].

For long-distance transport of electricity over the

longest single distances considered here between wind

fleet centers of peripheral countries like Finland or ­Norway

(Scandinavia), Portugal or Spain (Iberian Peninsula) and

Greece (Aegean) and Romania (Balkan Peninsula) of

around 3,000 km or more, HVAC transmission would

­probably not be considered, as high grid losses of 40 % or

more of the transmission capacity would have to be

factored in [26]. In case of HVDC transmission, too, grid

losses amounting to one fifth of the transmission capacity

would have to be expected with transport distances of this

order [26].

In all cases cited above, further grid losses would have

to be added for collecting and stepping up the power

output of the wind turbines in the producing country to a

suitable voltage level and the further distribution of the

transmission capacity remaining after the long-distance

transport to the end consumer in the country of destination

via extra high, high, medium and low voltage networks.

These grid losses can be quantified with data from the

Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) and the

US Energy Information Authority (EIA) for the years 2010

to 2015 (Table 2) [29],[30].

In total, and averaged over several years and all

18 countries, grid losses of around 6.6 % of the annual

electric energy fed into the grid have to be factored in for

an average European country for the transport and

distribution of electricity from the power plant to the end

consumer. These losses are split across the voltage levels

extra high, high, medium and low [7].

In Germany, voltage in the extra high voltage network is

380 or 220 kV. At present, the extra high voltage network

is responsible for large-scale, nationwide connections

and supplies to regional electricity suppliers and large

­industrial companies. It is almost 37,000 km long and is

linked via interconnectors with the European grid.

The high voltage network is operated at a voltage

of 110 kV and about 97,000 km long. This regional

distribution network particularly transfers electricity to

industrial companies, local electricity suppliers or transformer

substations. Voltage is stepped down to medium

voltage level here, mostly 20 kV, for supplying to industrial

companies and businesses. The circuit length of this

­network is about 520,000 km.

Private households, businesses and the agricultural

sector only have electrical devices designed for voltages of

230 V or 400 V. In order to be fed into the local low voltage

network, medium voltage has to be converted again. With

its circuit length of around 1,190,000 km, the low voltage

network is the longest supply network.

Part 2 *

*) Part 1

was published

in atw 2 (2019),

pp. 79 ff.

SERIAL | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 141

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Wind Energy in Germany and Europe ı Thomas Linnemann and Guido S. Vallana


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

SERIAL | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 142

Country

Table 1 illustrates that by far the lowest transport and

distribution network losses across all voltage levels are to

be found in Finland with around 3.3 % of the ­electric

­energy fed in annually, followed by Germany (4.1 %), then

Austria (4.8 %) and the Netherlands (4.8 %).

The highest value is to be found in Romania, at 11.9 %,

followed by Portugal (9.6 %) and Spain (9.5 %). In ­relation

to electricity consumption, the grid losses averaged over

several years and all 18 countries amount to around 7.3 %.

In absolute figures, the losses from the transport and

distribution networks of 18 countries in relation to the

total annual electric energy fed into the grid to provide all

end consumers in these countries at present add up to

around 200 TWh per year [30]. This is around double last

year’s generation of electricity from solar power of these

countries, or about 60 % of their electricity ­generation

from wind power [15].

Averaged over several years and all 18 countries, grid

losses of about 1.5 % of the annual electric energy fed in

arise for an average European country when electricity is

transported at extra high voltage level. Here, too, countryspecific

differences can be observed. Finland, for example,

has the lowest losses, with 0.8 % of the ­annual power fed

in, followed by Austria (0.9 %), ­Sweden (0.9 %) and the

Netherlands (0.9 %).

In the case of Germany (1.0 %), it has to be added that

the losses in the extra high voltage network doubled from

around 0.7 % in 2010 to 1.4 % in 2015. With specific total

losses at extra high voltage level of around 1 % per 100 km

transport distance, the losses in the extra high voltage network

can also be interpreted as doubling of the average

power plant distance from the end consumer from around

70 to 140 km in the past six years. The share of losses of the

extra high and high voltage networks in the total grid

losses has increased in Germany at the same time from 33

to 43 % [7].

Mean grid losses in % of total annual electric energy fed into the grid

Transport and distribution 1) Transport only 2)

Ø 3) 2010 2015 Ø 3) 2010 2015

AT 4.8 4.7 4.9 0.9 0.8 0.9

BE 4.9 4.7 4.7 1.7 1.6 1.7

CZ 5.0 5.5 5.6 1.0 0.8 1.1

DE 4.1 4.0 4.6 1.0 0.7 1.4

DK 6.0 6.0 5.6 2.2 2.0 2.3

ES 9.5 9.4 10.5 1.4 1.6 1.5

FI 3.3 2.8 2.6 0.8 0.8 0.8

FR 6.5 6.7 7.3 2.1 2.2 2.1

GR 7.0 7.1 9.7 2.5 2.8 2.5

IE 8.0 8.1 8.1 2.0 2.0 2.0

IT 6.9 6.7 6.4 n.a. n.a. n.a.

NL 4.8 5.0 4.6 0.9 1.1 1.0

NO 6.3 7.6 6.2 1.7 1.9 1.5

PL 7.0 8.2 6.9 1.2 1.2 1.2

PT 9.6 8.5 10.1 1.4 1.5 1.3

RO 11.9 12.6 12.5 1.6 1.8 1.5

SE 5.0 4.9 3.8 0.9 1.0 0.9

UK 7.8 7.2 8.5 1.8 1.5 2.1

Ø 4) 6.6 6.7 6.6 1.5 1.4 1.4

| | Tab. 2.

Mean grid losses for transport and distribution in the 18 European countries in percent of total annual electric energy fed into the grid from 2010 to 2015.

1) including extra high, high, medium and low voltage 2) extra high voltage only 3) Averaging for the years 2010 to 2015 and the sources CEER [29]

and EIA [30] 4) Averaging for the 18 European countries

In many European countries, the share of decen tralised

power generation plants in the nationwide power plant

­capacity has significantly increased over the past years.

These plants normally feed into the medium and low

voltage networks, and in some cases also into the high

voltage networks. Grid losses should tend to fall when

decentralised power plants move closer to the end consumer,

as not only does the distance for transporting and

distributing electric power output decrease, but so too

does the need for transforming.

However, this does not apply without restriction, as t

he local synchronicity of generation and consumption

­likewise influences the grid losses: if decentrally ­supplied

electricity can be used at the same time directly by the local

consumers, the grid losses diminish very significantly, as

transport to consumers further afield is not necessary.

In reality, however, weather-dependent power output

from renewable energies frequently lead to situations in

which decentrally generated electricity cannot be used

­locally at the same time, resulting in backflows in the

network which increase the grid losses. Wind farms, too,

are often not in the direct vicinity of centres of consumption.

Their power output has to be fed into extra high

and high voltage networks and in some cases transported

over long distances, as a result of which grid losses

­increase. Here, too, the influence of the synchronicity of

generation and consumption is not negligible.

The example of the Spanish distribution system

operator Viesgo [29] illustrates how grid losses can

­increase significantly with a high share of decentralised

power generation. This operator found that electricity

generation from wind power in his distribution network

led to grid losses significantly increasing at high voltage

level (132 kV). Depending on the power flows in his grid

area or power outputs transferred between two grid nodes,

the distribution system operator registered an increase in

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Wind Energy in Germany and Europe ı Thomas Linnemann and Guido S. Vallana


10

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

grid losses generally in the region of 2 to 4 % of the total of

load and export-import balance to higher and extreme

­values of up to 20 % in cases where net electricity imports

into his grid area were necessary.

These findings illustrate that grid losses in con­nection

with further expansion of electricity generation from wind

power with interconnection throughout Europe cannot be

considered negligible, especially against the backdrop of

European efforts to increase ­efficiency.

In a scenario according to the motto “everyone helps

everyone else”, it is true to state for the grid losses

with enhanced interconnection across Europe that in the

producing nation, the power output from all wind turbines

would, in a first step, have to be collected and transformed

to the appropriate voltage level before, in a second step,

the long-distance transport either to the domestic consumer

or to the country of destination over an average

­distance of 1,500 km could take place. In a third step,

the power output would then have to be transformed there

to a lower voltage level and finally distributed further to

the end consumer. As a simplified engineering estimate,

the grid losses over all three stages in this scenario could

add up to around one fifth to one third of the aggregate

output fed into the grid (producing nation: ≈ 7 %,

long-distance transport: ≈ 10 to 15 %, country of destination:

≈ 7 %).

On the question of the secured capacity of wind power

available throughout Europe, this means that, in reality,

lower values should result from the total power output of

all wind turbines in 18 European countries with greatly

idealising disregard of the transport and distribution

network losses.

Discussion

Analyses of cumulative power time series of the European

wind fleet in the high-wind years 2015 and 2017 suggest a

secured capacity of around 5 % of the nominal capacity in

Normalised power P/P N in %

100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

each case for the European wind fleet, on the assumption

of linear expansion during the course of the year. The less

windy year 2016 led to a secured capacity of the European

wind fleet of 4 % of the nominal capacity (Figure 12).

During the period 2015 to 2017 the power output of the

European wind fleet ranges from 4 to 63 % of the nominal

capacity and is highly volatile. The trend lines for the

­power time series of the European wind fleet of these three

years are included for clarity, and illustrate that changes

are essentially determined by the annual availability of

wind. The seasonal pattern of electricity generation from

wind power familiar in Germany − higher aggregate

­output in the winter than in the summer − also applies

with distribution of wind turbines throughout Europe.

Effects on the annual power output minimum of an

expansion-induced increase in the distribution of wind

turbines throughout Europe are not apparent, although

the nominal capacity of 141,000 MW at the start of 2015

increased by one third to just under 170,000 MW at

year-end 2017.

This means that even if, from a European perspective,

statistically significant smoothing effects are to be seen,

these effects clearly only help to achieve secured capacities

to a limited extent, since 4 to 5 % of the nominal capacity

with consideration of the grid losses means that, even at

European level, dispatchable backup capacity of practically

100 % of the nominal capacity of the European wind

fleet has to be maintained, as long as its nominal capacity

has not yet exceeded the cumulative annual peak load of

all countries concerned plus reserves.

In 2017 the European wind fleet supplied a total

339 TWh of electricity, in 2016 and 2015 just under

287 TWh and 285 TWh respectively. The capacity factor of

the European wind fleet varied between 22 and 24 %. The

results of the linear regression analysis described previously

enable the capacity factor of a wind fleet in an

individual European country to be determined with good

Real data 2017

Real data 2016

Real data 2015

Trend line 2015

Trend line 2016

Trend line 2017

Capacity factor: ≈ 22 bis 24 %

Hourly resolution

SERIAL | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 143

10

Secured: ≈ 4 bis 5 %

Jan

Feb Mrz Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov

Dec

Month

Source: ENTSO-E

| | Fig. 12.

Cumulative time series of normalised power output of the European wind fleet for the years 2015 to 2017 with three trend lines illustrating the seasonal character

of electricity generation from wind power, on the assumption of a linear increase in nominal capacity during the course of the year. The secured capacity of the

European wind fleet is 4 to 5 % of its nominal capacity and the capacity factor 22 to 24 %.

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Wind Energy in Germany and Europe ı Thomas Linnemann and Guido S. Vallana


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

Monday, 8 February 2016 Tuesday, 7 June 2016

SERIAL | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 144

H

1005

1000

T

1030

995

990

1025

1010

985

T

980

975

T

985 990

980

995 1000 1005

1010

T

970 T

1015

∆p Max

≈ 65 hPa

1020

| | Fig. 13.

Isobar maps of 8 February 2016 (winter day) and 7 June 2016 (summer day) as examples of pronounced high-wind and low-wind phases across much of Europe.

approximation to an average of 18 %. European interconnection

therefore indicates a capacity factor benefit of

a few percentage points of the nominal capacity.

In July 2017, researchers from ETH Zurich and Imperial

College London concluded, on the basis of European

weather data from the past 30 years and iRES model

calculations [23], that weather regimes with spatial scales

of around 1,000 km and temporal scales of more than five

days regularly occur in Europe resulting in an extensive

lack of power output of wind fleets of neighbouring

European countries.

Grams et al. recommended that expansion of wind

power in Europe be better coordinated and account be

taken of the fact that in peripheral European regions like

the Iberian Peninsula, northern Scandinavia, the Balkan

region or the Aegean, opposite wind conditions frequently

prevail with which variations in the aggregate power

output can be compensated at an overall European level.

Expansion of wind power should thus focus more on

peripheral European countries in order to balance

electricity generation from wind power. Were the European

nations to coordinate their expansion strategy even more

closely, they could stabilise the generation of electricity

from wind power, and it would then also be easier to

integrate it into the energy system.

Grams et al. state that photovoltaics could also be used

at a local level (during the daytime) to achieve pan­

European balance. However, the currently available

­nominal capacity of around 114,000 MW at year-end 2017

in Europe [15] would have to be increased at least ten-fold.

As weather reports on television have shown, extensive

weather regions can regularly occur throughout the whole

of Europe with distinct phases in which strong wind or

weak wind prevails across many European countries at the

same time. The driving force behind the wind are largescale

differences in air pressure, from which conclusions

can be drawn about continental wind conditions on the

basis of isobar maps (lines at constant pressure), as

illustrated in Figure 13 with the example of a winter day

(8 February 2016) with good wind over much of Europe

and a summer day (7 June 2016) with weak wind over

much of Europe.

1025

H

1030

1035

H

Surface level pressure in hPA

1025

1015

1020

H

T

H

1020

1020

∆p Max

≈ 20 hPa

T

H

H

1020

1020

T

T

1015

H

1020

T

T

H

H

H

H

T

1025

H

H

On 8 February 2016, maximum differences in air

pressure Dp Max up to around 65 hPA occurred across

Europe. The isobar lines for this winter day run closely

staggered next to each other. This indicates high gradients

and good wind conditions. Wind turbines in the 18

European countries considered here as European wind

fleet supplied around 86,000 MW or 57 % of their nominal

capacity of around 152,000 MW on daily average (prerequisite:

copper plate across Europe, no grid losses).

Between 20:00 and 21:00 in the evening, the power output

of the European wind fleet reached its annual peak (hourly

resolution) at 89,100 MW [13].

On 7 June 2016, maximum differences in air pressure

Dp Max of around 20 hPA occurred across Europe. In Figure

13, comparatively few isobars are apparent, indicating

low gradients and weak wind conditions across much of

­Europe. The European wind fleet supplied around

12,200 MW or 8 % of its nominal capacity on daily ­average.

Between 06:00 and 09:00 in the morning, its power output

fell to around 6,500 MW or 4 % of its nominal capacity

(prerequisite: copper plate across Europe, no grid losses)

[13].

These examples illustrate that situations can occur

again and again in which electricity generation from wind

power is simultaneously strong or weak throughout much

of Europe. In such cases this means: if wind conditions in

Germany are favourable, then this is also often the case

in neighbouring countries and vice versa. This is compounded

by the fact that demand for electricity in

European countries is also temporally correlated in

many cases, so that a cross-border balancing effect is

demon strably not a given certainty at the most critical

point in the year for the load [31].

According to the analyses carried out by Grams

et al. [23], synchronicity and correlation of electricity

generation from wind power in neighbouring European

countries could be avoided by connecting up very remote

countries at the peripheries of continental Europe. In view

of an increased need for transport of electricity over very

long distances of several thousand kilometres and average

iRES capacity factors of currently typically around 21 % for

onshore wind power, 32 % for offshore wind power and

1015

T

1015

1010

T

1005

1010

T

1005

H

Surface level pressure in hPA

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Wind Energy in Germany and Europe ı Thomas Linnemann and Guido S. Vallana


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

11 % for photovoltaics, this would raise justified questions

as to the grid losses to be expected with expansion

strategies of this kind, the capacity factor of the new

­infrastructure required with a focus on intensified pan-­

European long-distance transport of electricity and as to

their profitability. The average capacity factors given above

are calculated from hourly ENTSO-E power output data of

18 European countries from 2015 to 2017 accounting for

95 % of Europe’s wind power and photovoltaic nominal

capacity.

Even if China, for example, today has numerous HVDC

routes for transport distances of one to two thousand

kilometres, these are all designed to transmit electric

power of several gigawatts from the large inland hydropower

plants to supply the consumption centres on the

country’s coasts with electricity. This electricity transmission

technology is also referred to as bulk transmission

of electric power, an indicator of continuous power transmission

and consistently high capacity factors of such

transmission routes – criteria which neither wind nor solar

power has any prospect of fulfilling at a European level.

At the beginning of March 2018, the German National

Meteorological Service (DWD) published results of a study

[24] showing that through the combined use of wind

power and photovoltaics in the European power grid, risks

due to wind lulls and phases with little sun could be

­significantly reduced. With measurement data on the spatial

and temporal structure of the weather conditions from

1995 to 2015 and models to estimate electricity ­generation

of representative wind power and photovoltaic systems,

uniformly distributed across Europe without restrictions

and disregarding any grid losses, the meteorologists determined

how often the aggregate output of this iRES plant

fleet would have been less than 10 % of the nominal capacity

over a continuous period of two days in each case.

The result for Germany: with restriction to onshore

wind power, 23 cases per year would be probable. If

offshore wind power in the German North and Baltic Seas

is added, this number is reduced to 13 cases per year, while

further addition of photovoltaic systems brings a reduction

to two cases per year and, if Europe is considered as a

whole, the result is just 0.2 cases per year. However, as the

weather pleases itself, it can never be ruled out that an

­extreme lull could occur in conjunction with a phase of

little sun across Europe. Responsible energy policy must

therefore not only be about expanding wind power and

photovoltaic systems, but also ensuring sufficient reserve

power plant capacities.

In view of the grid being required to maintain a

permanent balance between electricity generation and

consumption, it is necessary here to point out that, contrary

to taking into account two-day periods in the cited study,

already a fraction of a second or minutes can be sufficient

to cause a blackout.

What would the consequences be, were wind turbines

to be distributed in balanced form across Europe as

recommended by Grams et al. [23] and Becker [24]?

As Figure 3 illustrates, many countries have a considerable

amount of catching up to do in relation to

Germany: all 13 countries in the nominal capacity of their

winds fleets ranking after Italy, for instance, would have to

increase their wind fleet’s nominal capacity sixteen-fold on

average with as balanced distribution of locations as

­possible, in order to reach Germany’s level of development.

When all 17 countries are considered, a total new

­nominal capacity of around 840,000 MW would have to be

established. With the already existing nominal capacity of

wind turbines in these 18 countries, a nominal capacity of

the balanced European wind fleet of around 1,000,000 MW

in total could therefore be expected.

By comparison: in 1995, power plants with a nominal

capacity of around 620,000 MW were in operation in the

18 European countries considered here [32]. This had

­already risen to around 970,000 MW nominal capacity in

2015, 47 % of which was accounted for by conventional

power plants, followed by hydropower plants (16 %), wind

turbines (14 %), nuclear power plants (12 %) and photovoltaic

systems (10 %).

With a long-term annual yield of the European wind

fleet averaged across the 18 countries of around

2,000 MWh electricity per megawatt of nominal capacity

[15] and on the assumption that yield-boosting factors

such as ever larger plants and hub heights as well as

yield-reducing factors like ever lower potential wind yields

of remaining wind turbine locations roughly maintain a

balance in the course of further expansion, the annual

­generation of around 2,000 TWh of electricity could be

­assumed for the imaginary European wind fleet. In

comparison, the gross power generation of the 18

­European countries considered amounted to just under

3,300 TWh in 2017 [15].

With specific investment costs of 1.5 million euros ­per

megawatt onshore nominal capacity [33] and 4.0 million

euros per megawatt offshore nominal capacity [34], total

investments of about 1,500 billion euros would have to be

factored in for expansion of the European generation of

electricity from wind power of this order, on the assumption

that 90 % of the nominal capacity to be added would

still be accounted for by onshore wind turbines and the

rest by offshore wind turbines. Compared with the gross

domestic product of the 18 countries in 2015 of almost

11,500 billion euros, this is a considerable sum.

At the same time, further investments worth billions

would have to be factored in for still necessary dispatchable

backup systems and in order to enhance the network

infrastructure [35],[36]. According to ENTSO-E estimates,

around four fifths of grid congestion problems identified

throughout Europe are attributable to renewable energies.

ENTSO-E puts the costs for enhancing and strengthening

the European grid for further integration of renewable

­energies at just under 130 billion euros [36].

Another aspect to be considered: Assuming that today’s

wind turbines have an operational lifespan of an average

25 years, a renewal rate of 40,000 MW per year would be

required with a plant level of around 1,000,000 MW

nominal capacity. By comparison, wind turbines with an

average nominal capacity of 12,000 MW per year went into

operation in the 18 countries in the last six years, while in

2017 the figure was slightly over 15,000 MW [15].

Evaluations of long-term operating data from the

United Kingdom and Denmark for 2002 to 2012, the

­results of which indicate the influence of material ageing

and an economic operational lifespan more in the region of

twelve to fifteen years, demonstrate that the operational

lifetime of wind turbines can, in reality, be considerably

lower [37].

This was confirmed, for example, in March 2018 [38]:

the Danish energy company Ørsted identified unexpected

damage to around 2,000 wind turbines in Danish and

British waters which had only been in operation since

2013. The leading edges and tips of the rotor blades were

so severely damaged by the impact of salt particles and

rain that they had to be replaced.

SERIAL | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 145

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Wind Energy in Germany and Europe ı Thomas Linnemann and Guido S. Vallana


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

SERIAL | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 146

Further confirmation followed in April 2018 [39]: in

the offshore wind park Alpha Ventus around 45 kilometres

off Borkum, half a nacelle of a wind turbine, together with

the plastic casing, plunged into the depths from a height of

around 90 meters. At the time the damage occurred, the

turbine was around eight years old. The wind farm

operator reported a broken retaining bolt of the nacelle

carrier as being the cause. No information was given as to

whether this was an isolated incident or a case of serial

damage. As a precautionary measure, the remaining five

undamaged Alpha Ventus turbines have since run in idle

mode and been closed for maintenance.

Even if damage to offshore wind turbines, as a

comparatively new technology, is not unusual, the German

television channel NDR interpreted this incident as being

major damage possibly in connection with material

­fatigue, and called for speedy clarification of the cause of

the damage, since more than 120 turbines of this type are

currently in operation in the North Sea.

Wind turbines do not only transport the wind intermittency,

i.e. briefly occurring strong gusts of wind into

the power grid, they also even intensify it when converting

it into electrical output [40],[41],[42],[43].

Measurement data with high temporal resolution

­substantiate strong fluctuations in wind speed and ­changes

in power output of a 2 MW wind turbine by 80 % of its

nominal capacity in eight seconds, and of a wind farm

comprising twelve 2 MW wind turbines by 50 % of its

nominal capacity in two minutes at a northern German

onshore location [40]. Within a quarter of an hour, therefore,

wind turbines can pass through power outputs from

almost zero up to the nominal capacity according to their

power curve.

The working conditions of wind turbines are characterised

by intermittent, turbulent air flows which are

­reflected in turbulent power output fluctuations of both

individual wind turbines and larger turbine fleets [41].

Peinke et al. [40] report that with individual wind

­turbines and large wind farms alike, extreme fluctuations

which would only be to be expected every three million

years with normal distribution could occur once a month

on statistical average. This property is particularly relevant

for grid stability analyses and the design of wind turbines,

as these face immense changes of load – comparable with

those of an aeroplane in an imaginary landing approach

lasting several years with severe wind turbulence.

This is caused by turbulences impacting the turbines

within a matter of seconds, the footprint of which is also

reflected in the electric power output. Grid instabilities

caused by power fluctuations of this kind would likely

increase with the expansion of wind power – as too would

the regulatory effort involved in compensating them [41].

Redispatching measures on the part of transmission

system operators are an indicator of grid instabilities and

resulting regulatory network intervention. This is to be

understood as intervention in the market-based original

power plant schedule in order to relocate power feed-in so

as to prevent or eliminate overloading in the power grid.

During the period 2010 to 2015, the annual redispatched

power output from domestic measures increased

by more than 36 times to 11.2 TWh, then fell by one third

in 2016 to 7.5 TWh before climbing to another new peak of

11.3 TWh in 2017 [44]. The annual redispatched power

output generated by the power plants in neighbouring

countries and in the context of cross-border trade as of

2014 amounting to around 25 to 50 % of the corresponding

domestic annual power output has to be added to this.

The development over the past years invites com parison

with the electricity generation from wind power: 2015 and

2017 were very windy years, while 2016 was considerably

less windy. Overall, the development of the mean value P µ

from 2010 to 2017 as shown in Figure 1 as a measure of

the annual electricity supplied is similar to the development

of the annual redispatched power output, which

could indicate causal relationships [44].

On account of massively increasing interventions in grid

operation, the German Federal Network Agency introduced

quarterly reports on grid and system security measures as

of 2015 [45], pointing out that in view of the drastic

increase in grid and security interventions, annual recording

was no longer sufficient, and that measures for

securing grid stability had become more important, as the

transmission system operators were facing ever greater

challenges in view of the changing power generation

landscape. This change, it was stated, was characterised

above all by the expansion and regional distribution of

wind turbines with impacts on the conventional power

plant fleet. Weather effects like low-pressure systems or

long sunny periods additionally led to high peaks in power

output from wind power and photovoltaics – a development

which also becomes clear from a glimpse into the

control rooms of the transmission system operators: whereas

grid control engineers had to actively intervene twice in

the whole of 2003 to adjust the grid operation, three to four

interventions per day have now become the norm.

Apart from the fact that with each intervention the

probability of human error by nature increases, this

development also indicates that exceptional circumstances

in the power grid necessitating intervention have

drastically increased since 2003.

Statements made in June 2017 by Dr. Klaus Kleinekorte,

Technical Managing Director at Amprion GmbH in

Dortmund, verify the occurrence of at times extreme loads

in the transmission grid [46]. He stated that between

December 2016 and February 2017 there were repeated

occurrences of hours on various evenings during which the

grid was at its limit and on several occasions had been on

the verge of a large-scale collapse. Had just one large line

shut down due to overload during these times, a deluge

of shutdowns and power outages might have been

­unavoidable. Moreover, on 18 January 2017, three days

prior to the start of the ten-day dark doldrums in Germany,

his company had written to the Federal Ministry for

Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Network

Agency, warning them of the temporary loss of (n-1)

secure grid control. At the latest when the nuclear power

plants in southern Germany cease to operate, high power

transmission requirements will become the norm. The

necessary grid expansion must therefore be pushed ahead

with rapidly.

Summary

VGB PowerTech has carried out a plausibility check of

electricity generation from wind power in Germany and

17 neighbouring European countries and in the process

explored questions as to whether adequate possibilities

for mutual balancing exist within the interconnected

European grid true to the motto “the wind is always

blowing somewhere”.

In the current energy policy environment which,

against the backdrop of the international climate protection

commitments facing Germany, seeks to abandon

the power plant technology proven over decades and

create extensive provision of electricity from renewable

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Wind Energy in Germany and Europe ı Thomas Linnemann and Guido S. Vallana


GNS Gesellschaft für Nuklear-Service mbH

Frohnhauser Str. 67 · 45127 Essen · Germany · info@gns.de · www.gns.de


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

SERIAL | MAJOR TRENDS IN ENERGY POLICY AND NUCLEAR POWER 148

energies, photovoltaics and wind power remain the only

scalable technologies capable of further development for

the Energiewende in the short to medium term. However,

they are always reliant on complementary technologies.

Looking back at the past year in Germany, it can be

­concluded that additional operating experience confirms

the statements made in the first part of the VGB Wind

Study: from the perspective of security of supply, wind

power, despite concerted efforts to expand since 2010, has

for all practical purposes not replaced any conventional

power plant capacity. Furthermore, offshore wind power

at its current level of development is shown to be not

capable of serving as a reliable source of baseload power

and cannot replace conventional power plant capacity.

Wind turbine locations spread throughout Germany are

not a solution for a reliable and secure supply of electricity.

Dispatchable complementary technologies are always

­necessary in conjunction with wind power.

From a European perspective, it can be concluded on

the basis of 18 countries observed here that although

­statistically significant smoothing effects are to be seen,

these only help to a limited extent when it comes to security

of supply: 4 to 5 % of the nominal capacity means with

consideration of unavoidable grid losses that, even at a

European level, dispatchable backup capacity of almost

100 % of the nominal capacity of all European wind

turbines has to be maintained, as long as this has not yet

exceeded the annual peak load in Europe plus reserves.

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Friedrich

Wagner from Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in

Greifswald for his valuable suggestions and contributions

to this publication.

Literature

1. Linnemann, Th.; Vallana, G. S.: Wind energy in Germany and Europe: Status, potentials and

challenges for baseload application, Part 1: Developments in Germany since 2010. VGB

PowerTech 97 (2017), No. 8, pp. 70 bis 79.

2. Linnemann, Th.; Vallana, G. S.: Wind energy in Germany and Europe: Status, potentials and

challenges for baseload application, Part 1: Developments in Germany since 2010. atw 62

(2017), No. 11, pp. 678 to 688.

3. Weber, H.: Versorgungssicherheit und Systemstabilität beim Übergang zur regenerativen

elektrischen Energieversorgung. VGB PowerTech 94 (2014), No. 8, pp. 26-31.

4. Bericht der deutschen Übertragungsnetzbetreiber zur Leistungsbilanz 2016 bis 2020.

Version 1.1 dated 30 January 2018. www.netztransparenz.de

5. BMWi-Zeitreihen zur Entwicklung der erneuerbaren Energien in Deutschland von 1990 bis 2016.

www.erneuerbare-energien.de

6. Arbeitsgemeinschaft Energiebilanzen (AGEB): Bruttostromerzeugung in Deutschland ab 1990

nach Energieträgern. www.ag-energiebilanzen.de

7. BDEW: Stromerzeugung und -verbrauch 2017 in Deutschland. BDEW-Schnellstatistik dated

14 February 2018. www.bdew.de

8. Bundesnetzagentur: Monitoringbericht 2017. www.bundesnetzagentur.de

9. Wagner, F.: Surplus from and storage of electricity generated by intermittent sources.

European Physical Journal Plus 131 (2016): 445. https://epjplus.epj.org

DOI 10.1140/epjp/i2016-16445-3

10. Wagner, F.: Überschussstrom und Stromspeicherung unter den Bedingungen intermittierender

Produktion. Tagungsband zur Frühjahrssitzung des Arbeitskreises Energie der Deutschen

Physikalischen Gesellschaft (DPG), Münster, 2017, pp. 54 to 74.

www.dpg-physik.de/veroeffentlichung/ake-tagungsband/tagungsband-ake-2017.pdf

11. VDE-Infoblatt Störungsstatistik 2016. www.vde.com

12. Wagner, F.: Considerations for an EU-wide use of renewable energies for electricity generation.

Eur. Phys. J. Plus 129 (2014): 219. https://epjplus.epj.org

DOI 10.1140/epjp/i2014-14219-7

13. Rodriguez, R. A. et al.: Transmission needs across a fully renewable European power system.

Renewable Energy, 63 (2014), pp. 467 to 476.

DOI 10.1016/j.renene.2013.10.005

14. ENTSO-E Transparency Platform. https://transparency.entsoe.eu

15. Vaughan, A.: UK summer wind drought puts green revolution into reverse.

Article dated 27 August 2018. www.theguardian.com

16. BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 − data workbook: www.bp.com

17. 50 Hertz, www.50hertz.com

18. Amprion, www.amprion.net

19. Tennet TSO, www.tennet.eu

20. Transnet BW, www.transnetbw.de

21. EEX Transparency, www.eex-transparency.com

22. Online database on the global wind power market: www.thewindpower.net

23. Buttler, A.; Dinkel, F.; Franz, S.; Spliethoff, H.: Variability of wind and solar power. An assessment

of the current situation in the European Union based on the year 2014. Energy 106 (2016),

pp. 147 to 161. DOI 10.1016/j.energy.2016.03.041

24. Grams, C. M. et al.: Balancing Europe’s wind-power output through spatial development informed

by weather regimes.

Nature Climate Change 7 (2017), pp. 557 to 562, DOI 10.1038/nclimate3338.

25. Becker, P.: Wetterbedingte Risiken der Stromproduktion aus erneuerbaren Energien durch kombinierten

Einsatz von Windkraft und Photovoltaik reduzieren. Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), 6

March 2018, Berlin. www.dwd.de

26. Baïle, R.; Muzy, J.-F.: Spatial Intermittency of Surface LayerWind Fluctuations at Mesoscale

Range. Physical Review Letters 105 (2010), pp. 254501-1 to 254501-4.

DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.254501

27. Wilms, J.: Das SüdLink-Projekt. Technische Optionen für eine Hochspannungsgleichstromübertragung.

Dialogue procedure for the SüdLink project Brunsbüttel-Großgartach on 21 May 2015 in

Schwäbisch-Hall.

28. Krontiris, A.: Von HGÜ zu UHGÜ. Entwicklungen und Perspektiven in der großräumigen Gleichstromübertragung.

Vortrag zur Herbstsitzung des Arbeitskreises Energie der Deutschen

Physikalischen Gesellschaft (DPG), Bad Honnef, 20 October 2017

29. CEER Report on Power Losses. Reference C17-EQS-80-03, www.ceer.eu

30. U.S. Energy Information Administration: www.eia.gov/beta/international

31. Energy performance report 2015 of the German transmission system operators pursuant to

EnWG § 12(4) and (5). Updated in February 2016,

www.netztransparenz.de

32. European Commission: EU energy in figures. Statistical pocketbook 2017.

https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/data-analysis/energy-statistical-pocketbook

33. Lüers, S.; Wallasch, A.-K.; Rehfeldt, K.: Kostensituation der Windenergie an Land in Deutschland,

Update. Varel, 2015, www.windguard.de

34. Hughes, G.; Aris, C.; Constable, J.: Offshore wind strike prices behind the headlines. Global

Warming Policy Foundation Briefing 26, 2017, www.thegwpf.org

35. Hirschhausen, C. et al.: Europäische Energiewirtschaft. Hoher Investitionsbedarf für Nachhaltigkeit

und Versorgungssicherheit. DIW-Wochenbericht No. 27, 2014.

36. ENTSO-E Ten-year network development plan 2012. www.entsoe.eu

37. Hughes, G.: The Performance of Wind Farms in the United Kingdom and Denmark. Renewable

Energy Foundation, 2012. www.ref.org.uk

38. Wolff, R.: Haltbarkeit von Windkraftanlagen. Erodierende Rotoren. taz edition dated 5 March

2018. www.taz.de

39. Schürmeyer, J.: Windpark Alpha Ventus vor Borkum. Abgestürzte Windpark-Gondel vor Austausch.

NWZ online edition dated 27 July 2018. www.nwzonline.de

40. Milan, P.; Wächter, M.; Peinke, J.: Turbulent character of wind energy. Physical Review Letters

110 (2013), pp. 138701-1 to 138701-5.

DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.138701

41. Peinke, J.; Heinemann, D.; Kühn, M.: Windenergie − eine turbulente Sache? Physik Journal 13

(2014) No. 7, pp. 35 to 41.

42. Anvari, M.; Lohmann, G.; Wächter, M. et al.: Short term fluctuations of wind and solar power systems.

New Journal of Physics 18 (2016) 063027, pp. 1 to 14.

DOI 10.1088/1367-2630/18/6/063027

43. Schmietendorf, K.; Peinke, J; Kamps, O.: On the stability and quality of power grids subjected to

intermittent feed-in. https://arxiv.org/abs/1611.08235

44. Laux, M.: Redispatch in Deutschland. Evaluation of transparency data, April 2013 to January

2018. www.bdew.de

45. Bundesnetzagentur: Quartalsbericht zu Netz- und Systemsicherheitsmaßnahmen für das dritte

Quartal 2015. www.bundesnetzagentur.de

46. Mihm, A.: Energiewende, Stromnetz kurz vor dem Zusammenbruch. FAZ edition dated 9 June

2017. www.faz.net

Authors

Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Linnemann

Dipl.-Phys. Guido S. Vallana

VGB PowerTech e.V.

Deilbachtal 173

45257 Essen

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Wind Energy in Germany and Europe ı Thomas Linnemann and Guido S. Vallana


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

Verlängerte Zwischenlagerung – Auswirkungen auf die

Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung?

149

Tobias Leidinger

Die in Deutschland erteilten Genehmigungen für die Aufbewahrung von Kernbrennstoffen sind auf 40 Jahre – gerechnet

ab Einlagerung des ersten Behälters – befristet. Für die zentralen Zwischenlager Gorleben und Ahaus laufen die § 6

AtG-Genehmigungen im Jahre 2034 bzw. 2036, für die dezentralen Zwischenlager an den KKW-Standorten in den

Jahren danach aus. Angesichts einer – mangels Endlagerverfügbarkeit – zu erwartenden verlängerten Zwischenlagerung

in Deutschland stellt sich die Frage, ob es im Zuge der „Verlängerung“ der Aufbewahrungsgenehmigungen der

Durchführung einer Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung nach Maßgabe des Gesetzes über die Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung

(UVPG) bedarf.

I. Ausgangslage

Durch das „Gesetz zur Neuordnung der Verantwortung in

der kerntechnischen Entsorgung“ vom 27. Januar 2017

wurden die organisatorischen und finanziellen Rahmenbedingungen

für die Entsorgung der radioaktiven Abfälle

neu geregelt. Für den Betrieb der Zwischenlager wurde

2017 die bundeseigene BGZ Gesellschaft für die Zwischenlagerung

mbH gegründet, die ab August 2017 die Verantwortung

für die Zwischenlager Ahaus und Gorleben und

ab 1. Januar 2019 auch den Betrieb der zwölf dezentralen

Standort-Zwischenlager übernommen hat. Angesichts

der ab Anfang der 2030er-Jahre auslaufenden § 6 AtG­

Genehmigungen ist – mit hinreichendem zeitlichen Vorlauf

– zu klären, ob eine verlängerte Zwischenlagerung

nach Ablauf der jeweiligen Befristung der bisherigen

Genehmigungen die Durchführung einer UVP erfordert.

Denn ein solches Verfahren ist mit erheblichem sachlichen

und zeitlichen Aufwand verbunden.

II. Zwischenlagerung bleibt – auch im Fall

der Verlängerung – Zwischenlagerung

Eine Zwischenlagerung im Sinne von § 6 AtG ist solange

gegeben, wie die Überbrückung der Zeit bis zur Inbetriebnahme

eines Bundesendlagers dauert. Eine bestimmte

zeitliche Grenze sieht der Gesetzgeber für die Einordnung

als Zwischenlagerung nicht vor. Werden die bislang auf

40 Jahre befristeten Genehmigungen also anschließend

„verlängert“, ändert dies nichts daran, dass auch eine verlängerte

Aufbewahrung „Zwischenlagerung“ im Rechtssinne

bleibt (vgl. OVG Münster, Urt. v. 30.10.1996 – 21 D

2/89.AK, Rn. 93).

III. Verfahrensrechtliche Ausgestaltung

einer verlängerten Zwischenlagerung

Eine „Verlängerung“ der Zwischenlagerung kommt im

Ergebnis auf zwei unterschiedlichen Wegen in Betracht,

die sich auf die UVP-Thematik auswirkt: Entweder als

„ Änderungsgenehmigung“ oder als „Neugenehmigung“.

Die Rechtsprechung lässt grundsätzlich beide Möglichkeiten

zu. Die Verlängerung der Geltungsfrist der Genehmigung

kann durch eine Neugenehmigung erfolgen oder

durch eine bloße Änderung der der Genehmigung bislang

schon beigefügten Frist, also durch eine Änderung der

zeitlichen Erstreckung ihrer Geltungswirkung.

Die inhaltlichen Zulassungsvoraussetzungen für eine

Erteilung einer Änderungsgenehmigung oder einer

Neugenehmigung unterscheiden sich grundsätzlich nicht:

In beiden Fällen ergeben sie sich aus § 6 Abs. 2 AtG (vgl.

dazu im Einzelnen: Leidinger, in: Frenz, Atomrecht, 2019,

§ 6 Rn. 23 ff.). Unterschiedlich ist grundsätzlich der

Genehmigungsgegenstand: Gegenstand einer Änderungsgenehmigung

sind zunächst nur die Teile, für die aus

Anlass der Änderung die Genehmigungsfrage erneut

aufgeworfen wird. Bei qualitativen Änderungen, die sich

auf die gesamte Anlage beziehen, sind auch die unveränderten

Anlagenteile Gegenstand der Änderungsgenehmigung,

soweit sich die Änderung darauf auswirkt.

Das führt dazu, dass sämtliche Umweltauswirkungen

unmittelbarer Prüfungsgegenstand des Änderungsgenehmigungsverfahrens

sind. Bei einer Verlängerung der

Zwischenlagerung handelt es sich nicht um eine quantitative

Erweiterung, sondern um eine qualitative –

nämlich zeitliche – Änderung. Dies führt dazu, dass grundsätzlich

sämtliche materiellen Zulassungsvoraus setzungen

des § 6 Abs. 2 AtG erneut zu prüfen sind, denn die

Änderung betrifft den gesamten Inhalt der Genehmigung.

Das entspricht der Situation bei der Erteilung einer Neugenehmigung,

durch die die Verlängerung der Aufbewahrungsdauer

bewirkt werden soll: Sie verändert nicht

die Aufbewahrung, sondern erlaubt sie über den bisherigen

Befristungszeitraum hinaus neu. Mithin sind

sämtliche Genehmigungsvoraussetzungen nach § 6 Abs. 2

AtG auch dann zu prüfen.

IV.

Auswirkungen auf die Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung

nach UVPG

Unterschiede zwischen Änderungs- und Neugenehmigung

im Fall einer verlängerten Zwischenlagerung ergeben

sich indes im Hinblick auf die Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung,

denn das UVPG unterscheidet zwischen Neuund

Änderungsvorhaben.

1. Neuvorhaben

Für Neuvorhaben folgt die UVP-Pflichtigkeit aus § 6 S. 1

UVPG i.V.m. Nr. 11.3 der Anlage 1 des UVPG. Danach

bedarf es einer UVP, wenn es um die Lagerung bestrahlter

Kernbrennstoffe oder radioaktiver Abfälle für mehr als

zehn Jahre an einem anderen Ort als dem Ort geht, an dem

diese Stoffe angefallen sind. Das ist sowohl bei zentralen

als auch bei dezentralen Zwischenlagern der Fall, wenn

die „Verlängerung“ für mehr als 10 Jahre erfolgen soll.

Die danach zwingend durchzuführende UVP ist unselbständiger

Teil des atomrechtlichen Genehmigungsverfahrens

nach § 6 AtG. Zur Durchführung der UVP

verweist § 2a Abs. 1 S. 2 AtG auf die Vorschriften der AtVfV,

in denen die näheren Vorgaben zur UVP – entsprechend

den Regelungen im UVPG selbst – speziell bestimmt sind.

2. Änderungsvorhaben

Ist hingegen von einem Änderungsvorhaben auszugehen,

richtet sich die UVP-Pflicht nach § 9 UVPG. Hier ist zu

unterscheiden zwischen Vorhaben, für die bereits eine

UVP durchgeführt worden ist (§ 9 Abs. 1 UVPG) und

Vorhaben, für die bislang keine UVP durchgeführt worden

ist (§ 9 Abs. 2, Abs. 3 UVPG). Beide Fälle sind in der Praxis

anzutreffen.

SPOTLIGHT ON NUCLEAR LAW

Spotlight on Nuclear Law

Extended Interim Storage – Impact on the Environmental Impact Assessment? ı Tobias Leidinger


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

SPOTLIGHT ON NUCLEAR LAW 150

a) UVP ursprünglich bereits durchgeführt

Wurde für das Änderungsvorhaben ursprünglich bereits

eine UVP durchgeführt, besteht nach § 9 Abs. 1 S. 1 Nr. 1

UVPG nur dann eine UVP-Pflicht, wenn allein die Änderung

die Größen- oder Leistungswerte für eine unbedingte

UVP-Pflicht erreicht oder überschreitet. Die Lagerdauer

eines Zwischenlagers ist aber kein Größen- oder Leistungswert

im Sinne von § 6 S. 2 UVPG, denn die in Nr. 11.3 des

Anhangs 1 UVPG genannte Lagerdauer dient allein der

näheren Beschreibung der Art des Vorhabens. Gemäß

§ 9 Abs. 1 S. 1 Nr. 2 UVPG besteht für das Änderungsvorhaben

eine UVP-Pflicht aber dann, wenn eine allgemeine

Vorprüfung ergibt, dass die Änderung zusätzliche

erhebliche nachteilige oder andere erhebliche Umweltauswirkungen

hervorrufen kann. Das ist Tatfrage und im

Einzelfall insbesondere davon abhängig, ob die Aufbewahrung

geänderten technischen oder verschärften

normativen Anforderungen unterliegt.

b) UVP bislang noch nicht durchgeführt

Wird ein Vorhaben geändert, für das noch keine UVP

durchgeführt worden ist, so besteht für das Änderungsvorhaben

nach § 9 Abs. 2 S. 1 Nr. 2 UVPG die UVP-Pflicht,

wenn eine Vorprüfung ergibt, dass die Änderung erhebliche

nachteilige Umweltauswirkungen hervorrufen kann.

Auch insoweit kommt es auf die Gegebenheiten im

Einzelfall im Zeitpunkt der „Änderung“ an.

sofern die Genehmigung nicht schon direkt als UVPpflichtige

Neugenehmigung beantragt wird. Im Fall einer

Änderungsgenehmigung kann der Antragssteller die UVP

nach § 7 Abs. 3 UVPG selbst beantragen und damit Risiken

im Hinblick auf sonst verbleibende Auslegungsspielräume

– bei einer bloßen UVP-Vorprüfung – ausschließen. Bei der

UVP-Prüfung selbst ist darzulegen, dass die „verlängerte“

Zwischenlagerung nicht zu nachteiligen Umweltauswirkungen

führt. Wird die Aufbewahrung nach Ablauf der

ursprünglichen Befristung fortgesetzt und belegt, dass die

erforderliche Schadensvorsorge weiterhin gewährleistet

ist, wird dieser Nachweis im Ergebnis erfolgreich zu führen

sein.

Autor

Prof. Dr. Tobias Leidinger

Rechtsanwalt und Fachanwalt für Verwaltungsrecht

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft

Graf-Adolf-Platz 15

40213 Düsseldorf

c) Prüftiefe im Rahmen der Vorprüfung

Ist eine Vorprüfung erforderlich, ist diese nach § 7 Abs. 1

S. 2 UVPG als überschlägige Prüfung – mit eingeschränkter

Tiefe – durchzuführen. Die Vorprüfung darf nichts von

der eigentlichen UVP vorwegnehmen. Andererseits darf

sie sich nicht mit einer oberflächlichen Abschätzung

begnügen. Damit sind Wertungsspielräume eröffnet und

Fragen, die Rahmen einer gerichtlichen Nachprüfung zu

Streit und – im schlechtesten Fall – zur Aufhebung der

Änderungsgenehmigung führen können.

V. Konsequenzen aus Sicht

des Antragstellers

Angesichts der Auslegungsspielräume im Hinblick auf die

richtige Vorgehensweise bei einer verlängerten Zwischenlagerung

(Neu- oder Änderungsgenehmigung mit UVP

oder mit Vorprüfung zur UVP) ist der Vorhabenträger im

Zweifel gut beraten, die Durchführung einer UVP von

sich aus für ein „Neuvorhaben“ zu beantragen. Diese

­Möglichkeit eröffnet ihm § 7 Abs. 3 S. 1 UVPG, wenn die

zuständige Behörde das Entfallen der Vorprüfung als

zweckmäßig erachtet. Dann wird das Vorhaben nach § 7

Abs. 3 S. 3 UVPG als UVP-pflichtig behandelt. Vorteil ­dieser

Vorgehensweise ist ein Gewinn an Zeit und Rechtssicherheit:

Der Zeitbedarf für eine u.U. aufwendige

Vorbereitung und die eigentliche Durchführung der Vorprüfung

der UVP-Pflicht bei Antragssteller und Genehmigungsbehörde

entfällt. Zugleich kann das Risiko

vermieden werden, dass die Entscheidung im Rahmen der

UVP-Vorprüfung – UVP-Pflicht ja oder nein – Gegenstand

eines späteren Rechtsstreits wird, mit der Folge, dass

eine unterbliebene UVP möglicherweise noch nachgeholt

werden muss – sofern dann noch rechtlich zulässig.

VI. Fazit

Für eine über die ursprünglich befristet genehmigte

Zwischenlagerung hinausgehende „verlängerte“ Aufbewahrung

nach § 6 AtG ist – im Zweifel – nicht nur eine

UVP-Vorprüfung, sondern eine UVP durchzuführen,

Spotlight on Nuclear Law

Extended Interim Storage – Impact on the Environmental Impact Assessment? ı Tobias Leidinger


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

The German Quiver Project

Quivers for Damaged and Non-Standard Fuel Rods

Sascha Bechtel, Wolfgang Faber, Hagen Höfer, Frank Jüttemann, Martin Kaplik, Michael Köbl,

Bernhard Kühne and Marc Verwerft

1 Introduction and background of the German Quiver Project During the operational

phase of a nuclear power plant, damaged fuel rods are usually collected separately in the spent fuel pool for a later

disposal after the plant’s final shut-down. In Germany the initially planned disposal path for damaged fuel rods was

reprocessing. However, as part of the agreement on the first nuclear phase-out in 2000 in Germany (“Atomkonsens”),

also transports of spent fuel to reprocessing plants were banned effective July 2005. With the first NPP to be shut-down

in 2011 (KKI-1), its operator E.ON Kernkraft (EKK, now PreussenElektra) started a project in 2005 to establish a

solution for the dry interim storage of their failed fuel rods in the on-site storage facilities, that had to be erected due to

the end of reprocessing. Since the collected failed fuel rods were to be taken out of the pools only after the last regular

fuel assemblies, a feasible storage solution for the failed fuel rods would have been needed by about 2016.

In 2006 EKK asked GNS Gesellschaft

für Nuklear-Service mbH to join the

project to ensure compatibility with

the requirements of the transport and

storage casks. By early 2007 two companies,

one of them already Höfer &

Bechtel, provided first design ideas

and drawings. In 2009 the four German

utilities jointly asked GNS to take

over one of the concepts and develop

it towards cask-licensing. In June 2010

this quiver solution was presented to

Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung

und -prüfung (BAM) to obtain a first

authority feedback, in order to create

a licensing documentation for transportation

and storage.

After the political decision to again

extend the operating times of the

German NPPs later in 2010, the focus

in the back-end activities of the

utilities temporarily shifted to the

regular cask licenses to ensure undisturbed

operation by timely caskloading

campaigns. The first plant to

be closed was still KKI-1, but now only

in 2020. Hence the licensing of the

quiver solution was temporarily

suspended in favour of the ongoing

licensing processes of transport and

storage casks.

The second and final German

phase out decision of June 2011 again

revived the demand for a solution for

failed fuel rods. Since the oldest

plants, that had been taken off the

grid only days after the Fukushima

accident, were to remain shut down

permanently, suddenly the development

of a failed-fuel-rod solution was

on a five-year time schedule.

As early as July 2011, the utilities

asked GNS to resume the efforts

with a special focus on the new time

constraints. Regarding these new

boundary conditions, GNS revised the

requirements for such a quiver solution,

now aiming at a very robust

licensing concept as first priority,

which was expected to reliably pass

the licensing process faster than an

economically optimized concept.

During a workshop in August 2011

GNS and the utilities discussed this

concept in detail and until November

2011 a specification was drafted.

Based on that, five potential developers

were invited to present their

concepts in early 2012. Out of these

five, the utilities finally agreed to

adopt a hot-vacuum drying system

with a quiver being able to accommodate

several fuel rods as it was

presented by Höfer & Bechtel. The

quiver would regulatorily be treated

as part of the cask and, to facilitate

timely licensing, a cask-loading with

only quivers was foreseen. In order to

reduce the overall risk of the project,

however, the utilities had also decided

to pursue a second, different approach

at the same time – hot-gas drying of

individually capsuled fuel rods and

assembling several capsules to a

­quasi-assembly – until the major challenges

in the Höfer & Bechtel concept

have been overcome.

At the time of the actual project

start in mid-2012, there was very

­limited scientific information available

on irradiated fuel rods containing

water after a cladding perforation

during operation occurred. EKK then

decided to launch a research project

with the Belgian nuclear research

center SCK•CEN in Mol. As an additional

partner SYNATOM, the company

responsible for the front and the

back end of the nuclear fuel cycle

in Belgium, decided to join the socalled

WETFUEL project. As will be

described in more detail later, hydraulic

properties were measured, proof of

principle for temperature assisted

vacuum drying was provided and

­finally water removal rates were

determined. During this intensive

research programme the overall concept

could be validated and the industrial

feasibility was shown.

Based on these results GNS in

cooperation with Höfer & Bechtel

developed two quivers for non standard

fuel rods to fit into the basket slots

of the existing cask types CASTOR®

V/19 (PWR) and CASTOR® V/52

(BWR). The customizable internal

baskets of the quivers facilitate the

disposal of a large variety of nuclear

inventory. Furthermore, the quiver

features a robust design and a unique

welded closure system, to provide a

second cladding for the damaged fuel

rods. This design and the accompanying

dispatch equipment have been

verified by a series of tests and qualification

processes supervised by the

German authorities, and have proven

to be a reliable solution within the

specified period of only five years.

The package design approvals for

the quiver for CASTOR® V/19 and

V/52 have been issued by the German

authorities in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

This first of its kind quiver

solution is thus able to assure the dry

interim storage of all non-standard

fuel rods from the German NPPs in

standard transport and storage casks.

In April 2018, the first three

PWR-quivers were loaded at Unterweser

NPP, while their final dispatch

campaign including drying and

welding was successfully carried out

in October and November 2018. The

next dispatch campaign has already

started at Biblis NPP.

2 The Quiver – Design

and function

The quiver for non standard fuel rods

has been designed to be accommodated

by the standard baskets of the

CASTOR® V/19 or CASTOR® V/52.

151

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Quivers for Damaged and Non-Standard Fuel Rods ı Sascha Bechtel, Wolfgang Faber, Hagen Höfer, Frank Jüttemann, Martin Kaplik, Michael Köbl, Bernhard Kühne and Marc Verwerft


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 152

| | Fig. 1.

PWR-quiver with head- and foot-piece, inner basket, 32AR (upper-) and

6AR (lower picture), lid of BWR-quiver (upper-), welded lid (lower picture) –

(from left to right).

The boundary conditions for the

design of the quiver were:

pp

restoring the limited or missing

barrier of the damaged fuel

pp

equivalence to the size and weight

of standard fuel assemblies to fit

into the CASTOR® baskets

pp

full compliance with CASTOR®

license, regarding

pp

criticality

pp

dose rate

pp

heat dissipation

pp

no negative impact especially on

the CASTOR® lid system, regarding

accident conditions

pp

ability to dry the fuel, that might be

wet, due to cladding failure

pp

ability to get the license for processing

the damaged fuel from the

spent fuel pool to the loading of the

final CASTOR®

The quiver (Figure 1) comprises the

following parts:

pp

A forged stainless steel body with

the central cavity to accommodate

the inner basket. The body is made

of one single piece, comparable to

the body of the CASTOR®.

pp

The inner basket, which accommodates

the damaged fuel rods or

even parts of fuel rods and thus

provides a defined and calculable

geometry. Furthermore, the inner

basket is designed to facilitate the

drying of the damaged fuel. There

are different types of inner baskets

to accommodate even geometrically

distorted fuel rods.

pp

A lid that is screwed into the top of

the body, after the cavity and the

fuel have been successfully dried.

Additionally, the lid is welded to

the body, to provide the gas tight

barrier for the fuel.

pp

The head- and foot-pieces are

designed as shock absorbers to

limit the impact on the quiver itself

and on CASTOR® lid in case of an

accident. The head-piece also

serves as load attachment point.

The inner basket of the PWR-quiver

is licensed in two different variants.

The most common type called 32AR

features 32 tubes of three different diameters

for fuel rods or encapsulated

fuel rods of different diameters. The

second type is called 6AR and is suited

for geometrically distorted fuel rods.

It is possible to load more than one

fuel rod into one of the six tubes of the

6AR inner basket.

For the BWR-quiver three different

types of inner baskets have been

licensed. These are 18AR and 14AR

for 18 resp. 14 fuel rods of different

diameters as well as 8AR for geometrically

distorted fuel rods. The 8AR can

take up one or two fuel rods in each of

its eight tubes.

Unlike a fuel assembly, which

bends under mechanical loads, the

quiver is a much more rigid and stiff

structure. One of the biggest challenges

was the design and qualification

of the head- and foot-pieces

regarding their shock absorber functionality

to prevent additional stress

to the CASTOR® lid system under accident

conditions of transport.

To prove the effectiveness of the

head- and foot-pieces, first the design

was optimized using static loads of a

hydraulic press with maximum force

of 300 tons. Later on, the final design

was proven in several drop tests. For

that, the equipment for the drop tests

was set up and qualified at the Höfer &

| | Fig. 2.

Drop test at -40°C, just before impact.

Bechtel site at Mainhausen. All equipment

for the drop tests of the 880 kg

prototype quivers onto a rigid foundation

was qualified in cooperation

with BAM. Drop tests were performed

at temperatures between -40°C

( Figure 2) and +90°C (PWR) and

-40°C to +110°C (BWR). The optimized

design of the head- and footpieces

was able to keep the maximum

load to the quiver itself as well as the

force on the lid system of the CASTOR®

within the specified limits.

Manufacturing of the quivers and

all of its components is performed

under supervision of different authorities

in order to assure quality specifications

laid down in the license.

A second major challenge was the

qualification of the drying process of

the quiver cavity and even more so of

potentially wet damaged fuel. Based

on theoretical calculations and published

experience with drying of

damaged fuel, the drying concept was

developed. Starting with a mock up

for simulating a single damaged fuel

rod up to the 1:1 original drying

equipment, the qualification process

for the drying was performed under

supervision of BAM. The ability to

monitor the drying process and to

measure and verify dryness is as

important as the drying process itself,

as the test rods could be weighed and

inspected for dryness, but the original

damaged fuel rods can not.

Fruitful discussions with the

­experts of BAM led to the final design

of the drying equipment and to the

approved drying procedures. Participation

in the international WETFUEL

research program, which took place at

SCK•CEN, Mol, Belgium, during the

time of the development of the quiver

drying system, was also a great opportunity

to transform the experience

from test rods to real fuel rods.

3 The Quiver as part of the

CASTOR® Cask and its

licensing implications

The disposal of spent nuclear fuel in

Germany is essentially based on the

established CASTOR® V casks. These

casks consist of a thick-walled, monolithic

cask body made of ductile cast

iron with radial cooling fins, a basket

for the spent fuel assemblies and an

in-line double lid system. In case

of CASTOR® V/19 for PWR-FA, the

basket offers 19 positions while in case

of CASTOR® V/52 for BWR-FA, the

basket has 52 positions. Figure 3

displays the design features using the

example of CASTOR® V/52 in storage

configuration.

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Quivers for Damaged and Non-Standard Fuel Rods ı Sascha Bechtel, Wolfgang Faber, Hagen Höfer, Frank Jüttemann, Martin Kaplik, Michael Köbl, Bernhard Kühne and Marc Verwerft


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

| | Fig. 3.

Design Features of the CASTOR® V/52

(Storage configuration).

In order to provide a comprehensive

disposal concept also for damaged

fuel rods, the quiver for damaged

fuel rods had to be licensed as inventory

for transport and storage in

CASTOR® V casks. To achieve a

straightforward and fast licensing

process, the quiver was designed to be

very robust and to comply with the

existing boundary conditions of the

CASTOR® V cask:

pp

equivalence of size and weight of

standard fuel assemblies to fit into

the CASTOR® baskets

pp

no negative impact on the cask,

especially on the CASTOR® lid

system under accident conditions

pp

ability to dry the damaged fuel

rods to an extent, that no extra

measures in the cask or quiver

design are necessary.

The licensing approach was further

optimized regarding the situation of

shut-down NPPs with the need for a

fast track disposal concept for a

complete removal of nuclear fuel from

their spent fuel pools. This led to a

two-step approach:

1. Fast track concept featuring:

pp

Robust quiver design with significant

safety margins

pp

Conservative cask loading pattern

(quiver only)

pp

Safety report with very conservative

boundary conditions

pp

Substantial experimental tests to

accelerate the safety evaluation

process

2. Optimized concept featuring:

pp

Robust quiver design with higher

load capacity

pp

Optimized cask loading patterns

(quiver and spent fuel assemblies)

pp

Safety report with adequate

boundary conditions

The first approach proved successful:

The first transport license for the

leading PWR-quiver in CASTOR®

V/19 casks was granted on schedule

in April 2017, subsequently the first

storage license for Biblis NPP in June

2018. The transport license for the

BWR-quiver in CASTOR® V/52 casks

was granted in April 2018, the first

storage license for Krümmel NPP in

December 2018.

In order to economically optimize

the use of the quiver system, GNS

works on improving the capacity of

the quivers and enabling also mixed

cask loadings with both quivers and

regular fuel assemblies. First feasibility

studies have been started.

4 Quiver handling and

service equipment

The quiver project is divided into

three subprojects. One of these subprojects

was the development and

manufacturing of equipment for

handling and preparation of damaged

fuel rods for the loading into the

quivers.

4.1 First step: Loading of

damaged spent fuel into

the Quiver

Using trusted under water handling

tools the damaged fuel rods are

loaded under water into the quivers.

This process is schematically shown

in Figure 4 left.

For the loading of the fuel rods

with minor damages (e.g. gastight

with reduced cladding thickness or

gastight with deformations) the fuel

rod is gripped at its upper pin by

means of a plier. The operator lifts the

tool with the crane and positions the

attached fuel rod above the quiver.

Subsequently, the fuel rod is lowered

into a free loading position of the

internal basket of the quiver. Examples

of customized internal baskets for

different kinds of damaged fuel rods

are shown in Figure 4 right.

Before loading into the quiver,

heavily damaged fuel rods or even

fuel rod sections down to the size of

pellets, are placed in small handling

tubes. The handling tubes are handled

with a dedicated gripper (Figure 5).

| | Fig. 4.

Damaged fuel rods and handling tubes with fuel rod sections are placed in a receptacle, which is

positioned in the fuel assembly storage rack. Next to that the quiver is waiting for the loading (left).

Different internal baskets for varying kinds of bent damaged fuel rods (right).

| | Fig. 5.

Handling tube for the collection of heavily damaged fuel rods, smaller sections of fuel rods or even

broken pieces down to the size of pellets (left). In analogy to the loading of fuel rods with an intact

upper pin, the handling tubes are placed in the internal basket of the quiver (right). Example for a

gripper to collect fuel debris for placement in cartridges before loading into the quiver (bottom).

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 153

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Quivers for Damaged and Non-Standard Fuel Rods ı Sascha Bechtel, Wolfgang Faber, Hagen Höfer, Frank Jüttemann, Martin Kaplik, Michael Köbl, Bernhard Kühne and Marc Verwerft


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 154

| | Fig. 6.

The quiver is still placed in the fuel-assembly rack with the transfer-head piece already attached. The

primary shielding is inside the loading station at the usual loading position of the CASTOR® V cask (left).

The quiver is lifted out of the rack and positioned inside the primary shielding (center). After removal of

the transfer-head piece the primary shielding is closed with a top shielding. Now the shielding basket is

ready to be lifted out of the pool and handled on the reactor floor (right).

| | Fig. 7.

The quiver inside the primary shielding is lifted out of the pool and into the handling station on the

reactor floor (left). Dewatering of the quiver inside the handling station (center). View into the mobile

hot cell on top of the handling station (right).

The actual process of loading the

handling tubes into the internal basket

of the quiver remains unchanged compared

to the fuel rods with minor

damages, which are directly loaded

into the quiver.

4.2 Second step: Dispatch

of the Quiver

In contrast to the regular dispatch of

spent fuel assemblies under water in

the spent fuel pool, the dispatch of the

quiver is performed outside the spent

fuel pool on the reactor floor. This

approach is motivated by the possibility

to use much simpler technology

than would be required for underwater

processing in the spent fuel

pool. This also yields an increase

in process stability. However, this

approach requires some additional

equipment especially with regard to

shielding.

After loading of the quiver with

damaged fuel rods a transfer-head

piece is attached to the top of the

quiver for handling purposes. This

transfer­ head piece allows the handling

of the quiver like a standard fuel

assembly with a gripper. The quiver is

lifted out of the storage rack and is

placed into a shielding basket on the

bottom of the pool. The shielding

basket is the primary shielding of the

quiver during handling outside of

the spent fuel pool. In the pool it is

positioned in a loading station waiting

to take up the quiver. As shown in

Figure 6 the loading station is located

at the position in the spent fuel pool,

where the CASTOR® V casks are

usually loaded during a standard

defueling campaign. It consists of a

stable base plate with welded lateral

guide and support elements for the

shielding basket. The loading station

and the shielding basket are handled

with the same crane system of the NPP.

After transferring the quiver into

the shielding basket, the transfer-head

piece is removed and a top shielding,

closing the top of the shielding basket

is attached to the primary shielding.

The shielding basket including the

quiver is now lifted out of the pool and

positioned into a handling station on

the reactor floor (Figure 7).

The handling station is where the

actual dispatch of the quiver takes

place. It consists of a secondary

shielding system, an operating platform

and a mobile hot cell, which is

operated by remote control. The

shielding block as the secondary

shielding system for the quiver consists

of a sandwich structure of polyethylene

and steel. One side can be

opened for placing the shielding

basket with the traverse into the

shielding block. An operation platform

is fitted to the shielding block,

enabling access to the upper part of

the shielding block and for inspection

works. Inside the mobile hot cell

the drying and welding of the quiver

is performed. The mobile hot cell provides

a barrier between the damaged

fuel rods in the quiver and the atmosphere

of the controlled area in the

NPP, retaining particles etc. The atmosphere

inside the mobile hot cell is

monitored and can be replaced with

an inert gas atmosphere. The exhaust

line from the mobile hot cell is

connected to the building ventilation

system via a particle filter, providing

further contamination control.

Now the dewatering and drying of

the quiver can take place. While the

dewatering is performed by suction of

the water the drying process is more

sophisticated: while the quiver is

heated to temperatures above the

boiling point of water by hot air from a

heating unit, a vacuum drying device

operates using a special throughput of

hot air, utilizing humidity sensors to

monitor the residual moisture in the

quiver and its inventory.

After drying, the quiver is filled

with helium for helium leak testing

and to provide inert conditions. The

lid of the quiver is screwed in using

remote manipulation tools. In order to

provide the gas tightness of the quiver,

a welding seam is produced by means

of a remote welding machine. The

welding process had to be qualified by

the German authorities and it was

shown that the automated process

generates a gastight welding seam

­fulfilling the design specifications.

Finally, after the welding a leak tightness

test of the welding seam is performed

inside the mobile hot cell.

As mentioned above, all the operations

inside the mobile hot cell are

performed by remote control and are

monitored by video. This significantly

reduces the radiation exposure of

the personnel. Figure 8 shows the

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Quivers for Damaged and Non-Standard Fuel Rods ı Sascha Bechtel, Wolfgang Faber, Hagen Höfer, Frank Jüttemann, Martin Kaplik, Michael Köbl, Bernhard Kühne and Marc Verwerft


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

| | Fig. 8.

The remote controlled handling device inside the mobile hot cell with one of the six cameras inside

the cell (top, left). The remote control terminal which is placed next to the handling station (top, right).

The remote controlled automatic welding device (bottom).

manipulation device and one of the

six cameras inside the mobile hot cell.

The remote control station is positioned

beside the handling station and

is connected to the mobile hot cell.

After the dispatch, the quiver – still

inside the primary shielding – is transferred

back to the loading station in

the pool. Here the quiver is lifted out

of the shielding and put back into the

storage rack, where it remains until

being loaded into the CASTOR® cask.

5 Drying spent nuclear fuel

5.1 Boundary conditions

for drying fuel

Both the defining criteria of damaged

fuel and the procedures for handling

damaged spent nuclear fuel vary from

country to country depending on

the regulatory requirements [1]. For

intact fuel assemblies, the transfer

from wet to dry storage goes generally

without problems as the intact cladding

of the fuel rods ensures that all

water is “easily accessible”. For

non-intact fuel rods, one may expect

that the inner parts of the rod such as

the plenum, fuel-cladding gap, cracks

and fissures in the UO 2 , pellet-pellet

dishes etc. are partially or completely

filled with water. Extraction of the

water that has seeped into the fuel

may be difficult. As-fabricated fuel

rods have a fuel-cladding gap of

several tens of micrometers, but

progressively, the cladding creeps

towards the fuel while the fuel undergoes

thermal expansion and swells

due to fission product accumulation

and after a certain period of time, the

fuel­ cladding gap is closed in hot

operating conditions. In cold stage,

the gap re-opens due to the larger

thermal contraction of the fuel, but

the gap size of spent fuel is much

smaller than the as-fabricated gap.

Already for non-failed fuels, the gas

connectivity in an irradiated fuel rod

is a complex phenomenon to describe

quantitatively. Upon cladding breach,

the fuel rod internals are exposed to

the primary coolant and later to the

spent fuel pool water. After cladding

breach, e.g. as a result of debris

fretting causing a pinhole defect,

secondary cladding defects rapidly

develop due to hydrogen uptake by

the Zircaloy cladding [2, 3]. Furthermore,

UO 2 potentially oxidizes to

higher oxides upon exposure to oxidizing

conditions (UO 2 → UO 2+x →

U 4 O 9 → U 3 O 7 → U 3 O 8 ). Compared to

UO 2 , the higher oxides which essentially

keep the fluorite arrangement of

the parent UO 2 structure (UO 2+x ,

U 4 O 9 and U 3 O 7 ) show a net contraction

of their structure [4-6], but when

the U 3 O 8 phase forms, a huge expansion

(36 %) occurs [7]. For non-intact

fuel, one must thus take into account

that water has interacted with the

UO 2 fuel, and that hydriding and

inner wall oxidation of zircaloy cladding

may have occurred, which

further complicates a theoretical prediction

of water removal kinetics.

5.2 Hot laboratory drying

tests of real spent nuclear

fuel segments (WETFUEL

Project)

In order to reduce the uncertainties of

water removal rates from damaged

irradiated spent fuel rods, an experimental

setup was developed to perform

wetting and drying tests under

well-controlled conditions. The setup

further allowed to measure the

hydrau­lic resistance for gas flow as

well as the removal rate of water

through a spent fuel segment of

variable length. The device consisted

of two instrumented vessels holding a

fuel rod segment in between them,

sealed in such a way that any

water, gas or vapor flow had to pass

through the clamped fuel rod segment

(Figure 9).

Spent fuel samples were taken

from a failed fuel rod and from a

nearly identical unfailed fuel rod

with a rod average burnup around

50 GWd/tHM irradiated in the ­Belgian

Tihange 1 PWR. Tested fuel samples

showed the typical crack pattern for

irradiated nuclear fuel (Figure 10).

For analytical studies, fuel rod

segments of various lengths were

investigated. In this article the results

obtained from two segments of 50 cm

and one of 10 cm length are discussed.

| | Fig. 9.

Hot-cell installation for wetting and drying experiments on spent nuclear fuel segments: Design drawing

of the two vessels: a large bottom vessel and a much smaller top vessel (left). 3D cutout view of the

equipment with schematic indication of a mounted spent fuel segment (center). View of the equipment

installed in hot-cell (right).

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 155

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Quivers for Damaged and Non-Standard Fuel Rods ı Sascha Bechtel, Wolfgang Faber, Hagen Höfer, Frank Jüttemann, Martin Kaplik, Michael Köbl, Bernhard Kühne and Marc Verwerft


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 156

| | Fig. 10.

Cross section of the spent fuel segment WET1, taken from the failed fuel.

The cracks and gap do not show any particular severe degradation. The

missing part on the bottom side is caused by sample preparation. Inset:

detail of the gap region, with an overlay of a Scanning Electron Microscopy

(SEM) image. The greater depth of view of the SEM allows one to better

assess the width of irregular areas such as cracks and the pellet-clad gap

than observations made from optical micrographs.

Prior to tests on real spent fuel rod

segments, mock-up tests were performed

with a segment filled with fine

Al 2 O 3 powder and sealed on both ends

with a porous filter plug.

The test setup allowed various

types of tests:

pp

Hydraulic resistance for dry gas

flow

pp

Wetting-Drying sequence

pp

Water pocket drying

The hydraulic resistance can be

­derived by measuring a gas flow at

constant pressure difference, which

works well for low hydraulic resistance

samples, or by measuring the

rate of pressure change in either of the

two vessels as a function of pressure

difference over the sample, which

proved to be more accurate for

samples with high hydraulic resistance.

Under conditions of laminar

flow, the molar flow rate Q m (t) is

equal to:

length, R is the universal gas constant.

From (Eq. 1), the effective hydraulic

radius can be readily calculated (see

also column 3 of Table 1:

(2)

A complete wetting and drying

sequence consisted of inserting an

excess amount of water in the lower

vessel such that the lower part of the

fuel rod segment would be completely

immersed. The gas cushion above the

water was then pressurized such that

the sample segment was progressively

filled with water until the moisture

readout in the top vessel indicated the

presence of liquid water i.e. full percolation

did occur. The system was

then soaked for a minimum period of

2 hours to allow finer cracks and gaps

to be wetted as well. The lower vessel

was then drained and both top and

bottom vessels were heated to a preset

temperature while being pumped.

During the pumping sequence, the

pressure was monitored as well as the

moisture content in the exhaust line.

After reaching pressures below 1 mbar

in both top and bottom vessel, a pressure

rebound test was performed [8].

To this end, the exhaust lines were

shut and the pressure increment was

monitored for 30 minutes. If the pressure

would not exceed 4 mbar, the test

was considered complete. The drying

sequence, plotted in Figure 11, clearly

showed several phases: in a first

phase, the pressure rapidly dropped

until ~10 mbar, at which point the

pressure stabilized while liquid water

was slowly removed from the fuel

column. The humidity in the exhaust

lines remained elevated (dew point

between 10 °C and 20 °C). Once the

liquid water was removed from the

segment, the pressure and humidity

further dropped. Considering the performance

of the pumping system,

the vacuum was expected to asymptotically

approach ~0.5 mbar. In the

example shown in Figure 11, the first

pressure rebound test was nearly successful

after around 6 h. Upon further

drying, the pressure and humidity

gradually evolved to 0.3 - 0.4 mbar

and 40 °C. A successful dryness test

was performed after 24 h. Further

drying did not result in any significant

changes in vessel pressure or relative

humidity of the exhaust gas. The

test was concluded after 96 h with a

third dryness test, which was again

successful.

The wetting and drying sequence

yielded a successful demonstration of

the feasibility of the drying principle

but was difficult to quantify. Quantification

of water removal rates was

approached by two methods. At first,

the hydraulic resistance of a fuel rod

segment was assessed under dry conditions

(see above), and in a second

stage, “water pocket tests” were performed

at different temperatures. To

this end, 10 ml of water was poured

into the top vessel which was then

sealed, the whole system was heated

and pumping was performed from the

bottom vessel. Depending on the

drying temperature, the drying time

was shorter or longer and correspondingly,

the lower vessel pressure

was at a higher or lower equilibrium

during the drying process: ~4 mbar

for 3 h when drying at 130 °C and at

~2.5 mbar for more than twelve hours

when drying at 110 °C.

(1)

where Q m (t) is the instantaneous

mass flow rate (expressed in g.s 1 )

through the segment, P 1 (t) and P 2 (t)

are the top and bottom pressures as a

function of time, V 1 is the volume of

the top vessel, r is the radius for an

­effective capillary for the gas flow

path, η(T) is the dynamic viscosity of

a certain gas at temperature T (e.g. Ar,

air or H 2 O), M is the molar mass of

the considered gas, L is the flow path

| | Fig. 11.

Drying sequence with monitoring of pressure evolution in both top and bottom vessel and evolution of the

pressure during a 30 minutes dryness test, performed after approximately 6 h of drying, 24 h and 96 h.

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Quivers for Damaged and Non-Standard Fuel Rods ı Sascha Bechtel, Wolfgang Faber, Hagen Höfer, Frank Jüttemann, Martin Kaplik, Michael Köbl, Bernhard Kühne and Marc Verwerft


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

Sample ID Length Effective

hydraulic radius

| | Tab. 1.

Hydraulic radius of different samples.

From the same water pocket drying

experiments, vapor flow rates can

be determined by shortly closing the

valves of the bottom chamber and

monitoring the instantaneous pressure

increment (see Eq. (1)). Once the

macroscopic amounts of water were

removed from the top vessel in a water

pocket test, the pressure in the top

vessel dropped and the system evolved

to an apparently dry state. Although

both pressure and relative humidity

indicated that the system reached

near perfect dryness, further tests indicated

that the top vessel continued

to contain a minute amount of water

vapor at a pressure of about 60 mbar

that could not escape through the fuel

rod. This can be interpreted as leaving

the laminar flow regime, for which

the Knudsen number (Kn, i.e. the ratio

of gas mean free path l¯ to the lateral

­dimension w of the flow path) is less

than 0.01.


(3)

The mean free path is proportional to

the temperature and inversely proportional

to the pressure (see e.g. [9]):

Water removal rate

(g/day)

110 °C 120 °C 130 °C

WET1 50 cm 89 ± 2 µm 15 ± 2 28 ± 2 44 ± 5

WET2 50 cm 103 ± 2 µm 33 ± 4 63 ± 7 89 ± 10

WET3 10 cm 85 ± 1 µm 73 ± 8 133 ± 15 207 ± 23

WET5b 17 cm 102 ± 2 µm 90 ± 10 164 ± 18 321 ± 36

drying times, thus substan tially reducing

risks for the utilities. Furthermore,

the amount of residual water not

accessible with the technique of

hot-vacuum drying can be quantified,

showing a huge margin to design

assumptions.

6 The first Quiver

Campaign and outlook

on the industrial use

6.1 Preparation and cold trial

at Unterweser NPP

Before the very first dispatch campaign

at Unterweser NPP could start

in October 2018, an extended work

program had to be successfully completed.

This comprised the loading of

the damaged fuel rods into the quivers

as well as the installation and site

acceptance testing of the complete

dispatch equipment (Figure 13).

The loading of the PWR quivers

(Figure 14) with the fuel rods was

carried out according to a clearly

­defined loading plan. Each loading

step was precisely documented.

| | Fig. 12.

Vapor mass flow rates determined directly for different segments (symbols)

and calculated on the basis of dry hydraulic resistance measurement (thin

solid lines).A calculated release rate for a 4 m long rod with a hypothetical

80 µm hydraulic radius is also calculated (thick red line).

Before the dispatch campaign, the

equipment had to be set up in the

reactor building, where the site

acceptance test was carried out. In

addition, various supporting documents

were submitted to the supervisory

authority for approval. In order

to prove that the welding equipment

was set up correctly and in accordance

with the requirements, a trial weld

was carried out prior to the actual

campaign.

6.2 First Quiver Campaign –

Sequence of Handling and

Service Activities

As described in chapter 4, the handling

of the quivers takes place at two

different levels inside the containment:

The loading station is positioned

in the spent fuel pool, while the

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 157


(4)

Herein, k B is Boltzman’s constant, T the

absolute temperature, expressed in

Kelvin, P the pressure, expressed in Pa

and d the diameter of the gas molecules

(d = 0.4 nm for H 2 O). With a vapor

pressure of 60 mbar (6,000 Pa) at

120 °C (393 K) and typical crack width

of 15 µm the Knudsen number is

Kn = 0.09, well in the transition ­regime

to molecular flow. Within that flow

­regime, mass-flow is con­siderably ­lower

and vapor-removal effectively stops.

Mass flow rates were calculated

from the hydraulic radius as derived

from the dry hydraulic resistance

measurements (Figure 12 and Table

1). The excellent agreement between

the different water removal ap proaches

provided a sound scientific basis,

allowing quantitative assessment of

| | Fig. 13.

Preparation, cold trial and dispatch at Unterweser NPP.

| | Fig. 14.

Measuring the length for the spacers (left), insertion of the spacers into the quiver (right).

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Quivers for Damaged and Non-Standard Fuel Rods ı Sascha Bechtel, Wolfgang Faber, Hagen Höfer, Frank Jüttemann, Martin Kaplik, Michael Köbl, Bernhard Kühne and Marc Verwerft


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 158

| | Fig. 15.

Shielding basket and loading station in the spent fuel pool (left) and the service station with mobile hot

cell positioned on the shielding block and equipment on the reactor floor (right).

| | Fig. 16.

Storage rack and quiver (left), top shielding on shielding basket (right).

| | Fig. 17.

Transport of the shielding basket to the shielding block (left), mobile hot cell (right).

service station is located at the reactor

floor outside of the pool (Figure 15).

After mounting the transfer head

piece, the loaded quivers were lifted

up out of the storage rack and transferred

to the loading station into the

shielding basket. Here the head piece

was removed and a top shielding was

installed to close the shielding basket

(Figure 16).

The shielding basket containing

the loaded quiver was then lifted up to

the reactor floor. Once the shielding

basket is inside of the shielding block,

in a first step the quiver was dewatered.

Next, the mobile hot cell was

mounted on top of the shielding block

(Figure 17). Prior to drying the

quiver, the top shielding was replaced

with the multi cover, which provides

connections to the drying device and

the heating device.

The quiver was then evacuated

using vacuum pumps, the humidity

was removed from the quiver and was

recovered as condensate in a condenser.

The operating data of the

drying device were recorded and

stored in a stationary computer. After

finishing the drying procedure, the

­interior of the quiver was filled with

helium.

Next, the lid screwing device

( Figure 18) was positioned on the

base body of the quiver. It screws the

lid into the base body automatically,

while all the parameters can be monitored

remotely by the operator.

Afterwards the welding machine

was positioned, that automatically

connected the lid and the base body of

the quiver by means of a qualified

welding procedure (Figure 19). As

last step, the leak tightness of the

welding seam was tested.

Finally, the quiver could be transferred

back to the storage rack in the

spent fuel pool.

| | Fig. 18.

Close-up of the lid screwing device (left), welding machine and lid screwing device (right).

| | Fig. 19.

Welding device (left), welded lid (right).

6.3 First Quiver campaign –

Main results

The dispatch of the first quiver started

in Unterweser NPP on 12 October and

was completed on 21 October 2018.

The drying process lasted about

6 days. The maximum dose rate at

the service station was less than

70 mSv/h. The second quiver dispatch

started on 23 October and was completed

on 01 November 2018. Again

the drying process lasted 6 days. The

third dispatch started on 02 November

and lasted until 16 November. The

drying process took about 11 days.

The dose rate of the second and the

third dispatch were comparable to the

first dispatch.

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Quivers for Damaged and Non-Standard Fuel Rods ı Sascha Bechtel, Wolfgang Faber, Hagen Höfer, Frank Jüttemann, Martin Kaplik, Michael Köbl, Bernhard Kühne and Marc Verwerft


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

The major results of the first three

dispatch cycles are:

pp

The qualified processes for

handling, drying and welding are

robust and reliable.

pp

The “out of pool”-handling results

in very low radiation exposures for

the service personnel.

pp

It has been shown that it is feasible,

to dry damaged fuel in an industrial

process on site.

6.4 Outlook on the upcoming

Quiver Campaigns at Biblis

and Krümmel NPP

Meanwhile, the second PWR quiver

campaign has already started at Biblis

NPP, comprising 9 PWR quivers.

After installation of the handling

and service equipment, the test of

the welding device by a trial weld

was completed in December 2018.

The actual campaign has started in

­January 2019 and the first quiver was

dispatched by January 20 th .

The first BWR quiver campaign is

planned at Krümmel NPP. The storage

license has already been granted.

Currently the preparations are mainly

focused on the required documents.

The campaign is scheduled for

summer 2019 and will comprise 9

BWR quivers.

With the Krümmel campaign, the

GNS quiver system will provide

conclusive proof, that it can be used

industrially for failed fuel rods both

from PWR- as well as from BWR

reactors.

References

[1] IAEA, Management of Damaged Spent Nuclear Fuel, NF-T-3.6

IAEA Nuclear Energy Series. Vienna, IAEA, 2009.

[2] Lewis, B.J., Macdonald, R.D., Ivanoff, N.V., Iglesias, F.C., Fuel

performance and fission-product release studies for defected

fuel elements, Nuclear Technology, 1993, 103: p. 220-245.

[3] Olander, D.R., Kim, Y.S., Wang, W.E., Yagnik, S.K., Steam

oxidation of fuel in defective LWR rods, Journal of Nuclear

Materials, 1999, 270: p. 11-20.

[4] Leinders, G., Cardinaels, T., Binnemans, K., Verwerft, M.,

Accurate lattice parameter measurements of stoichiometric

uranium dioxide, Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2015, 459:

p. 135-142.

[5] Willis, B.T.M., Structures of UO 2 , UO 2+x and U 4 O 9 by neutron

diffraction, Journal de Physique I, 1964, 25: p. 431-439.

[6] Leinders, G., Delville, R., Pakarinen, J., Cardinaels, T.,

Binnemans, K., Verwerft, M., Assessment of the U 3 O 7 Crystal

Structure by X-ray and Electron Diffraction, Inorganic Chemistry,

2016, 55: p. 9923-9936.

[7] McEachern, R.J., Taylor, P., A review of the oxidation of

uranium dioxide at temperatures below 400°C, Journal of

Nuclear Materials, 1998, 254: p. 87-121.

[8] ASTM, C1553-16, Standard Guide for Drying Behavior of Spent

Nuclear Fuel, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA,

2016.

[9] Jitschin, W., Gas Flow, In: Jousten K, editor. Handbook of

Vacuum Technology. Weinheim, Wiley-VCH, 2016.

Authors

Dr. Frank Jüttemann

Martin Kaplik

Michael Köbl

Bernhard Kühne

GNS Gesellschaft für Nuklear-

Service mbH

Frohnhauser Straße 67

45127 Essen, Germany

Sascha Bechtel

Hagen Höfer

Höfer & Bechtel GmbH

Ostring 1

63533 Mainhausen, Germany

Dr. Wolfgang Faber

PreussenElektra GmbH

Tresckowstraße 5

30457 Hannover, Germany

Dr. Marc Verwerft

Belgian Nuclear Research Centre

(SCK•CEN), Institute for Nuclear

Materials Science

Boeretang 200

B-2400 Mol, Belgium

Advertisement

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 159

Theoretisch

ist die Energiewende

eine Jahrhundertaufgabe.

Praktisch

ist sie unser

täglicher Job.

Gemeinsam bringen wir die Dinge voran: Wir von

der EnBW Kernkraft GmbH kümmern uns an den

Standorten Philippsburg, Neckarwestheim und

Obrigheim um Betrieb, Stilllegung und Abbau

unserer Kernkraftwerke. Bei allem, was wir tun,

hat die Sicherheit stets oberste Priorität. Der

Rückbau ist ein Mega-Projekt mit langfristiger

Perspektive.

Hierfür suchen wir Menschen, die mit viel Engagement,

Einfallsreichtum und Know-how den Rückbau

mit uns voranbringen und in die Tat umsetzen.

Im Gegenzug bieten wir abwechslungsreiche Aufgaben

und vielfältige Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten.

Machen Sie jetzt mit:

www.enbw.com/jobmarkt

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Quivers for Damaged and Non-Standard Fuel Rods ı Sascha Bechtel, Wolfgang Faber, Hagen Höfer, Frank Jüttemann, Martin Kaplik, Michael Köbl, Bernhard Kühne and Marc Verwerft


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 160

Advanced Sectorial Gamma Scanning

for the Radiological Characterization

of Radioactive Waste Packages

M. Dürr, M. Fritzsche, K. Krycki, B. Hansmann, T. Hansmann, A. Havenith, D. Pasler and T. Hartmann

The management of radioactive waste is under strict regulatory control to ensure the compliance with safety guidelines.

For the disposal in the Konrad geological repository for non-heat generating radioactive waste in Germany,

acceptance criteria for radioactive waste packages have been derived from the safety case. The waste designated for

disposal is subject to product control which is conditional for approval of the waste package by the operator of the

disposal facility. The non-destructive assay using gamma radiation detection techniques is a cost-effective measure to

characterize radioactive waste and serves to verify the conformity with the acceptance criteria. In the past decades, the

pre-dominantly used method is segmented gamma scanning of waste drums, which is based on simplifying assumption

of a uniformly distributed activity and a homogeneous waste matrix. The simplification reduces the accuracy of the

measurement leading to large conservative estimates for the activity content which in turn leads to an excessive and

inefficient exhaustion of activity limits for waste packages and to higher costs for disposal. An Advanced Sectorial

­Gamma Scanning (ASGS) method is developed, which includes a software module for the efficiency calculation of

inhomogeneous activity distributions (ECIAD) to reconstruct the spatially resolved activity distribution from the

acquired measurement data. This method can be applied for a wider range of the composition of the radioactive waste,

which is of relevance in the qualification of legacy waste and the increasing stream of waste from decontamination and

decommissioning of nuclear installations.

Introduction

The safe disposal of radioactive waste

is one of the key factors in the sustainable

and safe usage of nuclear energy

for electric power generation. From

the waste that is generated during

operation of a nuclear power plant,

the largest amount of radioactivity

(99 %) is contained within the spent

fuel for which dedicated waste management

strategies are developed.

The largest part (95 %) of the waste

volume that is classified as radioactive

waste, however, contains only approximately

1 % of the radioactivity produced

in the process of nuclear power

generation [1]. The safe disposal is

subject to regulatory control and strict

safety requirements which have led to

various approaches for the engineered

disposal facility designs ranging from

emplacement in constructed subsurface

structures like caverns, vaults or

silos to repositories in deep geological

formations [2]. With a significant portion

of the nuclear power reactors

nearing the end of their licensed operation

time and due to the decision of

several countries for a nuclear phase

out, the number of nuclear power

installations under decontamination

and decommissioning (D&D) is expected

to increase significantly in the

coming two decades [3]. Even if a

large fraction of the material arising

from dismantling of nuclear power

plant can be classified as conventional

waste after clearance, a fraction

remains which cannot be released into

the conventional waste management

streams. Compared to normal operation,

the decommissioning of reactors

leads to a significant increase of the

volume of radioactive waste with a

higher diversity in material composition,

activity and isotope content.

Moreover, countries with early nuclear

programs are confronted with the

problem of significant inventories of

radioactive waste, which were conditioned

when the current regulatory

requirements had not yet existed. For

such kind of so-called ‘legacy waste’

the main issue is in the lacking documentation

of the waste contents such

the composition of the waste is essentially

unknown. In Germany, a geological

repository is currently being

set into operation in a former iron-ore

mine which is operated by the federal

company for radioactive waste disposal

BGE (Bundesgesellschaft für

Entsorgung). The regulatory requirements,

which are derived from the

site-specific safety case, have led to

the formulation of acceptance criteria

for the radioactive waste designated

for disposal in the geological repository

[4]. These criteria are derived

from safety considerations for the

operational safety during waste emplacement,

and for the long-term disposal.

To this end, radioactive waste is

processed and packaged where the

conformity with the acceptance criteria

has been approved under a qualification

process (‘Product control’) [5].

The main hazard is caused from the

radionuclide content of the waste, and

therefore the deliverer is obliged to

declare the radioactive inventory of

each waste package based on the

characterization of the waste product

contained within the waste package.

According to international safety

guidelines the compliance of waste

packages is to be verified [2]. If

measure ments are evaluated in the

process of verification, this implies the

application of the current norms,

standards and procedures. Since the

operator of the disposal facility is

obliged to adhere to upper limits for

the radionuclide inventories, the

uncertainty of the waste package data

declared for the individual waste

package needs to be considered and is

subject to inspection by the operator

of the repository. Such uncertainties

are inherent to the measurement

process and international guidelines

exist on the quantitative evaluation of

the uncertainty in measurement [6].

Based on such a quantitative evaluation,

a conservative value for the

measurement results is determined

for which a degree of confidence of

95 % is stated based on the degree of

information available during evaluation

of the measurement result.

Whereas a statistical (random) nature

is inherent to measurements, so­ called

Type A uncertainties, additional

sources for the uncertainty are considered,

so-called Type B uncertainties,

such as the uncertainty of the

calibration used for the measurement

method. Mathematically, the evaluation

framework is based on the

Bayesian statistics, an example of its

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Advanced Sectorial Gamma Scanning for the Radiological Characterization of Radioactive Waste Packages ı M. Dürr, M. Fritzsche, K. Krycki, B. Hansmann, T. Hansmann, A. Havenith, D. Pasler and T. Hartmann


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

| | Fig. 1.

Probability distribution describing the degree of knowledge in a measurement

of a quantity value. The conservative estimate CE1 and CE2 depends

on the total measurement uncertainty of the applied measurement method.

application being the evaluation of

radiation measurements and the

determination of characteristic limits

laid down in the Norm DIN ISO 11929

[7]. Here, the prior information on

the non-negativity of the radionuclide

activity is included in the quantification

of the degree of confidence associated

with the measured quantity.

For the evaluation of measurement

results obtained in non-destructive

assay using radiation measurements,

the prior information on the physical

and chemical characteristics of the

waste is used and in consequence also

its uncertainties need to be accounted

for in accordance with the guidelines

given in DIN ISO 11929.

In the situation of unknown properties

of the waste product, e.g.

shielding properties or the lack of

knowledge on the localization of the

activity within the waste package, the

conservative estimate is determined

under assumption of a worst-case

scenario which in many cases leads to

a large uncertainty and therefore a

much higher conservative estimate.

This leads to large inventories of

­‘virtual activity’ declared for the radioactive

waste. On the other hand, if

information can be acquired through

the measurement or by other means,

this Type B uncertainty can be reduced

significantly, leading to a much lower

conservative estimate (Figure 1). This

facilitates the adherence to activity

limits for the individual waste packages

and helps to avoid exhaustion of

permissive limits with the benefit of

lower cost for the waste producer.

Gamma scanning

of waste drums

In terms of dose minimization and

economy, non-destructive testing and

more specifically, gamma scanning, is

a widespread and established method

for characterization of radioactive

waste. Typically, gamma scanning

systems are used to simultaneously

identify and quantify radioisotopes in

cylindrical waste drums by measuring

the gamma radiation emitted by

radio nuclides using cooled highpurity

germanium (HPGe) detectors,

which offer high energy-resolution.

The underlying assumptions for

most gamma scanning measurement

methods are the following:

pp

Uniform chemical composition and

density of the active matrix

pp

Homogenous spatial distribution

of the gamma emitting isotopes in

the matrix

In general, gamma scanning relies

on the evaluation of the gamma spectrum

obtained during the measurement.

During its radioactive decay,

the isotope emits gamma radiation

with one or several characteristic lines

in the gamma spectrum which is used

to identify the nuclide inventory of the

waste. The peak intensity of each line

is used to determine the amount of the

radionuclide activity through the correlation

with the ­photopeak efficiency,

which is determined for the specific

measurement configuration. This

photopeak efficiency reflects the physical

inter actions of the gamma radiation

including the self-attenuation

within the active matrix, the attenuation

in the drum wall and the collimator,

and finally, the absorption of the

entire photon energy in the detector

crystal. This quantity is therefore

termed the ‘efficiency calibration’

which is spe­cific to the measurement

object.

Integrated and Segmented

Gamma Scanning

Several different scanning methods

have been developed in the past

decades. The Integrated Gamma

Scanning (IGS) records a single

gamma spectrum for the entire waste

drum with a HPGe detector without

collimation [8]. The data is recorded

| | Fig. 2.

Characterization of a waste drum using Segmented Gamma Scanning (left)

and Advanced Sectorial Gamms Scanning (right) with a partitioned model of

the active matrix.

during a full rotation of the waste

drum. The rotation serves two purposes:

firstly, it ensures that any

localized activity that is potentially

unilaterally shielded by the waste

matrix is registered by the detection

system to the largest extent possible,

and, secondly, the rotation leads to an

averaging effect in case the spatial

­homogeneity is not fulfilled. The

so-called Segmented Gamma Scanning

(SGS) represents the standard

method for characterization of waste

drums containing the waste product

[9]. In the SGS method, a collimated

detector is positioned in varying

vertical positions of the waste drum,

where for each vertical position

gamma spectra are acquired while the

drum is rotated (Figure 2). Hereby a

full surface scan of the waste drum is

achieved to ensure complete coverage

of the volume. The field of view of the

detection system is confined by the

collimator opening angle, such that

predominantly the gamma radiation

emitted along the central axis of the

detector is registered during the scan.

The evaluation is performed on the

summed spectrum obtained during a

rotation scan and can be performed

for each individual segment. The

evaluation in IGS and SGS, however,

is made using the ‘efficiency calibration’

which is calculated using the assumption

stated earlier, namely for a

uniform matrix and for homo genous

activity distribution of the isotopes. In

its initial form, the ­efficiency calibration

(photopeak efficiency) was determined

by formu lating analytical expressions

which are derived using

reasoned simpli­fications and have

been validated in experimental studies

[10, 8]. With increasing computer

processor speeds available, calculations

for the collimated geometry

in SGS are performed numerically,

and the initial simpli­fications can be

dropped leading to higher accuracy of

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 161

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Advanced Sectorial Gamma Scanning for the Radiological Characterization of Radioactive Waste Packages ı M. Dürr, M. Fritzsche, K. Krycki, B. Hansmann, T. Hansmann, A. Havenith, D. Pasler and T. Hartmann


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 162

the efficiency ­calculation [11, 12].

Alternatively, the so-called mathematical

efficiency ­calibration can be

determined numeri cally using geometric

modeling of the measurement

object and using a parametrization

of the detector specific photopeak

­efficiency determined in an experimental

characterization procedure

[13, 14]. With a software tool the

mathematical efficiency ­calibration is

calculated using prior information on

the measurement ­configuration and

the measurement object, i.e. the parameters

of the waste drum, external

shielding and the active matrix. In

principle, such a calibration can be

calculated for a specific spatial activity

distribution and for a non-uniform

composition of the active matrix, if

the information is available from the

documentation or from other characterization

methods.

Advanced Gamma Scanning

Methods

Information on the spatial distribution

is determined from measurements

by using other scanning modes

in gamma scanning. The so-called

‘swivel scan’ is a scan mode which is

realized by a slight modification of a

segmented gamma scanner, where

gamma spectra are recorded while the

collimated detector performs an

angular sweep perpendicular to the

waste drum central axis [15]. Hereby,

additional information on the radial

localization of the isotope activity is

obtained. Advanced scanning systems

such as the tomographic gamma

scanner (TGS) scan the waste drum to

probe the attenuation properties of

the drum content with an active

source in the so-called transmission

mode. Hereby, the mass attenuation

coefficient of the active matrix and

shielding structures is obtained with

3D spatial information using tomographic

reconstruction. In combination

with the passive emission scanning

mode in addition the spatial

activity distribution of gamma emitting

nuclides can be determined. Such

scanners significantly increase the

information on the waste drum

content, and, since the determined

activity inventory is measured without

assumptions on the spatial distribution

and the matrix, the overall

performance surpasses that of SGS

regarding measurement uncertainties

where TGS reaches accuracies in the

range of 14 % [16]. The drawback of

tomographic systems are the high

system costs, increased measurement

time, and the increased effort required

for the analysis of the extensive

amount of acquired measurement data.

Given the large stock of waste

drums awaiting qualification, a cost

effective and robust measurement

method that can reach a throughput

of several waste drum per day with an

automated analysis is required. Moreover,

the acquired measurement data

should be such that it can be easily

reviewed and inspected to provide

quality-controlled measurement results.

The SGS method fulfills these

criteria with one major drawback that

the actual measurement conditions

deviate from the calibration conditions

used for the efficiency calibration.

Advanced Sectorial Gamma

Scanning – ASGS

In this paper, we present a novel gamma

scanning method which addresses

the reconstruction of radionuclide

inventories with inhomogeneous distribution

within the waste drum. To

this end, a spatially resolved reconstruction

method is developed which

uses a partitioned model of a cylindrically

shaped active matrix of a waste

package instead of cylindrical segments

(Figure 2 – right). In Advanced

Sectorial Gamma Scanning (ASGS)

the waste drum is scanned in the

so­ called multi-rotation mode in a

similar fashion as in SGS: At a fixed

vertical position of the collimated

HPGe detector, the drum is rotated in

30° steps and a gamma spectrum is

acquired separately at each static

measurement position. The rotation

scan is then repeated after the detector

has been translated to the next

vertical scanning position. As a result,

measurement data is acquired for

each individual sector and the additional

spatial information is used for

the evaluation of the measurement

data.

System overview

An open collimator geometry is used

where with an automated collimator

changing unit different aperture sizes

can be realized. The opening view

angle of the collimation is such, that a

full sector of the cylindrical drum is

covered and therefore a full surface

scan of the drum is accomplished

within the entire scanning procedure.

The collimator design choice was

made to maximize efficiency of the

detector at the same time maintaining

a spatial selectivity for a sectorial

partial volume of the waste drum. An

interchangeable collimator permits

switching to varying aperture sizes

which in combination with the

| | Fig. 3.

Technical design of the ASGS.

| | Fig. 4.

Software used for the ASGS included the ECIAD module for reconstruction of inhomogeneous activities.

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Advanced Sectorial Gamma Scanning for the Radiological Characterization of Radioactive Waste Packages ı M. Dürr, M. Fritzsche, K. Krycki, B. Hansmann, T. Hansmann, A. Havenith, D. Pasler and T. Hartmann


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

horizontal translation to larger distances

between detector and waste

drum increases the dynamic range

with respect to the activity inventory

of the waste drum. The entire hardware

design features industrial grade

components offering reliable and stable

operation in controlled areas and

industrial facilities (Figure 3). The

gamma scanner has an operation

software which controls the entire

gamma scanning and data analysis

process (Figure 4). The hardware of

the gamma scanner consisting of the

mechanical drive for the translation of

the detector, the rotation table and

the drive for the interchangeable collimator

are controlled via a Programmable

Logic Controller (PLC). The

system control also manages the

readout of the sensor units consisting

of a weighing scale integrated in the

rotation table, dose rate sensors and

the HPGe detector. The ASGS operation

software itself is operated on a

standard PC and provides means of

user interaction to initialize the scanning

process and to indicate the status

of the gamma scanner hardware. In

addition, a connection to a database

with the waste drum data can be

implemented whereby the manual

data entry is kept at a minimal level. A

multi-rotational step-wise sectorial

scan is performed, and the acquired

gamma spectra are analyzed automatically

using well established spectrum

analysis algorithms (GENIE

2000) and the information from the

gamma peak in each spectrum is

extracted for the radionuclides of

interest.

Photopeak-efficiency calculation

An essential core element is the

mathematical calculation of the

­efficiency and the reconstruction of

activities using the newly developed

software ECIAD module (‘Efficiency

Calculation for Inhomogeneous Activity

Distributions’). The calculation

of photopeak efficiencies (‘efficiency

calibration’) is performed using the

a-priori information for the waste

drum to be scanned, such as composition

of the active matrix and geometrical

dimensions. ECIAD creates a

partitioned model of the active matrix

and calculates the mathematical efficiency

calibration for the specific

detector setup of the measurement

system. The partitioned model consists

of sub-volumes of the active

­matrix, where the efficiency calculation

is performed under the

assumption of a uniform spatial distribution

of radionuclides and for a

| | Fig. 5.

Comparison of partial peak efficiencies calculated with ECIAD (dots) and MCNP (solid lines)

for a partitioned model of a cement matrix with density 2 g cm -3 .

homo genous composition and density

only on the level of the sub-volumes.

This way, the model can reflect a non-­

homogeneously distributed activity

within the waste drum. The attenuation

is determined using a ray-tracing

approach where a set of straight-line

paths are generated which originate

from randomly sampled positions

within the source volume with random

directions. For all paths that

cross the detection volume, the attenuation

is determined deterministically

for all objects along the straight path

from the source to the detector

volume. The gamma interaction

physics within the detector crystal is

implemented using a Monte-Carlo

sampling approach. For the path

length within the detection volume

the probability of interactions is determined

for the gamma interaction by

photo-absorption, inelastic scattering,

pair-creation as well as generation of

bremsstrahlung based on sampling

distributions derived from physics

cross section data. For each path the

probability for full energy deposition

is considered for the extraction of the

peak efficiencies, which is obtained by

averaging all sampled trajectories.

The modeling and the efficiency

calculation in ECIAD are validated for

a n-type HPGe detector (40 % efficiency)

for the energy range of 50 –

1500 keV. A benchmark study was

performed for several test cases

( Figure 5). For the test case a cement

active matrix with a simplified chemical

composition with 60 wt. % O,

35 wt. % Si and 5 wt. % Ca and a

­density of 2 g/cm 3 was assumed. The

radius of the drum is 28.15 cm, the

height of the drum is 40.4 cm which is

half the height of a 200-l waste drum.

For the benchmark it is sufficient to

simulate a reduced model of a waste

drum. The thickness of the drum wall

is 1.5 mm and pure iron was taken for

material. The benchmark was performed

for a single measurement

position of the detector at the bottom

of the drum. The partitioned model

consists of three layers of 13.6 cm in

height which are subdivided in 30°

sectors and where each sector is subdivided

radially at a radius of 14 cm.

The benchmark shows very good

agreement between the values obtained

with the MCNP simulation

with 1∙10 9 photons and the ECIAD calculation

up to energies reaching

3000 keV. As ECIAD is based on a

semi-deterministic model, very low

photo peak efficiencies can be calculated

numerically, where with MCNP

a much higher sampling statistics

would be needed to calculate photopeak

efficiencies below 1∙10 -8 with a

sufficiently low uncertainty. In this

respect, the ECIAD tool outperforms

MCNP, where ECIAD require less computation

time than MCNP by a factor

of at least 5000. The calculation in

Figure 5 was performed in less than

5 minutes on a regular desktop PC

which demonstrates that the efficiency

calculation with ECIAD can be

performed well within the duration of

the scanning process.

Reconstruction of activities

The peak efficiency for a given radioactive

source distribution links the

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 163

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Advanced Sectorial Gamma Scanning for the Radiological Characterization of Radioactive Waste Packages ı M. Dürr, M. Fritzsche, K. Krycki, B. Hansmann, T. Hansmann, A. Havenith, D. Pasler and T. Hartmann


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 164

| | Fig. 6.

Left part: Modeled activity distribution with the form of a cylindrical 30°sector (red). The dots indicate the

locations for which a localized point source was assumed in simulated measurements of SGS and ASGS.

Right part: The field of view of the collimation geometry shown in comparison between Segmented

Gamma Scanning (SGS) and Advanced Sectorial Gamma Scanning (ASGS).

content in activity with the peak count

rate for an individual gamma line

determined from the gamma spectrum

obtained during the measurement.

Each single partial volume contributes

additively to the count rate

such that the total peak count rate for

a given measurement position P i is

expressed by the sum over all partial

peak efficiencies weighted with the

activity of the partial volume P i =

∑ k ε ik · A k . With a source model consisting

of 6 layers and 12 sectors, for

example, this results in 72 summands

for each measurement position. The

number of measurement positions is

determined by the scan mode, where

the default mode is a scan of 12 angular

sectors and 6 segments leading to

in total 72 equations for all count rates

obtained from the spectra that were

recorded for each position. In its basic

form, the reconstruction is based on a

linear system of equations which is

fully determined and can be solved for

all partial activities A k , k = {1,..,m}

using the P i , i = {1,..,n} obtained

| | Fig. 7.

Ratio of true to assumed efficiency in Segmented Gamma Scanning for a

non-uniform activity distribution localized in a cylindrical sector for individual

sectors (left) and after averaging over a rotation scan (right).

during the measurement and the

m × n calculated partial efficiencies.

If the model is chosen with additional

radial subdivisions, the number

of volume partitions and the number

of activities A k which need to be determined

increases, whereas the number

of equations remains the same. In this

case, the system of equations is undetermined

and special solvers are

­needed. Mathematically, the problem

becomes an optimization (minimization)

problem for which several

mathe matical algorithms exist. The

use of non-negative least-squares solver

determines the A k with the additional

constraint that A k >0 for all k.

The solution of this method therefore

automatically fulfills the positivity

condition for the activity because

negative values would mean an

unphysical result. The total activity of

the radionuclide is obtained from the

sum of partial activities obtained from

solving the linear equations. The underdetermined

set of equations has

some additional degrees of freedom

and the lack of information can lead to

spurious results for the reconstructed

activity distribution and the total activity.

If more than one gamma line is

emitted by the isotope of interest,

however, the additional information

can be used in the set of equations

which provides a stable solution for

the sum activity even for a large number

of radial subdivisions of the source

model.

Performance assessment

of ASGS

The performance of the reconstruction

method is compared using simulated

measurements for the standard

method SGS and the novel method

ASGS. The test object has the material

composition of a waste drum with a

homogenously filled cement matrix,

i.e. the same material composition of

the benchmark case used for the

­ECIAD efficiency calculation.

Reconstruction of a localized

activity distribution

A test case was defined, where a hotspot

activity is located at the drum

bottom where an activity of 78 MBq

Eu-152 is located within a shape of a

30° sector of a cylinder with 14 cm

radius (Figure 6). The activity is

uniformly distributed within the

cylindrical sub-volume. For SGS a

typical setup with a cylindrical collimator

with 20 cm length and a hole

diameter of 4 cm was simulated

( Figure 6 – uppper right) using the

validated 40 % n-type detector model.

The resulting segment that is scanned

during every single rotation scan has

the corresponding height of 4 cm and

therefore in total 10 segments are

scanned to cover the entire height of

the test object. In SGS a simplified

evaluation is performed on the basis

that the matrix and the activity distribution

is homogenous. In this case,

the activity can be derived from a

single expression A reco =

P r/

e hom ,

where A reco is the reconstructed activity,

P r is the peak rate and e hom is

the assumed efficiency for the homogeneous

activity distribution within

the volume. Even if the activity is not

equally distributed within the matrix

an average peak rate is determined

from the sum spectrum obtained

during the rotation scan and the

­evaluation is performed using the efficiency

determined for homogeneous

distribution. The error expressed as

the ratio of the reconstructed to the

true activity is related to the ratio of

the true efficiency e true to the assumed

efficiency for a homogeneous activity

distribution e hom and therefore is

determined by A reco/A true

= e true/e hom .

The true efficiency e true is calculated

in a simulation for the assumed activity

distribution with the entire

activity located uniformly within a

single sector-shaped volume. A strong

deviation between e true and e hom is

observed where the true efficiency is

strongly underestimated when the

­actual activity is not within the field of

view during the scan, whereas a

strong overestimation occurs when

the activity is within the view of

the detector (Figure 7). In SGS, the

individual segments are evaluated

which is performed on the sum

of the registered events recorded

during rotation, divided by the total

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Advanced Sectorial Gamma Scanning for the Radiological Characterization of Radioactive Waste Packages ı M. Dürr, M. Fritzsche, K. Krycki, B. Hansmann, T. Hansmann, A. Havenith, D. Pasler and T. Hartmann


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

measurement time for the individual

segment. This results in an average

over the ­angular profile for each segment,

where the ratio of true to assumed

­efficiency at a gamma energy

of 1408 keV is reduced to maximally

3.3 and therefore the activity of this

segment would be overestimated by

this factor. At this gamma energy, the

summation over all 10 segments

­results in a ratio of 0.95, which means

that SGS reaches the true value of

the activity. This, however, is pure

coincidence and depends on the

gamma energy of the line used for

evaluation and the density of the

matrix: at the gamma energies of 122,

344, 779, 964, 1112 keV the ratio of

reconstructed to true activity for SGS

amounts 0.09, 0.32, 0.66, 0.75, 0.82,

respectively.

To evaluate the ASGS method, a

MCNP model of the 78 MBq Eu-152

activity distribution and the waste

drum was implemented, where full

gamma spectra for the 40 % n-type

detector were simulated for every

measurement position (Figure 8). A

full sectorial scan for three segments

and 12 sectors per layer was simulated

with in total 36 measurement positions,

where the measurement time

for each position is 120 seconds. For

the ASGS geometry, the collimator

design is such that it covers a larger

area of the drum surface in the vertical

direction and therefore less vertical

scan positions are needed (see Figure

6 bottom-right). The spectra were

analyzed using a gamma spectrum

analysis software and the peak area

was evaluated for six Eu-152 gamma

lines at 122, 344, 779, 964, 1112, and

1408 keV. The peak efficiencies were

calculated for different source partition

models using the ECIAD tool

which were used as an input for the

reconstruction using the non-negative

least squares reconstruction algorithm.

Using the analysis of two of the

in total six gamma lines of Eu-152, the

reconstruction algorithm can assign

the activity to the correct location in

the partitioned model and the total

activity is reconstructed to 77.1 MBq

(using the 1112 and 1408 keV lines),

which is an underestimation of 1.3 %

of the true activity. The result for the

reconstructed activity did not vary

strongly with the choice of gamma

lines used and the deviation ranges

from -1.3 % to +4.7 % of the true

activity. The reconstruction algorithm

leads to a solution, where a small part

of the activity is assigned to the neighboring

layers of the source partitions,

however, this is only a minor effect

| | Fig. 8.

Simulated spectra for sectorial scanning of the simulated test case containing a localized Eu-152 activity distribution.

and is attributed to the noise in the

gamma spectrum. This showcase

demonstrates, that the partitioned

source model can reconstruct a

non-uniform activity distribution.

Uncertainties, decision

threshold and detection limit

For gamma scanning the largest

uncertainty contribution stems from

the unknown location of the uncertainty

which is attributed as ‘model

uncertainty’. These errors are evaluated

by assuming worst-case scenarios

for a non-homogeneous activity distribution

and are treated as Type B

­uncertainties according to the GUM

and DIN ISO 11929. For the cement

waste matrix used in the previously

mentioned test case, single point

sources located in various positions of

the waste drum were simulated and

evaluated with SGS and the ASGS

reconstruction method. In ASGS a

­finer radial subdivision was chosen

with 6 radially subdivided partitions

for each 30° sector. Hereby, an improved

spatial resolution can be

reached to reconstruct a localized

activity distribution. With ASGS the

reconstruction method localizes the

point source and therefore this

information reduces the ‘model uncertainty’

relative to SGS. For ASGS

the reconstruction is made for the

evaluation of several combinations of

two gamma lines of Eu-152. Even

though the linear system of equations

is underdetermined the reconstruction

algorithm was able to solve the

minimization problem. A comparison

of the ratio for A reco/A true

is shown for

four different point source locations

(indicated as green dots in Figure 6)

representing locations where the

radiation from the source experiences

maximal and minimal self-attenuation

within the active matrix (Table 1

– Ratios of true to reconstructed

activities for simulated point source

activities located at four different

positions within the waste drum for

SGS and ASGS.). In SGS this ratio

strongly depends on the gamma line

chosen for evaluation and for the

worst case for the gamma line at

122 keV the activity is underestimated

up to a factor of 50 and overestimated

by a factor of 4. In ASGS multiple lines

are used in the analysis, where

the reconstruction of the simulated

measurement of point source activity

was performed using two lines, three

lines, and six lines. For the line energy

combinations shown in Table 1 the

largest spread is observed when the

122 and 1408 keV lines is chosen for

the reconstruction with an underestimation

by a factor of approximately

1.2 and an overestimation

by a factor of approximately 1.8. This

spread represents also the worst case

in ASGS for all line combinations of

the six strongest Eu-152 lines. Therefore,

ASGS reconstruction reduces the

bandwidth of errors which is potentially

caused by the unknown activity

distribution and therefore this lack

of information leads to lower model

uncertainties and correspondingly

much lower conservative estimates

than in SGS.

The ASGS system relies on the

spatial reconstruction of the activity

and therefore uses the spatial information

of the gamma count rate recorded

at the different measurement

positions of the waste drum. The decision

threshold determines the minimum

amount of the radionuclide

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 165

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Advanced Sectorial Gamma Scanning for the Radiological Characterization of Radioactive Waste Packages ı M. Dürr, M. Fritzsche, K. Krycki, B. Hansmann, T. Hansmann, A. Havenith, D. Pasler and T. Hartmann


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

DECOMMISSIONING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT 166

E [keV] Center Drum wall

activity for a given gamma line which

can be detected with a high degree of

certainty in the gamma scan. In ASGS,

the evaluation of the decision threshold

and the detection limit is performed

based on the individual spectra

and not on the averaged gamma

spectrum as in conventional SGS.

When a ‘hot spot’ of localized activity

is present in the drum, the evaluation

of the characteristic limits applied in

SGS then becomes invalid whereas

the variation in the count rate in

different measurement positions is

accounted for in the ASGS analysis of

the measurement data. In terms of

­increasing the detection efficiency,

ASGS uses a larger aperture than the

typical collimator geometry used for

SGS which results in a photopeak

­efficiency which is by a factor 50

higher. Assuming the background

emanates from the activity within the

waste drum to be measured, the decision

threshold for detection of radionuclides

scales with the square root of

the efficiency, such that a significant

reduction by an order of magnitude

can be reached for the ASGS system as

compared to the SGS method within

the same time for the measurement.

Summary

ASGS offers a measurement method

for characterization of radioactive

waste which significantly reduces the

model uncertainty based on a spatially

resolved reconstruction. The

ASGS software is designed to permit

the automated operation of the

gamma scanning system which

includes the analysis of the data. The

dedicated ECIAD software module is

developed for the calculation of

Bottom Middle Bottom Middle

SGS 122 0.02 0.04 2.76 4.08

344 0.19 0.37 1.78 2.40

779 0.59 1.13 1.26 1.99

964 0.70 1.33 1.09 1.72

1112 0.78 1.50 0.98 1.63

1408 0.97 1.89 0.92 1.52

ASGS 122 - 1408 0.82 0.99 1.56 1.79

344 - 1408 0.85 1.03 1.16 1.41

779 - 1408 0.83 1.01 1.02 1.27

964 - 1408 0.80 0.97 1.01 1.25

1112 - 1408 0.79 0.95 1.00 1.25

122 - 779 - 1408 0.78 1.37 1.02 1.60

all Lines 0.81 1.17 1.01 1.38

| | Tab. 1.

Ratios of true to reconstructed activities for simulated point source activities located at four different

positions within the waste drum for SGS and ASGS.

­mathematical efficiencies for a partitioned

source model, the reconstruction

of spatially resolved activities,

and the uncertainty calculation. The

ECIAD software operates without

user­ guidance in an automated fashion

using a priori information on the

waste drum. With a suitable interface,

this information can be retrieved by

the software prior to the analysis from

a database. As a result, lower conservative

estimate can be reached

than in conventional gamma scanning

systems, since the spatial information

on the activity distribution is used for

the evaluation of the measurement

data. Therefore, ASGS provides a far

more accurate characterization of the

true activity which facilitates a better

use of the allowed activity limits. With

ASGS, the evaluation is performed

in a consistent manner and will be

coupled with the calculation of uncertainties

according to the current

norms and guidelines for the evaluation

of uncertainties. The evaluation

model for the activity is based on a

reconstruction algorithm which precludes

the propagation of uncertainties

using the general law of error

propagation. Therefore, the propagation

of uncertainties is calculated

­using Monte-Carlo based methods for

the determination of characteristic

limits according to the requirements

of the current guidelines. An experimental

validation of the measurement

method for various measurement

­configurations for the active matrix

compositions and density and for

different activity distributions is

planned for the near future using the

newly designed gamma scanning

system.

References

[1] VGB PowerTech e.V., Waste disposal for nuclear power

plants, Essen, Germany: Working Panel Waste

Management, VGB PowerTech e.V., 2012.

[2] International Atomic Energy Agency, Disposal of Radioactive

Waste – Specific Safety Requirements, IAEA Safety

Standards Series No. SSR-5, International Atomic Energy

Agency, Vienna, 2011.

[3] International Atomic Energy Agency, Energy, Electricity and

Nuclear Power Estimates for the Period up to 2050, Vienna,

Austria: International Atomic Energy Agency, 2018.

[4] P. Brennecke, Requirements on Radioactive Waste for

Disposal (Waste Acceptance Requirements as of December

2014) – Konrad Repository, BfS – Federal Office for

Radiation Protection, Salzgitter, 2015.

[5] S. Steyer, Produktkontrolle radioaktiver Abfälle, radio logische

Aspekte – Endlager Konrad – Stand: Oktober 2010, BfS –

Federal Office for Radiation Protection, Salzgitter, 2010.

[6] ISO, Uncertainty of measurement – Part 3: Guide to the

expression of uncertainty in measurement (GUM:1995) ISO/

IEC Guide 98-3:2008, 2010.

[7] ISO, Determination of the characteristic limits (decision

threshold, detection limit and limits of the confidence

interval) for measurements of ionizing radiation – Fundamentals

and applications (ISO 11929:2010), 2011.

[8] P. Filß, Relation between the activity of a high-density

waste drum and its gamma count rate measured with an

unshielded Ge-detector, Applied Radiation Isotopes,

vol. 48, no. 8, pp. 805-812, 1995.

[9] E. Martin, D. F. Jones and J. L. Parker, Gamma-Ray

Measurements with the Segmented Gamma Scan –

LA-7059-M, 1977.

[10] P. Filß, Specific activity of large-volume sources determined

by a collimated external detector, Kerntechnik, vol. 54, no.

3, pp. 198-201, 1989.

[11] M. Bruggeman and R. Carchon, Solidang, a computer

code for the computation of the effective solid angle and

correction factors for gamma spectroscopy-based waste

assay, Applied Radiation and Isotopes, vol. 52, no. 3,

pp. 771-7776, 2000.

[12] T. Krings, C. Genreith, E. Mauerhofer and M. Rossbach, A

numerical method to improve the reconstruction of the

activity content in homogeneous radioactive waste

drums, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research

A, vol. 701, pp. 262-267, 2013.

[13] Venkataraman, Improved detector response characterization

method in ISOCS and LabSOCS, Journal of Radioanalytical

and Nuclear Chemistry, vol. 264, p. 213, 2005.

[14] D. Nakazawa, F. Bronson, S. Croft, R. McElroy, W. F. Mueller

and R. Venkataraman, The efficiency calilbration of

non-destructive gamma assay systems using semi-analytical

mathematical approaches, in Proceedings of the WM2010

Conference, Phoenix, AZ, 2010.

[15] T. Bücherl, Synopsis of Gamma Scanning Systems, European

Commision, Garching, 1998.

[16] R. Venkataraman, S. Croft, M. Villani, R. D. McElroy und

R. J. Estep, Total Measurement Uncertainty Estimation for

Tomographic Gamma Scanner, in Proceedings of 46 th

Annual INMM Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, 2005.

[17] R. Venkataraman, F. Bronson, V. Abashkevich, B. M. Young

und M. Field, Validation of in situ object counting system

(ISOCS) mathematical efficiency calibration software, Nuclear

Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A,

pp. 450-454, 1999.

[18] T. Goorley, MCNP6.1.1-Beta Release Notes, Los Alamos

National Laboratory, Los Alamos, 2014.

Authors

M. Dürr

K. Krycki

B. Hansmann

T. Hansmann

A. Havenith

Aachen Institute for Nuclear

Training GmbH

M. Fritzsche

D. Pasler

T. Hartmann

Mirion Technologies (Canberra)

GmbH

Decommissioning and Waste Management

Advanced Sectorial Gamma Scanning for the Radiological Characterization of Radioactive Waste Packages ı M. Dürr, M. Fritzsche, K. Krycki, B. Hansmann, T. Hansmann, A. Havenith, D. Pasler and T. Hartmann


Kommunikation und

Training für Kerntechnik

Export in der Praxis

Seminar:

Export kerntechnischer Produkte und Dienstleistungen

– Chancen und Regularien

In diesem Seminar lernen Sie die ausfuhrrechtlichen Grundlagen unter besonderer

Berücksichtigung der neuen Dual-Use-Verordnung sowie die organisatorischen und

operativen Rückwirkungen auf Unternehmen kennen.

Sie erhalten einen umfangreichen Überblick über die internationalen Märkte, ausgewählte

regionale Spezifika und die unterschiedlichen Zertifizierungsregime ISO und ASME.

Seminarinhalte

ı Ausfuhrrechtliche Grundlagen

ı zentralen Ausfuhrbestimmungen für Produkte und Dienstleistungen

ı Verfahrensschritte und Zeitabläufe im Antragsverfahren

ı Veränderungen in der neuen Dual-Use-Verordnung

ı Märkte und regionale Spezifika

ı Die Welten von ISO und ASME

ı Organisatorische Rückwirkungen des Exportgeschäfts

Zielgruppe

Das Seminar richtet sich an Fach- und Führungskräfte, Projektverantwortliche sowie Mitarbeiterinnen

und Mitarbeiter in den Bereichen Außenwirtschaft/Exportkontrolle, Organisation,

Qualitätsmanagement, Vertrieb, Marketing, Recht oder Personalwesen, welche künftig für den

Export von Produkten, Dienstleistungen und Projekten verantwortlich sind.

Maximale Teilnehmerzahl: 12 Personen

Referenten

Lily Kreuzer

RA Kay Höft M. A.

Dr. Ing. Wolfgang Steinwarz

Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Teilnahme!

ı ehem. Rechtsanwältin, Ausfuhrspezialistin

ı Syndikusrechtsanwalt und Compliance-Verantwortlicher

für Außenwirtschaftsrecht

ı ehem. Geschäftsführer Technik,

Siempelkamp Ingenieur und Service GmbH

Bei Fragen zur Anmeldung rufen Sie uns bitte an oder senden uns eine E-Mail.

Termin

2 Tage

12. bis 13. Juni 2019

Tag 1: 10:00 bis 18:00 Uhr

Tag 2: 09:00 bis 12:45 Uhr

Veranstaltungsort

Geschäftsstelle der INFORUM

Robert-Koch-Platz 4

10115 Berlin

Teilnahmegebühr

998,– € ı zzgl. 19 % USt.

Im Preis inbegriffen sind:

ı Seminarunterlagen

ı Teilnahmebescheinigung

ı Pausenverpflegung,

inkl. Mittagessen

Kontakt

INFORUM

Verlags- und Verwaltungsgesellschaft

mbH

Robert-Koch-Platz 4

10115 Berlin

Petra Dinter-Tumtzak

Fon +49 30 498555-30

Fax +49 30 498555-18

seminare@kernenergie.de


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

Special Topic | A Journey Through 50 Years AMNT

168

SPECIAL TOPIC | A JOURNEY THROUGH 50 YEARS AMNT

Am 7. und 8. Mai

2019 begehen wir

das 50. Jubiläum

unserer Jahrestagung

Kerntechnik. Zu

diesem Anlass öffnen

wir unser atw-Archiv

für Sie und präsentieren

Ihnen in jeder

Ausgabe einen

historischen Artikel.

Ansprache des

Ministerpräsidenten

des Landes Baden-

Württemberg

anläßlich der

Eröffnung der JK ’82

am 4. Mai 1982

Jahrestagung in Mannheim:

Kernprobleme 1982 – Offenere

Diskussion alter und neuer Erkenntnisse

und Hemmnisse

Das Deutsche Atomforum (DAtF) und die Kerntechnische Gesellschaft (KTG) hielten die Jahrestagung Kerntechnik

1982 vom 4. bis 6. Mai 1982 in Mannheim ab. Die nach verschiedenen Änderungen im Vorjahr festgelegte Struktur der

Tagung wurde auch in diesem Jahr beibehalten und sollte durchaus auch noch für weitere Tagungen maßgebend sein:

Drei Plenarsitzungen am Dienstag vormittag sowie Donnerstag vor- und nachmittag, drei parallele Fachsitzungen am

Mittwoch vormittag und Technische Sitzungen in neun Sitzungsreihen (Sektionen) am Dienstag und Mittwoch

­nachmittag. Mit der Kürzung auf drei Tage ist sicherlich eine für eine so breit angelegte Tagung maximale Konzentration

erreicht worden. Allerdings konnte auch durch ein attraktives Vortragsthema und die Ankündigung der

Teilnahme des Bundesinnenministers an der Abschlußsitzung der früher am Freitag beobachtete Schwund der

anwesenden Teilnehmer am Tagungsende nicht verhindert werden.

Die Jahrestagung Kerntechnik hat zwei Hauptziele: Zum

einen, einer größeren Zahl von Wissenschaftlern Gelegenheit

zu geben, über eigene Arbeiten vorzutragen; zum

anderen, in Plenarsitzungen usw. Überblicke über größere

Fachgebiete und Orientierungen zur allgemeinen Situation

der Kernenergie zu geben. Die JK ’82 zeichnete sich vor

allem dadurch aus, daß hier aktuelle Probleme angesprochen

und alte und neue Hemmnisse und Erkenntnisse

wesentlich offener behandelt wurden als in den letzten

Jahren, nicht zuletzt auch solche mit Relevanz für

Genehmigungsverfahren und -politik. Dies zeigte sich

nicht nur in der Thematik verschiedener Plenarvorträge

und Referate der Fachsitzungen, sondern erfreulicherweise

auch in ihrem Inhalt. Es zeigte sich sogar bei der

Verleihung des erstmals vergebenen Günter-Wirths­ Preises

für Arbeiten auf dem Gebiet des nuklearen Brennstoffkreislaufes,

die als „heißes Eisen“ bezeichnet wurden.

Es zeigte sich schließlich auch in Ansprachen und Reden,

die sich auf die politische Situation der Kernenergie in der

Bundesrepublik bezogen: der Rede des Minister­präsidenten

von Baden-Württemberg, L. Späth, in der Eröffnungssitzung

und den Ansprachen des Präsidenten des

Deutschen Atomforums, R. Guck, sowie des wissenschaftlichen

Tagungsleiters, H.-H. Hennies, in der Abschlußveranstaltung

der JK ’82. Um so mehr wurde es deshalb

bedauert, daß der Bundesminister des Innern, G. Baum,

nicht selbst an der Abschlußsitzung teilnahm, sondern von

seinem parlamentarischen Staatssekretär, A. von Schoeler,

vertreten wurde.

Politik ohne Vertrauen in die Wissenschaft

ist nicht möglich

Lothar Späth

Herr Vorsitzender, meine sehr verehrten Damen und

Herren, ich habe mir lange überlegt, was ich als Grußwort

hier sagen könnte. Normalerweise, wenn ich auf einer

Veranstaltung bin, in der es um Energieversorgung

geht, versuche ich die Leute immer von der Kernkraft zu

überzeugen. Endlich eine Veranstaltung, bei der ich mir

das sparen kann.

Dann versuche ich den Leuten immer klarzumachen,

warum wir mehr Energie brauchen und preisgünstige

Energie brauchen. Das kann ich mir auch sparen. Dann

versuche ich den Leuten immer klarzumachen, daß selbst

die Bundesregierung – das will immerhin was heißen –

festgestellt hat, daß wir, wenn wir statt Kernkraft nur

Kohle hätten, 100.000 Tonnen mehr Schwefeldioxid in der

Luft hätten und, ich glaube, 83.000 Tonnen Stickoxid und

73.000 Tonnen mehr Asche.

Und dann lese ich wieder eine Umfrage, daß die Leute

die Kernkraft immer noch für sehr viel umweltfeindlicher

halten als Kohlekraftwerke. Das wird sich zwar ändern,

wenn wir mit der selben Intensität jetzt die Zerstörung

unserer Wälder durch die Kohlekraftwerke proklamieren.

Ich habe die Sorge, daß wir eines Tages die Schwierigkeit

haben, daß die Kernkraft im politisch-psychologischen

Rahmen auf dem jetzigen Stand bleibt und wir die

Kohlekraftwerke auch nicht mehr bauen können mit der

­Begründung, das sei ja nun auch gefährlich. Und da wir es

in der Politik zwar schaffen, viel Wind zu machen, aber

nicht so viel, daß wir mit der alternativen Windenergie das

ganze Problem lösen können, haben wir die ganz große

Schwierigkeit, daß das Problem für mich nicht die marktwirtschaftliche

Durchsetzung ist – ich meine vor allem der

jetzt im Bau befindlichen oder geplanten Reaktoren –,

sondern das hier ein Feld ist, das politisch fast nicht mehr

kalkulierbar ist. Deshalb möchte ich die Bemerkung des

Politikers auf dieses Feld konzentrieren.

Ich glaube zuerst einmal: Der Satz, der vorhin gesprochen

wurde, „die Entwicklung muß wieder kalkulierbar

sein“, ist der entscheidende Gesichtspunkt. Und was

wir in der Politik wieder schaffen müssen, ist, daß wir alle

Einwände ernst nehmen, aber daß, wenn wir Einwände

erörtert haben nach allen Richtungen, Entscheidungen,

die getroffen sind, stehen müssen. Durch Wiederholung

der Erörterung ist der Fortschritt nicht zu erzeugen. Das ist

unser eigentliches Problem. Wir können ununterbrochen

Special Topic | A Journey Through 50 Years AMNT

Core Problems 1982 – More Open Discussion on Old and New Insights and Barriers to Progress ı M. Dürr, M. Fritzsche, K. Krycki, B. Hansmann, T. Hansmann, A. Havenith, D. Pasler and T. Hartmann


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

diese Frage weiterdiskutieren. Oder wir können ununterbrochen

die Entsorgungsproblematik neu diskutieren.

Aber Tatsache ist doch, daß die Entwicklung, die für

uns in Karlsruhe begonnen hat und jetzt in Frankreich im

großen weitergeführt wird, im Grunde eine Struktur ist,

„Ein Feld, das politisch

fast nicht mehr

kalkulierbar ist.“

mit der wir zurechtkommen

können. Daß, wenn wir

über Gorleben diskutieren,

wir wissen, daß wir dort

alles sorgfältig prüfen müssen,

aber daß es technische

Möglichkeiten einer Endlagerung gibt mit Wiederzugriff

zu dem Material; das ­führen uns die Franzosen vor. Und

wir wissen, daß wir in den Kraftwerken Kompaktlagermöglichkeiten

schaffen können und daß wir Zwischenlagermöglichkeiten

schaffen können. Und wir wissen, daß

wir Wiederaufbereitung technisch bewältigen können.

Und dann fahren alle Leute nach Frankreich und kommen

zurück und erklären, die französische Umwelt sei völlig

anders. Ich kann nur feststellen, der Unterschied liegt

vor allem darin, daß die Franzosen für richtig erkannte

Lösungen konsequent angehen und sich nicht ununterbrochen

von pseudowissenschaftlichen Leuten dreinreden

lassen, sondern für richtig Erkanntes auch tun.

Und ich glaube, wir müssen langsam den Mut haben,

auch all den Leuten, die Lübbe mit dem Begriff Technosoziologen

umschreibt, einmal in aller Offenheit sagen,

daß Wissenschaft ein Gebiet ist, in

dem sehr viele Grenzwerte erörtert

und diskutiert werden müssen, aber

daß es zum Schluß anerkannte

­Meinungen und Positionen gibt – und

dann gibt es ein paar Minderheitspositionen

–, aber daß wir nicht die

Fragen, die wir aus der Diskussion der Soziologie und der

Philosophie kennen, bedingungslos auf die Naturwissenschaften

übertragen können.

Wir müssen einmal in aller Klarheit als Politiker sagen:

Das kann die Wissenschaft nicht leisten. Wir müssen als

Politiker einmal zu einem richtig erkannten Weg stehen,

und wir müssen erklären, daß da eine Grundfrage aufkommt,

nämlich die Frage des gegenseitigen Vertrauens.

Ich will noch einmal ganz präzise festhalten: Politik ohne

Vertrauen in die Wissenschaft und in die fachlichen

Erkenntnisse ist nicht möglich.

Der Politiker muß auf hören, politische Entscheidungen

zu treffen, wenn er die nur noch treffen kann, wenn er

persönlich beweisen kann, daß die ihm gegebenen Daten

„Politik ohne Vertrauen

in die Wissenschaft

und in die fachlichen

Erkenntnisse ist nicht

möglich.“

„Durch Wiederholung

der Erörterung ist

der Fortschritt nicht

zu erzeugen.“

richtig sind. Und das ist

nämlich diese verrückte

Diskussion. Die Kernkraftgegner

in Whyl fragen

mich immer, können Sie

beweisen, daß die Kernkraftwerke

sicher sind.

Ich kann das nicht. Ich

­begegne der Technik jeden Tag, nutze sie und kann immer

persönlich noch nicht beweisen, daß das vernünftig ist,

was da geschieht, z.B. Fliegen. Aber ich sage das aus einem

ganz bestimmten Grund. Wenn die Diskussion so läuft,

daß das Vertrauen in technische Erkenntnisse von der

Politik nicht mehr umgesetzt werden darf, dann bekommt

eine Diskussion die Oberhand, die deshalb lebensgefährlich

ist in dieser Bundesrepublik, weil dann in der Politik

das Prinzip gilt, daß Unbefangenheit erst möglich ist durch

Inkompetenz. Mit anderen Worten, der Politiker wird dann

in eine Entwicklung gedrängt, bei der er aufpassen muß,

daß er von nichts was versteht, denn sonst gilt er als befangen.

Und der Wissenschaftler, der heute sagt, er kommt

heute zu dem Ergebnis, Kerntechnik sei in Ordnung, wird

verdächtigt, er sei Lobbyist. Kommt derselbe Wissenschaftler

zu dem Ergebnis, Kerntechnik sei Unsinn, ist er

ein geachteter Mann in der Gesellschaft, er braucht auch

nichts mehr weiter beweisen, denn er stimmt mit der

herrschenden Unsicherheit überein. Nur – ich will auch

dieses einmal erwähnen – es geht weit

über die Frage der Entwicklung in

diesem speziellen Bereich hinaus und

treibt Blüten, die wir auf die Dauer

in dieser Gesellschaft ohne großen

Schaden nicht verkraften.

Wenn Sie sich überlegen, daß jetzt

die Leute, wenn sie von Frankreich

zurückkommen, durchaus anderer

­Meinung sind, aber nur bis sie wieder

eingebettet sind in die Umwelt, in der sie sich wohl fühlen.

Meistens sind sie bis zu 24 Stunden irritiert von der Realität

in Frankreich. Es hält aber nie lang an. Seit neuestem

haben wir einen neuen Tourismus, den ich eigentlich für

die beachtenswerteste Entwicklung halte. Da gibt es jetzt

z.B. eine Studienfahrt der Technischen Universität Berlin

und wohin? An den geplanten Standort einer Wiederaufbereitungsanlage

in Rheinland-Pfalz. Da ist zwar noch

nichts; aber dort lassen sich heute die Zukunftsprobleme

der Wiederaufbereitung schon abschließend

mit den Bürgerinitiativen erörtern. Oder

noch interessanter: Schwedische Schriftsteller

reisen nach Schwandorf, um dort aus ihrer

Erkenntnis der Gesamt zusammenhänge den

Honoratioren vor Ort zu erklären, daß sie

großes Verständnis für die Widerstände gegen

die Wiederaufbereitung hätten.

Nun habe ich nichts gegen Schriftsteller. Ich habe auch

nichts gegen Leute, die Wissenschaft nicht mögen. Aber

es geht nicht, daß langsam die Wissenschaftler aus der

Wissenschaft verdrängt werden und Behauptungen in

den Raum gestellt werden, die nicht mehr nach dem

wissenschaftlichen Ergebnis, das kontrollierbar ist, beurteilt

werden, sondern nach der gesellschaftspolitischen

Relevanz. Das ist, glaube ich, z.Z. der gängige Ausdruck

in diesem Sektor.

Die Folge – das gilt nicht nur für die

Kernkraft – ist, daß wir gegenwärtig

eine besorgte Diskussion um die

Zukunfts arbeitsplätze einer Industriegesellschaft

haben. Und immer, wenn

ich die Leute frage, „wo sind denn die

Arbeitsplätze der Zukunft?“, dann ist

großes Schweigen. Wenn wir davon

reden, daß unser Lohn- und Sozialniveau

erhalten bleiben muß, ist der

Beifall noch da. Wenn man aber sagt,

daß dieses hohe Niveau nur durch die

Steigerung der Produktivität und die

Innovation haltbar ist und auch

gehalten wird, werden die Gesichter

schon bedenklicher. Und wenn man

dann noch erklärt, daß dieses Niveau

dazu führt, daß immer mehr Betriebe

immer mehr Arbeitskräfte freisetzen

und damit die Arbeitslosigkeit steigt! Wer die Gutachten

der fünf Weisen heute gelesen hat, der konnte gar nicht

überrascht sein, denn das ist exakt die Entwicklung. Nur,

wo sollen denn die neuen Arbeitsplätze herkommen?

„Der Politiker wird in eine

Entwicklung gedrängt,

bei der er aufpassen muß,

daß er von nichts etwas

versteht, denn sonst gilt

er als befangen.“

| | 1982: Inbetriebnahme des Kernkraftwerks

Grafenrheinfeld.

169

SPECIAL TOPIC | A JOURNEY THROUGH 50 YEARS AMNT

Special Topic | A Journey Through 50 Years AMNT

Core Problems 1982 – More Open Discussion on Old and New Insights and Barriers to Progress ı M. Dürr, M. Fritzsche, K. Krycki, B. Hansmann, T. Hansmann, A. Havenith, D. Pasler and T. Hartmann


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

170

SPECIAL TOPIC | A JOURNEY THROUGH 50 YEARS AMNT

Wir haben zum ersten Mal die Erkenntnis, daß es der

Staat nicht leisten kann. Ich will zwar nicht bestreiten,

daß unsere wissenschaftliche Entwicklung so gegangen

ist, daß der Umfang der Diskussionswissenschaft im Verhältnis

zu den Naturwissenschaften einen Umfang erreicht

hat, bei dem im Grunde eine Entwicklung im Gange ist, die

nur vom Staat gelöst werden könnte. Aber der Staat kann

sie nicht bezahlen. Wenn wir jetzt den gesamten Zukunftsbereich

der Technik vernachlässigen – und das ist die

einzige zentrale Frage –, dann werden wir in große

Bedrängnis kommen, weil wir neue Strukturen von

Arbeitsplätzen nicht bereitstellen können, obwohl wir das

könnten von unserem technischen Wissen her. Das gilt

nicht nur für die Kernenergie, das gilt für die neue

Kommunikationstechnologie genauso.

Jeder, der beobachtet, was Frankreich, England, die

USA und Japan machen, sieht, daß in dem, was die

Amerikaner „Communications“ nennen, eine enorme

Innovationswelle im Gange ist. Selbst die Umweltschützer

müßten jetzt endlich einmal Hurra rufen, weil Kupfer

gegen Sand ausgetauscht wird im Rahmen der Glasfasertechnologie

und weil diese Technologiekommunikation

zuletzt die Transporte erspart. Keine Spur. Es hat bei uns

genau ein Jahr gedauert, dann hatten wir das Problem

konzentriert auf die Frage, ob wir einen fernsehfreien Tag

brauchen oder nicht. Wobei sich den jeder machen kann;

es gibt immer noch keine Apparate ohne Knopf. Aber wir

sind in einer freien Gesellschaft so weit, daß wir eine freie

Bürgerinitiative aufbauen, die den Staat bittet, den Bürger

daran zu hindern, solche Entscheidungen treffen zu

müssen.

Ich will damit zum Kern des Problems kommen:

Dem, was sich abspielt im Rahmen der Diskussion um die

Kernenergie. Da gibt es viele ernste Bedenken – vorhin

wurde das ange sprochen. Und über diese Bedenken muß

man dis kutieren und man muß sie

ausräumen. In Whyl machen wir

das seit acht Jahren. Wir sind jetzt

erst in der zweiten Instanz. Wir

haben auch schon Urteile, nur

noch keine Begründung, und wissen

ganz genau, daß wir auf die

Baulinie 80 gehen müssen mit

alldem, was da an neuen Unsicherheiten

zusammenhängt.

Aber wenn Sie einmal überlegen,

wie wir es tun – und Sie können es im Grunde noch

mit Sarkasmus betrachten –, oder wenn sie überlegen, daß

wir alle über Beseitigung von Investitionshemmnissen

reden – und ich hätte es viel lieber gesagt, wenn der Herr

Bundesinnenminister hier wäre –, und während die

Bundesregierung dieses laut erklärt, geht der Bundesinnenminister

her, vorbei an Reaktorsicherheitskommission,

und macht neue Auflagen und freut sich diebisch

darüber, daß das Durcheinander wieder größer geworden

ist. Ich kann hier nur warnen, weil in einer Gesellschaft, in

der wir nun wirklich über den Rechtsweg und über die

Abwicklung von Verfahren einen Weg eingebaut haben,

der ja von denen, die ihn gehen müssen, nur noch mühsam

akzeptiert und verstanden wird. Aber jetzt, behaupte ich,

können wir nicht mehr mehr tun, weder in der Art, wie wir

Verfahren abwickeln im Zeitalter der Entbürokratisierung

oder wie wir die Entsorgungsfrage dauernd formulieren

und neu pro­blematisieren, obwohl im Grunde jeder weiß,

wie es geht. Mehr ist nicht mehr zu machen außer einer

rigorosen Ablehnung der Kerntechnik. Wer sich dazu

bekennt, muß dafür die Verantwortung übernehmen. Nur

„Wenn wir jetzt den gesamten

Zukunftsbereich der Technik

vernachlässigen, werden wir

in große Bedrängnis kommen,

weil wir neue Strukturen

von Arbeitsplätzen nicht

bereitstellen können.“

| | 1982: Baubeginn für die Urananreicherungsanlage Gronau. Bundesminister

für Forschung und Technologie A. von Bülow (Mitte) mit den

Geschäftsführern der Uranit GmbH bei der Grundsteinlegung für die UAG

um 23. 9. 82 in Gronau. Foto: Heinr. Niehoff

wäre das ehrlicher als die dauernde Erklärung, wieviel

Kernenergie wir brauchen, und die stillschweigende Übereinstimmung,

daß man jeden Tag was Neues erfindet, um

diesen Weg so zu verunsichern, daß irgendwann alle

­Beteiligten die ­Möglichkeit verlieren, ihn konsequent zu

gehen.

Mir ist es gleich, ob man über die eine oder andere

Technik so oder so entscheidet. Ich sage das für die

­Neuentwicklung. Ich bin persönlich der Meinung, daß wir

viel zuwenig Geld indie Forschung stecken und daß die

Milliarden für die Entwicklung des Schnellen Brüters und

des Hochtemperaturreaktors richtig ausgegeben sind.

Ich bin der Meinung, daß wir heute viel mehr sparen

müssen, um die Forschungsinvestitionen auch in anderen

Bereichen zu verstärken – denken Sie mal an die Gentechnik

und an alle diese Bereiche. Überall dort, wo es

um die Zukunft der Arbeitsplätze geht nämlich um die

Grundlagenforschung, bauen wir ab und verbrauchen die

Substanz unserer Gegenwartssicherung. Nur, was nicht

passieren darf ist, daß die Politik öffentlich Forschungsruinen

demonstrativ vorführt und glaubt, daß sie damit

atmosphärisch bei der Bevölkerung das Gefühl erwecken

könnte, wir seien in der Technologie auf einem guten Weg.

Es ist auch eine Über forderung der öffentlichen

­Meinung, wenn ich als Politiker den Leuten erkläre, Reaktoren

in Deutschland

sind besonders sicher,

technisch ist alles klar.

Der Mann kann doch

gar nicht unterscheiden,

wenn er in der

Zeitung gelesen hat,

der Reaktor wird jetzt

stillgelegt, die Baustelle

funktioniert nicht

mehr, dort ist alles offen.

Und wenn der den

Streit verfolgt, daß die

„Die rigorose Ablehnung der

Kerntechnik wäre ehrlicher

als die dauernde Erklärung,

wieviel Kern energie wir

brauchen, und die stillschweigende

Übereinstimmung,

daß man jeden

Tag etwas Neues erfindet,

diesen Weg zu verunsichern.“

Elektrizitätswirtschaft den Schnellen Brüter bezahlen soll,

aber der Deutsche Bundestag gegenwärtig nicht in der Lage

sei, die politischen Vorbehalte aufzulösen, und dann würde

die Bundesregierung zur Sicherung der nicht vorhandenen

eigenen Mehrheit eine Bürgschaft geben, daß erst dann

bezahlt wird, wenn sie sich entschließe, das zu tun, was sie

vorhabe! Dann versteht draußen der Maier und der Müller

überhaupt nicht mehr, was in dieser Republik los ist.

Special Topic | A Journey Through 50 Years AMNT

Core Problems 1982 – More Open Discussion on Old and New Insights and Barriers to Progress ı M. Dürr, M. Fritzsche, K. Krycki, B. Hansmann, T. Hansmann, A. Havenith, D. Pasler and T. Hartmann


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

Und ich will folgendes eigentlich zu Beginn dieser

Tagung einbringen, zu Beginn einer Tagung, in der Fachleute

leidenschaftslos abwägen, was geht und was nicht

geht, in der sich ein Forschungs- und Wissenschaftspotential

trifft, das groß ist: Nach meinem Eindruck beginnt

jetzt der dynamische Teil der Forscher und der Wissenschaftler

auch in unseren Hochschulbereichen zu

ermüden; und zwar deshalb zu ermüden, weil wir nicht

mehr die politischen, ordnungspolitischen und Sach

„Der dynamische Teil

der Forscher beginnt

zu ermüden, weil

wir nicht mehr die

politischen und

Sachvoraussetzungen

bereitstellen.“

Voraussetzungen bereitstellen,

um dem Forscher

die ­Möglichkeit zu geben,

die Dinge weiterzuentwickeln.

Und ich will hinzufügen,

das gilt auch zunehmend

für die Strukturen

des Forschungs- und

Hochschulbereiches insgesamt.

Wir haben mit den

Strukturplänen in unseren

Hochschulen, bis hin zu den sogenannten Discountprofessoren,

eine Entwicklung eingeleitet, bei der eine

große Zahl von Menschen sich lebenslang auf eine relativ

sichere Staatsstelle verlassen kann. Wir haben aber auch

dafür gesorgt, daß dies so umfassend geschah, daß ich

jetzt bange bin, ob der ­wissenschaftlich hochqualifizierte

Nachwuchs an unseren Universitäten ausreichend Platz

finden kann. Und ich ­sage auch dies zur Politik selbst:

Wenn wir nicht bald korrigieren und dafür sorgen, daß

wissenschaftliche Projekte dadurch entwickelt ­werden,

daß wir strukturelles Personal und wissenschaftliches Zusatzpersonal

zusammenführen und nach Abschluß einer

Forschungsaufgabe auch wieder ausein ander nehmen und

neuen Dingen zuführen, dann werden wir eine Verkrustung

unserer Wissenschaft bekommen, bei der wir das

nicht leisten können, was eine Industrienation leisten

muß.

Und wenn wir die Energieversorgung der Welt als eine

Betrachtung nehmen und endlich aufhören über den

Strombedarf in der Bundesrepublik als abschließendes

Weltproblem zu diskutieren – wobei wir immer den Strombedarf

aus der Rezession rechnen und die Sozialverteilung

aus der Hochkonjunktur, und die Staatsverschuldung verbindet

beides –, dann, meine ich, wird die Generation, die

vielleicht heute mit großem Idealismus am lautesten argumentiert,

die Folgen am schlimmsten spüren.

Und ich sage das auch im Verhältnis der Generationen.

Ich gebe jungen Leuten das Recht, aus einem Idealismus

heraus radikal zu argumentieren. Das

ist nicht das eigentliche Problem. Sondern

das Problem sind die Leute, die

es besser wissen und aus opportunistischen

oder anderen Erwägungen sich

vor diese Strömungen stellen und an

der Spitze solcher Strömungen marschieren

in dem Glauben, sie könnten

den Idealismus dieser jungen Generation

zu einer mißbräuchlichen Position

nützen. Das ist das eigentliche

Problem. Die Auseinandersetzung mit den jungen

­Menschen schaffen wir. Da bin ich gar nicht skeptisch –

und ich weiß von was ich rede, ich führe viele Diskussionen.

Und ich habe oft das Gefühl, daß junge Leute,

wenn sie erbitterten Widerstand merken, sachlich argumentiert,

daß sie viel sprechbereiter sind als wir glauben.

Aber wenn sie natürlich in Massen auftreten und vorne die

marschieren, die ganz anderes im Sinn haben als diesen

„Das Problem sind die

Leute, die glauben,

sie könnten den

Idealismus der jungen

Generation zu einer

mißbräuchlichen

Position nützen.“

Idealismus, dann könnte sein, daß diese junge Generation

ihre Zukunft sich selbst verbaut.

Ich will noch einmal sagen: Auch wer die Gerechtigkeit

im Nord-Süd-Bereich haben will, muß sich darauf einstellen,

daß wir in vielen Bereichen Arbeitsplätze abgeben.

Von was soll denn die Dritte Welt leben? Doch von den

Produktionen, die lohnintensiv sind und die wir abgeben

und importieren müssen und die wir dadurch bezahlen

müssen, daß wir in der hochqualifizierten Technologie,

wo wir über Generationen einen Vorsprung haben, neue

Produkte zum Export entwickeln. Es ist im Grunde eine

ganz einfache Philosophie. Aber wie so oft bei einfachen

Dingen, sie sind meistens richtiger als die komplizierten

oder die kompliziert gemachten. Zweitens, wir stehen ja

nicht auf einer Insel, auch nicht in der Dritten Welt,

sondern wir stehen in hartem Wettbewerb mit Industrienationen,

die wie Japan oder die Vereinigten Staaten oder

andere angetreten sind, eine schnellere technologische

Entwicklung voranzubringen.

Noch haben wir die Potentiale, um unseren Platz in der

Zukunft zu behaupten. Meine größere Sorge ist, ob

wir auch noch die politische und gesellschaftliche Kraft

haben, der Vernunft eine Gasse in diesem Durcheinander

zu schaffen. Was ich mir wünsche, was ich Ihnen

wünsche und vielleicht dieser bundesrepublikanischen

Gesellschaft, ist, daß wir wieder lernen, miteinander so

umzugehen, wie es in einer freien Gesellschaft sein muß.

Eine freie Gesellschaft funktioniert nicht nach dem

­Prinzip: „Mir ist kein Opfer zu groß, das andere für mich

bringen“; sondern eine freie Gesellschaft funktioniert,

wenn Menschen wieder Vertrauen zueinander haben: die

Politik zur Wissenschaft, die Menschen zur

Politik. Dann bin ich überzeugt, könnte Ihre

Tagung und unsere gesamte Diskussion

wieder ein Stück dazu beitragen, daß wir auf

den Boden der Vernunft zurückkehren.

Wenn wir auf dem Boden der Vernunft

eine große Anstrengung machen – ich halte

uns dazu für fähig –, bin ich der ­Meinung, daß

wir auch dort, wo wir in den letzten Jahren

zurückgefallen sind, unseren Platz wieder

erobern können. Wenn wir uns aber aus der

Logik, aus der Vernunft verabschieden und selbstzu frieden

die Tatsachen beschimpfen nach dem Prinzip „Wir lassen

uns durch Tat sachen und Fakten nicht länger draus

bringen“, dann könnte es ein bitteres Erwachen geben,

und ich bin dann nicht so sicher, ob nicht diejenigen,

die heute am lautesten rufen, die Empfindlichsten wären,

wenn es um die öko nomischen und die s ozialen

Konsequenzen einer solchen Entwicklung

ginge.

„Eine freie Gesellschaft

funktioniert, wenn

Menschen wieder

Vertrauen zueinander

haben: die Politik zur

Wissenschaft, die

Menschen zur Politik.“

171

SPECIAL TOPIC | A JOURNEY THROUGH 50 YEARS AMNT

Special Topic | A Journey Through 50 Years AMNT

Core Problems 1982 – More Open Discussion on Old and New Insights and Barriers to Progress ı M. Dürr, M. Fritzsche, K. Krycki, B. Hansmann, T. Hansmann, A. Havenith, D. Pasler and T. Hartmann


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

172

KTG INSIDE

Inside

Klausurtagung der Jungen Generation der KTG in Bochum

Auf dem „Campus Kerntechnik“ des AMNT 2019 in

Berlin (ehemals „Kernenergie Campus“) wird es in diesem

Jahr mehr Stationen geben, um die Interaktion mit den

Schülern zu erhöhen. Zudem ist die Durchführung eines

Experiments zur Strahlenmessung geplant und sowohl

dabei als auch während des weiteren Campus-Programms

das Smartphone integriert.

| | Der Vorstand der Jungen Generation der KTG in Bochum (v.l.): Florian Gremme, Natalija Cobanov,

Sebastian Alexander Hahn, Jan Peschel und Jonathan C. J. Schade

Vom 9. bis 10. Februar 2019 kam der Vorstand der Jungen

Generation der KTG in Bochum an der Ruhr-Universität,

nach der vorangegangenen, jährlichen Vorstandssitzung,

zu einer Klausurtagung zusammen. Neben der Diskussion

zu organisatorischen und inhaltlichen Fragen wurden

­konkrete Aufgaben zur Erreichung der definierten Ziele

umgesetzt. Dabei wurden z.B. Logos überarbeitet,

die Website neu konzipiert, unsere Auftritte bei Facebook

(https://www.facebook.com/KTGJungeGeneration)

und ­Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/ktg_junge_­

generation) aktualisiert und Konzepte für unsere jährlichen

Aktivitäten weiterentwickelt.

Ziel ist es, Menschen nachhaltig über unsere Aktivitäten

zu informieren und mit Fakten kerntechnischer

­Themen zu erreichen. Die Informationsaufnahme findet

zunehmend, besonders bei jüngeren Menschen, über die

sozialen Medien statt. Daher möchten wir die Nutzung

dieser Kanäle für uns ausbauen, um so auch die bestehenden

Inhalte z. B. auf www.ktg.org zu verbreiten.

| | Hydraulikstempel und Abbaumaschine

Im Rahmen der Tagung wurde zudem das Deutsche

Bergbaumuseum in Bochum besichtigt. Hier können in

den Ausstellungen und einem Anschauungsbergwerk die

Montanindustrie erlebt und der Einfluss einer sicheren

Energieversorgung auf gesellschaftliche Entwicklungen

nachvollzogen werden. Dabei wurde auch die Geschichte

der Abbautechniken erläutert. Angefangen beim Schürfen

von Hand und dem Einsatz von Pferden zum Transport der

abgebauten Kohlemengen, hin bis zum modernen Kohlebergbau

mit Hydraulikstempeln und Abbaumaschinen, die

mehrere Meter Kohleflöz in Stunden abbauen können.

Beim Abbau eines Flözes und dem damit verbundenen

Aufrücken der Hydraulikstempel und der Abbaumaschine

kommt es zum Zusammenbruch des sog. „toten Mannes“,

der Raum, der bereits abgebaut wurde. Die Folge sind

oberflächliche Senkungen. Die Kumpel waren hohen

Arbeitsbelastungen ausgesetzt, vor allem durch das

„­Wetter“ unter Tage, da in der Regel etwa 50 °C während

der Arbeit herrschten.

Der Einsatz der Kohle zur Stromerzeugung hat in

Deutschland stark zum wirtschaftlichen Aufschwung

beigetragen und bildet eine historische Grundlage für die

heutige wirtschaftliche Situation Deutschlands.

Florian Gremme

Sprecher Junge Generation

Kerntechnische Gesellschaft e.V. (KTG)

| | „Telefonkonferenz“ unter Tage

KTG Inside


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

Die KTG gratuliert ihren Mitgliedern sehr herzlich zum Geburtstag

und wünscht ihnen weiterhin alles Gute!

April 2019

55 Jahre | 1964

08. Dipl.-Ing. Frank Ambos, Alsheim

77 Jahre | 1942

09. Prof. Dr. Hans-Christoph Mehner,

Dresden

79 Jahre | 1940

18. Dipl.-Ing. Norbert Granner, Bergisch

Gladbach

80 Jahre | 1939

08. Dr. Siegbert Storch, Aachen

81 Jahre | 1938

04. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Klaus Kühn,

Clausthal-Zellerfeld

05. Dr. Hans Fuchs, Gelterkinden/CH

09. Dr. Carl Alexander Duckwitz,

Alzenau-Kälberau

28. Prof. Dr. Georg-Friedrich Schultheiss,

Lüneburg

82 Jahre | 1937

13. Dr. Martin Peehs, Bubenreuth

84 Jahre | 1935

05. Prof. Dr. Hans-Henning Hennies,

Karlsruhe-Bergwald

88 Jahre | 1931

09. Dr. Klaus Penndorf, Geesthacht


20. Dezember 2018 ı

Dr. Hans Mohrhauer

Jülich

2. Januar 2019 ı

Dr. Hein-Jürgen Kriks

Braunschweig

Die KTG verliert in ihnen langjährige

aktive Mitglieder, denen sie ein

ehrendes Andenken bewahren wird.

Ihren Familien gilt unsere Anteilnahme.

Wenn Sie künftig eine

Erwähnung Ihres

Geburtstages in der

atw wünschen, teilen

Sie dies bitte der KTG-

Geschäftsstelle mit.

KTG Inside

Verantwortlich

für den Inhalt:

Die Autoren.

Lektorat:

Natalija Cobanov,

Kerntechnische

Gesellschaft e. V.

(KTG)

Robert-Koch-Platz 4

10115 Berlin

T: +49 30 498555-50

F: +49 30 498555-51

E-Mail:

natalija.cobanov@

ktg.org

www.ktg.org

173

NEWS

Top

Only nuclear energy can save

the planet

(nei) Nuclear energy is key to any

effort to protect the climate, so we

must take action to support it, say

Joshua Goldstein and Staffan Qvist in

The Wall Street Journal. In their

op-ed, Goldstein and Qvist urge that

nuclear’s ability to scale quickly to

meet worldwide demand and produce

carbon-free power around-the-clock,

regardless of the weather, offers the

best means to reduce emissions as

soon as possible. They also argue

that opposition to nuclear is based

more in preconceptions than in fact,

debunking several common arguments

against nuclear energy.

“All the reasons put forward to

oppose nuclear power amount to overhyped

fears that in no way stack up to

the real dangers facing humanity from

climate change.”

The op-ed is adapted from the authors’

new book on climate change, “A

Bright Future: How Some Countries

Have Solved Climate Change and the

Rest Can Follow.”

| | www.brightfuturebook.com

www.nei.org

World

IAEA: Construction progresses

on Bangladesh’s first nuclear

power plant

(iaea) As 2019 starts, authorities in

Bangladesh have presented in Vienna

this week their progress towards

­nuclear power at a Technical Meeting

on Topical Issues in the Development

of Nuclear Power Infrastructure, with

more than one hundred participants

from 40 IAEA Member States.

This country of 160 million plans to

produce 9% of its electricity from

nuclear power and reduce its dependence

on fossil fuels by the middle

of the next decade when both reactors

of the new power plant will have gone

into operation.

“By 2040 we estimate that Bangladesh

will need to generate about

78,000 megawatt of electricity in a

high-demand scenario and about

69,000 in a low one, and nuclear

­power will play a significant role,” said

Mohammad Shawkat Akbar, Project

Director of the nuclear power plant

construction project and Managing

Director of Nuclear Power Plant Company

Bangladesh Limited, an enterprise

of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy

Commission (BAEC).

This, Akbar said, is according to

the revised Power System Master Plan

for Bangladesh from 2016. “We are

confident that the first unit will be

commissioned in 2023 and the second

in 2024,” he said.

The plant, being built in Rooppur,

about 160 kilometers northwest of the

capital, will have the capacity to generate

2,400 megawatts of electricity.

The construction project is being

implemented by a subsidiary of

­Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation

ROSATOM. It is high on the Bangladeshi

government’s agenda, all the

way up to the Prime Minister’s office.

| | NIA: Wylfa remains strong site for vital new nuclear. Artist´s view of the Wylfa site.

Bangladesh is expected to be one of

the countries to suffer the most from

climate change. The Intergovernmental

Panel on Climate Change

(IPCC) anticipates that sea level rise

from climate change is expected to

subsume a large portion of its coastal

land by 2080.

The government has designed

several national policies and actions

to adapt to this threat. These focus on

food security and health, as well as on

energy security – an area where the

construction of the nuclear power

plant in Rooppur, which is not in

coastal land, is expected to help.

“All site-specific conditions, including

protection from flooding and

earthquakes, had to be addressed

before getting the relevant licenses,”

said Naiyyum Choudhury, Chairman

of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy

Regulatory Authority.

| | www.iaea.org

FORATOM announces priorities

for 2019: Climate change,

sustainability and jobs

(foratom) FORATOM President

Teodor Chirica and Director General

News


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

Operating Results November 2018

174

NEWS

Plant name Country Nominal

capacity

Type

gross

[MW]

net

[MW]

Operating

time

generator

[h]

Energy generated, gross

[MWh]

Month Year Since

commissioning

Time availability

[%]

Energy availability

[%] *) Energy utilisation

[%] *)

Month Year Month Year Month Year

OL1 Olkiluoto BWR FI 910 880 720 664 826 6 320 039 260 974 225 100.00 87.16 100.00 86.15 101.47 86.64

OL2 Olkiluoto BWR FI 910 880 710 647 514 6 910 879 251 210 060 98.57 94.88 97.59 94.08 97.75 93.71

KCB Borssele PWR NL 512 484 720 366 579 3 134 944 161 341 863 99.49 77.45 99.49 77.10 99.67 76.49

KKB 1 Beznau 7) PWR CH 380 365 720 276 818 2 301 439 127 047 526 100.00 76.76 100.00 76.24 101.23 75.47

KKB 2 Beznau 7) PWR CH 380 365 720 275 293 2 900 460 134 065 333 100.00 96.07 100.00 95.93 100.62 95.14

KKG Gösgen 7) PWR CH 1060 1010 720 767 570 7 886 369 313 080 956 100.00 93.56 99.98 93.20 100.57 92.81

KKM Mühleberg BWR CH 390 373 720 763 481 7 477 328 246 501 752 100.00 88.54 99.91 88.26 99.05 86.97

CNT-I Trillo PWR ES 1066 1003 579 287 626 3 236 347 111 866 829 80.42 82.00 80.01 81.52 79.90 80.75

Dukovany B1 PWR CZ 500 473 720 357 357 3 241 110 107 863 647 100.00 82.52 99.90 82.03 99.27 80.87

Dukovany B2 PWR CZ 500 473 720 346 763 3 805 576 106 428 003 100.00 97.13 99.41 96.78 96.32 94.95

Dukovany B3 PWR CZ 500 473 367 145 306 2 794 998 106 066 740 50.97 71.78 39.97 70.48 40.36 69.74

Dukovany B4 PWR CZ 500 473 720 782 566 7 069 910 113 551 204 100.00 82.06 99.94 81.79 100.64 81.57

Temelin B1 PWR CZ 1080 1030 720 788 510 6 966 311 108 456 257 100.00 80.65 99.98 80.48 101.22 80.43

Temelin B2 PWR CZ 1080 1030 0 0 1 229 715 135 444 462 0 33.69 0 33.67 0 33.78

Doel 1 2) PWR BE 454 433 0 0 1 549 672 133 801 939 0 42.42 0 42.29 0 42.50

Doel 2 2) PWR BE 454 433 720 778 160 3 158 439 254 327 660 100.00 37.52 100.00 36.82 101.79 37.12

Doel 3 PWR BE 1056 1006 0 0 5 638 809 260 184 650 0 64.70 0 64.58 0 64.21

Doel 4 2) PWR BE 1084 1033 455 432 201 7 231 373 298 070 249 63.19 90.81 59.08 90.22 59.48 89.56

Tihange 1 2) PWR BE 1009 962 0 0 5 702 393 254 651 930 0 68.12 0 67.39 0 67.80

Tihange 2 2) PWR BE 1055 1008 0 0 2 332 443 271 227 273 0 26.67 0 26.64 0 26.70

Tihange 3 2) PWR BE 1089 1038 744 813 597 813 597 - 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 99.68 99.68

Plant name

Type

Nominal

capacity

gross

[MW]

net

[MW]

Operating

time

generator

[h]

Energy generated, gross

[MWh]

Time availability

[%]

Energy availability

[%] *) Energy utilisation

[%] *)

Month Year Since Month Year Month Year Month Year

commissioning

KBR Brokdorf DWR 1480 1410 720 956 085 9 423 645 349 615 704 100.00 89.73 94.31 84.37 89.42 79.05

KKE Emsland 4) DWR 1406 1335 720 1 018 214 10 488 388 345 811 671 100.00 94.30 100.00 94.18 100.69 93.07

KWG Grohnde DWR 1430 1360 720 983 443 9 933 236 376 560 815 100.00 92.15 100.00 90.84 94.91 86.06

KRB C Gundremmingen SWR 1344 1288 720 952 292 9 356 367 329 936 260 100.00 89.52 97.96 88.90 97.81 86.36

KKI-2 Isar DWR 1485 1410 720 1 070 654 11 042 736 352 641 059 100.00 95.04 100.00 94.80 99.94 92.46

KKP-2 Philippsburg DWR 1468 1402 720 989 567 9 925 255 365 092 771 100.00 89.76 99.85 89.58 91.97 82.91

GKN-II Neckarwestheim 2) DWR 1400 1310 551 763 500 8 678 300 328 801 434 77.21 79.62 75.71 79.23 76.04 77.48

*)

Net-based values

(Czech and Swiss

nuclear power

plants gross-based)

1)

Refueling

2)

Inspection

3)

Repair

4)

Stretch-out-operation

5)

Stretch-in-operation

6)

Hereof traction supply

7)

Incl. steam supply

8)

New nominal

capacity since

January 2016

9)

Data for the Leibstadt

(CH) NPP will

be published in a

further issue of atw

BWR: Boiling

Water Reactor

PWR: Pressurised

Water Reactor

Source: VGB

Yves Desbazeille highlight the association’s

priorities for 2019.

2018 ended on a high for the

nuclear industry. At international

level, the IPCC made it clear that

nuclear power is essential if the world

is to keep global warming to below

1.5 degrees. The IEA also issued a stark

warning to the EU that, whilst nuclear

is a low-carbon source of baseload

electricity capable of ensuring security

of supply, current EU policies are discouraging

investments in new nuclear

power plants and the long-term operation

of existing reactors. And the European

Commission (EC) confirmed

that nuclear will form the backbone of

a carbon-free European power system,

together with renewables.

But our work is certainly not over.

Many political changes are coming

over the next 12 months, most notably

Brexit, the election of a new European

Parliament and the appointment of a

new European Commission, all of

which will change the EU landscape.

In the longer term, it is important for

our industry to work together with

decision makers to develop an investment-friendly

framework which will

encourage a significant nuclear new

build programme.

Going forward, we see many opportunities

to engage on key issues of

importance to the EU, and our three

main policy priorities for the year can

be summarised as follows:

Climate Change: With the publication

of both the EC’s ‘A Clean Planet for

All’ communication and the FTI-CL

­Energy Consulting study ’Pathways to

2050: role of nuclear in a low-carbon

Europe‘ commissioned by FORATOM

at the end of 2018, the foundations

have been laid for future actions on

climate change. We are delighted that

the EU now recognises the important

role of nuclear in the electricity mix as

part of the solution to a low­ carbon

future. Over the next 12 months we

will continue to feed into dis cussions at

EU level, providing reliable facts and

data which demonstrate how nuclear

will help Europe reduce its CO 2 emissions,

whilst at the same time providing

people with the affordable electricity

they need when they need it.

Sustainability: Broader environmental

impacts, including land use,

raw materials and air pollution are

key questions which FORATOM plans

to tackle over the next 12 months.

When assessing whether an energy

source is sustainable or not, it is essential

that a whole life cycle approach be

considered to better account for all

environmental impacts. Nuclear has a

lot to offer, as it does not require vast

volumes of land nor raw materials to

produce significant amounts of

energy. We will also be working hard

to ensure that decisions relating to

News


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

sustainable finance are based on

­objective criteria, rather than an

ideological list of what people think

are, or are not, sustainable.

Jobs: As one of the flagship areas

of the current EC, FORATOM will

continue to promote nuclear as a

European industry which generates a

significant number of jobs throughout

its value chain. To demonstrate this,

FORATOM has engaged an external

consultant to conduct a study which

will identify exactly what the sector

has to offer in terms of jobs in Europe.

At the same time, the industry is concerned

about the increasing skills

shortage.We will therefore work

together with our members, and via

EU funded projects such as ENEN+, to

attract the young generation towards

a career in the nuclear field.

We have many opportunities ahead

of us and, as an industry, we will work

together with policymakers and stakeholders

to ensure the best possible

future for Europe and its citizens.

| | www.foratom.org

Reactors

Strategic French civil nuclear

industry contract: Framatome

is a committed actor of the

sector in France and abroad

(framatome) The French nuclear

industry reached an important milestone

on January 28 with the signature

of a strategic contract covering

the period 2019-2022, by French

­Minister for an Ecological and Solidarity

Transition François de Rugy,

French Minister of Economy and

­Finance Bruno Le Maire, and the

­major industrial actors of the sector,

among which Framatome.

The strategic contract is structured

around six actions:

pp

Guarantee necessary skills and

expertise for an attractive, safe and

competitive nuclear sector

pp

Structure, with the help of the

digital technologies, the supplychain

and the innovation approach

within the sector

pp

Promote a circular economy within

the sector

pp

Define nuclear reactors of tomorrow

and tools for the future

pp

Have a global sector strategy available

worldwide

pp

Launch a sector approach to

accelerate the transformation of

the industrial structure towards

the industry of the future.

| | www.framatome.com

NIA: Wylfa remains strong site

for vital new nuclear

(nia) Hitachi has announced (17 January

2019) that it has suspended work

on the Wylfa Newydd project on Anglesey.

This follows formal discussions

between Hitachi and the UK Government

and the Government of Japan on

the financial structure of the project to

ensure it would deliver for both investors

and the UK electricity consumer.

Hitachi has announced today that

it has suspended work on the Wylfa

Newydd project on Anglesey. This

follows formal discussions between

Hitachi and the UK Government and

the Government of Japan on the

­financial structure of the project to

ensure it would deliver for both investors

and the UK electricity consumer.

Tom Greatrex, chief executive of

the Nuclear Industry Association, said:

“Today’s news is disappointing, not

just for the Wylfa Newydd project but

for Anglesey and the nuclear industry

as a whole. Wylfa remains a strong site

for vital new nuclear power for the UK.

“It’s regrettable that this project

has been suspended, especially as a

considerable amount of groundwork

has already taken place on the Wylfa

project, including creating a supply

chain to deliver the project. Nuclear at

Wylfa has local support, and the

­Horizon project would provide 60

years of reliable, secure, low carbon

power for homes, businesses and

public services – with a strike price

much below any offshore wind project

generating power now and cost

competitive with all low carbon

generation. It is imperative that new

nuclear at this site goes ahead and the

barriers to that are removed.

“Wylfa is part of the UK’s nuclear

new build programme, which is proceeding

with Hinkley Point C build

which is on track, with more than

3,600 people currently working on the

construction site. A third round of consultation

for Sizewell C is underway

and the approval process for the reactor

design at Bradwell B is proceeding.

“The urgent need for further new

nuclear capacity in the UK should not

be underestimated, with all but one of

the UK’s nuclear power plant due to

come offline by 2030. If we want a

balanced generation mix, Government

must work with industry to

deliver that vital capacity on this site.

At stake are our ability to provide

bulk, low carbon power, energy security,

and the potential loss of the

chance of thousands of highly skilled,

well paid jobs in Wales and North

West England.

“Without a diverse low carbon mix

and with increasing demand to power

electric vehicles, we run the risk of

becoming more reliant on burning

fossil fuels to produce our electricity.”

Nuclear power plays an important

role in our energy mix, currently

­providing 21 % of the UK’s electricity

mix, and 40 % of the low-carbon

electricity generated in the UK.

New nuclear is an integral part of a

future decarbonised power supply. For

prolonged periods both this summer,

in June and then again in December

and the early days of January

this year, wind produced less than

7.5 % of our electricity demand. Relying

exclusively on intermittent and

variable sources of low carbon power

alone will increase, not reduce, overall

emissions.

| | www.niauk.org

Company News

Framatome receives $49

million grant to accelerate

enhanced accident tolerant

fuel development

(framatome) Framatome recently received

a $49 million, 28-month grant

from the U.S. Department of Energy

(DOE) to accelerate the development

and commercialization of enhanced

accident tolerant fuel (EATF). These

fuel designs enhance performance

during normal operations at nuclear

power plants and provide operators

with more time to respond in the

event of loss of active cooling.

“EATF designs represent the next

evolution in technologies that will support

today’s and tomorrow’s ­nuclear

reactors and unlock value in Framatome’s

products and the ­existing nuclear

fleet,” said Bob Freeman, vice president,

Contracts and Services, North

America, Framatome Fuel Commercial

and Customer Center. “With the support

of DOE, Congress and our industry

partners, we are ahead of schedule

in making this fuel technology available

to nuclear power plants so that

they can continue to provide clean,

efficient electricity.”

Framatome is developing both nearand

long-term EATF solutions for all

types of nuclear power plants. The integrated

near-term solution incorporates

both chromia-enhanced pellets

and chromium-coated cladding. These

fuel pellets and clad coating have

characteristics that, when combined

with other recent advancements, will

deliver value to the existing fleet of

| | Framatome

receives

$49 million grant

to accelerate

enhanced accident

tolerant fuel

development

175

NEWS

News


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

176

NEWS

reactors through a variety of measures,

including operator flexibility and fuel

efficiency.

In addition to this near-term work,

Framatome continues research on a

silicon carbide-based cladding with

even greater potential. The ongoing

research and development of these

state-of-the-art materials and related

manufacturing processes are critical

to safe, clean and more efficient power

generation.

The funds from this DOE grant

build on a $10 million, two-year grant

that Framatome received from the Department

in 2016, and will contribute

to the advancement of laboratory testing

and data collection, as well as irradiation

test programs. Additionally,

the grant will support further development

of advanced manufacturing

processes and the acceleration of

long-term EATF solutions, including

silicon carbide fuel cladding.

Framatome’s EATF program is

built on the collective knowledge,

skills and expertise of leaders across

the global nuclear sector, including

U.S. national laboratories, utilities,

university programs, industry organizations,

and European research and

worldwide partners. DOE’s accident

tolerant fuel program has been a driving

force in Framatome’s efforts to accelerate

product development to better

support the existing nuclear fleet.

These additional funds are possible

because of the recognition by Congress

over the past two fiscal years of

the importance of this program.

| | www.framatome.com

ROSATOM starts testing

of accident tolerant fuels

for light water reactors

(rosatom) First Russian-made experimental

nuclear fuel assemblies based

on accident-tolerant fuel (ATF) have

been loaded for testing into the water

loops of MIR research reactor at the

State Research Institute of Atomic

Reactors in Dimitrovgrad, Ulyanovsk

Region. This work is a part of the

­project of TVEL Fuel Company of

­ROSATOM to develop Russian accident

tolerant fuel resistant to severe

beyond-design basis accidents, and

bring it to the market.

Two experimental fuel assemblies,

manufactured at Novosibirsk Chemical

Concentrates Plant (a subsidiary of

TVEL Fuel Company), consist either of

VVER or PWR geometry fuel rods with

four different combinations of cladding

materials and fuel matrix. Fuel

pellets are made of one of the two

materials, either traditional uranium

dioxide or uranium-molybdenum

alloy with increased density and

thermal conductivity. The fuel rods

cladding is either a zirconium

alloy with chromium coating or a

chromium­nickel alloy.

Each fuel assembly contains 24

fuel rods with different combinations

of materials. Fuel assemblies are being

tested in the MIR reactor under conditions

as close as possible to the

operational ones, including the

parameters of the VVER and PWR

coolant. The research reactor design

enables parallel studies in separate

loops, which is especially important

given the simultaneous fuel testing for

reactors of Russian and foreign design.

“The fabrication of the first accident

tolerant fuel followed the largescale

work of scientists and design

­engineers of ROSATOM’s fuel unit,

including in-depth materials research,

introduction of new coating technologies

and resistance butt-welding, and

successful laboratory testing of the

samples. Besides the research analysis,

the choice of materials was based

on the long-time experience of the

Russian nuclear industry, considering

that some of the materials are successfully

used for research reactor nuclear

fuels or the core of power and propulsion

reactors,” Alexander Ugryumov,

Vice President for Research and

Development at TVEL JSC, commented.

The first phase of the reactor tests

and post-reactor studies of ATF will be

completed in 2019. Based on the data

obtained, it will be necessary to select

the optimal combination of cladding

materials, calculate and validate the

neutron-physical characteristics of

light water reactors cores. The next

important stage includes loading

experimental fuel assemblies with

some ATF fuel rods into a commercial

power reactor in Russia.

ATF is nuclear fuel resistant to

severe beyond-design basis accidents

at NPPs with the loss of coolant in the

reactor. Even in case of heat removal

failure in the core, ATF is supposed to

keep its integrity for a long enough

time without a zirconium-steam reaction

inducing hydrogen release. ATF is

of critical importance for further improvement

of the integral safety and

reliability of nuclear power. Research,

design and testing of the accident

tolerant fuel in TVEL Fuel Company is

provided and coordinated by the

­Bochvar High-Technology Scientific

Research Institute of Inorganic Materials

(Moscow).

| | www.rosatom.ru

Westinghouse awarded

$ 93.6 million for accident

tolerant fuel development

(west) Westinghouse Electric Company

has been awarded $93.6 million

in funding from the U.S. Department

of Energy (DOE) in support of their

accident-tolerant fuel program,

EnCore® Fuel.

The EnCore Fuel program includes

the development of both short- and

long­ term products that provide

advanced safety features, enhanced

fuel cycles and economic advantages.

The first phase of the program will

deliver chromium-coated zirconium

cladding for enhanced oxidation and

corrosion resistance, and higher

density ADOPT pellets for improved

fuel economics. The second phase will

introduce silicon carbide com posite

cladding and high-density uranium

­silicide pellets to offer sig­nificantly

higher safety and economic benefits.

“We are very pleased to be a technology

leader in the accident-tolerant

fuel initiative and to have been chosen

by the DOE to receive this funding,”

said Ken Canavan, Westinghouse’s

chief technology officer. “This is a

testament to the capabilities of

Westinghouse as well as to the impact

that these types of investments can

make in bringing the safest and most

advanced technologies to market.”

The funding will be used by

Westinghouse, in partnership with

General Atomics, as well as our

national laboratory and university

partners to accelerate the introduction

of lead test rods of silicon

carbide cladding into a U.S. commercial

reactor by 2022. The funding will

also support the implementation of

the first load fuel assemblies containing

lead test rods of Encore Fuel,

currently scheduled to be inserted in

Exelon Generation’s Byron Unit 2 in

spring of 2019.

| | www.westinghousenuclear.com

Market data

(All information is supplied without guarantee.)

Nuclear Fuel Supply Market Data

Information in current (nominal)

­U.S.-$. No inflation adjustment of

prices on a base year. Separative work

data for the formerly “secondary

market”. Uranium prices [US-$/lb

U 3 O 8 ; 1 lb = 453.53 g; 1 lb U 3 O 8 =

0.385 kg U]. Conversion prices [US-$/

kg U], Separative work [US-$/SWU

(Separative work unit)].

News


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

Uranium

Prize range: Spot market [USD*/lb(US) U 3 O 8 ]

140.00

) 1

Uranium prize range: Spot market [USD*/lb(US) U 3 O 8 ]

140.00

) 1

120.00

120.00

177

100.00

100.00

80.00

60.00

40.00

Yearly average prices in real USD, base: US prices (1982 to1984) *

80.00

60.00

40.00

NEWS

20.00

20.00

0.00

Year

* Actual nominal USD prices, not real prices referring to a base year. Sources: Energy Intelligence, Nukem; Bild/Figure: atw 2019

2015

2018

* Actual nominal USD prices, not real prices referring to a base year. Year

Sources: Energy Intelligence, Nukem; Bild/Figure: atw 2019

| | Uranium spot market prices from 1980 to 2018 and from 2008 to 2018. The price range is shown. In years with U.S. trade restrictions the unrestricted uranium spot market price is shown.

0.00

Jan. 2012

Jan. 2013

Jan. 2014

Jan. 2015

Jan. 2016

Jan. 2017

Jan. 2018

Jan. 2019

Separative work: Spot market price range [USD*/kg UTA]

180.00

160.00

140.00

120.00

100.00

80.00

60.00

40.00

20.00

Conversion: Spot conversion price range [USD*/kgU]

16.00

) 1

14.00

12.00

10.00

8.00

6.00

4.00

2.00

0.00

Jan. 2012

* Actual nominal USD prices, not real prices referring to a base year.

Jan. 2013

Year

Jan. 2014

Jan. 2015

Jan. 2016

Jan. 2017

Jan. 2018

Jan. 2019

Source: Energy Intelligence, Nukem; Bild/Figure: atw 2019

| | Separative work and conversion market price ranges from 2008 to 2018. The price range is shown.

)1

In December 2009 Energy Intelligence changed the method of calculation for spot market prices. The change results in virtual price leaps.

0.00

Jan. 2012

Jan. 2013

* Actual nominal USD prices, not real prices referring to a base year. Year

Source: Energy Intelligence, Nukem; Bild/Figure: atw 2019

Jan. 2014

Jan. 2015

Jan. 2016

Jan. 2017

Jan. 2018

Jan. 2019

2014

pp

Uranium: 28.10–42.00

pp

Conversion: 7.25–11.00

pp

Separative work: 86.00–98.00

2015

pp

Uranium: 35.00–39.75

pp

Conversion: 6.25–9.50

pp

Separative work: 58.00–92.00

2016

pp

Uranium: 18.75–35.25

pp

Conversion: 5.50–6.75

pp

Separative work: 47.00–62.00

2017

pp

Uranium: 19.25–26.50

pp

Conversion: 4.50–6.75

pp

Separative work: 39.00–50.00

2018

January to June 2018

pp

Uranium: 21.75–24.00

pp

Conversion: 6.00–9.50

pp

Separative work: 35.00–42.00

February 2018

pp

Uranium: 21.25–22.50

pp

Conversion: 6.25–7.25

pp

Separative work: 37.00–40.00

March 2018

pp

Uranium: 20.50–22.25

pp

Conversion: 6.50–7.50

pp

Separative work: 36.00–39.00

April 2018

pp

Uranium: 20.00–21.75

pp

Conversion: 7.50–8.50

pp

Separative work: 36.00–39.00

May 2018

pp

Uranium: 21.75–22.80

pp

Conversion: 8.00–8.75

pp

Separative work: 36.00–39.00

June 2018

pp

Uranium: 22.50–23.75

pp

Conversion: 8.50–9.50

pp

Separative work: 35.00–38.00

July 2018

pp

Uranium: 23.00–25.90

pp

Conversion: 9.00–10.50

pp

Separative work: 34.00–38.00

August 2018

pp

Uranium: 25.50–26.50

pp

Conversion: 11.00–14.00

pp

Separative work: 34.00–38.00

September 2018

pp

Uranium: 26.50–27.50

pp

Conversion: 12.00–13.00

pp

Separative work: 38.00–40.00

October 2018

pp

Uranium: 27.30–29.00

pp

Conversion: 12.00–15.00

pp

Separative work: 37.00–40.00

November 2018

pp

Uranium: 28.00–29.25

pp

Conversion: 13.50–14.50

pp

Separative work: 39.00–40.00

December 2018

pp

Uranium: 28.50–29.20

pp

Conversion: 13.50–14.50

pp

Separative work: 40.00–41.00

| | Source: Energy Intelligence

www.energyintel.com

Cross-border Price

for Hard Coal

Cross-border price for hard coal in

[€/t TCE] and orders in [t TCE] for

use in power plants (TCE: tonnes of

coal equivalent, German border):

2012: 93.02; 27,453,635

2013: 79.12, 31,637,166

2014: 72.94, 30,591,663

2015: 67.90; 28,919,230

2016: 67.07; 29,787,178

2017: 91.28, 25,739,010

2018

I. quarter: 89.88; 5,838,003

II. quarter: 88.25; 4,341,359

III. quarter: 100.79; 5,135,198

| | Source: BAFA, some data provisional

www.bafa.de

News


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 3 ı March

178

NUCLEAR TODAY

John Shepherd is a

journalist who has

covered the nuclear

industry for the past

20 years and is

currently editor-in-chief

of UK-based Energy

Storage Publishing.

Links to reference

sources:

Horizon Nuclear

Power statement:

https://bit.ly/2U1IH2b

Is the UK Ready to See Nuclear Fade

Before It Can Shine?

John Shepherd

What a mess the UK is in – and it’s nothing to do with Brexit. It’s all to do with energy policy (or the apparent lack

of it) and a nuclear industry that is at risk of fading away before the ‘renaissance’ we had hoped for has gathered pace.

Thirteen years ago it was all so very different. After what

seemed an eternity in the energy doldrums, in July 2006, a

UK government energy policy review concluded that a

new fleet of nuclear power plants would be needed as an

essential part of the country’s long-term energy mix.

In November of that year, just over 12 months after

leading his Labour Party to an historic third consecutive

election win, prime minister Tony Blair put his full political

weight behind a UK nuclear revival.

Cleverly, and correctly, Blair played the climate change

card to hammer home his message. He said the UK had to

put nuclear energy back on the national agenda because,

without it, the country would not be able to meet its

climate change commitments or guarantee energy security.

Blair told the House of Commons that in 15 years, the

UK would move from a position of being about 80 % or

90 % self-supportive and not reliant on imports on account

of its own self-sufficiency in oil and gas, to one in which the

country is importing 80 or 90 %.

To combat the retirement of ageing nuclear power plants,

he said “we need to put nuclear power back on the agenda

and at least replace the nuclear energy that we will lose”.

His pitch for nuclear came in the wake of the ‘Stern

­Review’, produced by a former World Bank chief ­economist,

Sir Nicholas Stern, for the UK government. Stern said the

scientific evidence was overwhelming that climate change

was a serious global threat and demanded an urgent

response.

However, it was left to a subsequent prime minister, the

Conservative David Cameron, to announce in 2013 a deal

with France’s EDF to build what would be the first new

British nuclear power station in 20 years – HInkley Point C.

But it took an extra three years for Cameron’s successor,

the now Brexit-beleaguered Theresa May, to finally sign off

on building Hinkley Point C.

She had ordered a ‘review’ of the project before finally

allowing it to go ahead, causing what was a further

unnecessary and damaging delay. No.10 Downing Street

had let it be known there were ‘security concerns’ about

China’s involvement in the project and May told French

leaders she needed more time to consider the issue.

Needing ‘more time’ has sadly become a disappointing

trait seen in the current resident of No.10 (although she

has recently bowed to internal Conservative Party pressure

and confirmed she will not contest another general ­election

as Tory leader). She is on borrowed time.

As I write, completion of the 4,500 tonne concrete

platform on which the Hinkley Point C reactor buildings sit

is scheduled for this year.

Following May’s controversial intervention in the ­project,

ministers said the government would impose a new legal

framework for future foreign investment in UK’s critical

infrastructure, to include nuclear and apply after Hinkley.

The statement led everyone to understand that the

British government would in future take a ‘special share in

all future nuclear new-build projects. The aim, we were

told, was to ensure that significant stakes could not be sold

without the government’s knowledge or consent. Really..?

Then how do you explain the mess the UK is in now?

Time is something nuclear in the UK does not have. In

the run-up to Christmas, Toshiba Corp confirmed what

many had feared – that the company would withdraw from

its UK nuclear new-build project at Moorside. Toshiba said

that, “notwithstanding negotiations with multiple companies”,

it was unable to anticipate being able to complete

the sale of its NuGeneration (NuGen) company during

­fiscal year 2018, which ends in March 2019.

Formed in 2009, NuGen had planned to build a nuclear

power plant of up to 3.8 gigawatts-electric gross capacity

at Moorside in West Cumbria, using AP1000 nuclear

reactor technology provided by Westinghouse. That

reactor design completed the UK regulatory assessment

process in March 2017. At that time, Toshiba owned

­Westinghouse – which filed for Chapter 11 protection with

US courts the same month.

Then, last month, another hammer blow. Horizon

Nuclear Power said it would suspend its UK nuclear

development programme, following a decision taken by its

Japanese parent company Hitachi. Horizon had been

developing the Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant on Anglesey

in North Wales and has a second site at Oldbury on Severn

in South Gloucestershire.

Horizon Nuclear Power CEO Duncan Hawthorne said

despite “close discussions” with the UK and Japanese

­governments, talks had failed on the financing and

associated commercial arrangements needed.

In the 1992 UK general election, popular tabloid

­newspaper ‘The Sun’ ran an infamous front page article

deriding the then opposition Labour leader, Neil Kinnock,

with the headline: “If Kinnock wins today will the last

person to leave Britain please turn out the lights?”

Kinnock did not win. And despite all the elections since,

nuclear has not been a real winner either. Political leaders

who have come and gone (in government or opposition)

have consistently failed to demonstrate real leadership in

terms of nuclear. They should all be condemned if (or

when) the lights go out. The nuclear zeal expressed by

Blair towards the end of his term of office was bold but not

substantial enough to last.

So what does the future hold? UK regulators confirmed

last November that they had started the third step in a

four-step independent generic design assessment process

to seek approval for the French-Chinese ‘UK HPR1000’

nuclear technology. This is the Hualong One design that

General Nuclear Services, a subsidiary of EDF and China

General Nuclear, proposes to use at a prospective new

nuclear plant in England.

But it will take more than regulatory acceptance to get

that project – and others – on track. It will take clear

political will and commitment too.

Mrs May will soon be gone. Will a sensible successor

emerge with the courage to take a leap of faith and invest

capital and commitment in next generation nuclear

technologies for the UK? Only time will tell, but the

Doomsday Clock is ticking towards a catastrophe for

security of electricity supply and the climate.

John Shepherd

Nuclear Today

Is the UK Ready to See Nuclear Fade Before It Can Shine? ı John Shepherd


7 – 8 May 2019

Estrel Convention Center Berlin, Germany

www.amnt2019.com

#50AMNT

The 50 th AMNT offers a great variety

of high level sessions showing

the high competence in the nuclear

technology industry.

Hear from international experts about current issues and relevant

developments. Expand your professional network in meetings

with experts and decision-makers working in industry, utilities,

research and development as well as politics and administration.

Register now at

› www.amnt2019.com

Media Partners

Celebrate with us our 50 th anniversary!


VPC - EXPANDING INTO NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY

Repository Documentation Rethought – A comprehensive approach

from untreated waste to packages for final disposal

You can find out more about it VPC‘s in our Nuclear article in Services this magazine if you scan this QR code:

VPC - FOR BETTER RESULTS...

www.vpc-group.biz

Want to keep up with the latest news from our company?

Then follow us on:

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines