International Journal for Nuclear Power - atw 2019-06/07


The atw reports on developments and trends in all major areas of nuclear power technology and the nuclear power industry. The international topicality and competence of its coverage make the atw monthly a valuable source of information and, in this way, also an important aid in decision making. Its rich background of reporting, and the contributions by competent authors make atw a valueable source of information.



The Economic

Potential of SMRs

SMRs – Overview on

International Developments

and Safety Features

iMAGINE – A Disruptive

Change to Nuclear

ISSN · 1431-5254

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atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

Crux of the Matter – Innovation

Dear reader, The current debate on the topic of energy in many European countries is a lot of things: colourful,

shrill, on Fridays, but certainly not one thing: fact-based. Not that every decision in our lives has to follow a quasi

technocratic decision-making process. But it is enough if such an important topic for our society, indeed for the world as

a whole, how the future energy supply is to be decided is to appear with colourful hair on web-television or to

demonstratively go out onto the streets on Fridays? Where is the debate on the content of the question of what the future

of our energy supply could look like? Where are the theses and antitheses to the individual energy sources? Where is the

“discourse” that has been repeatedly demanded for decades by today's demonstrations – at least the discourse on

“­conventional” energy supply, which has been pushed into an ongoing justification loop by clever public influence, in

which facts can hardly be placed?



In short, there is no discernible will today, neither in the

discussion nor in the public debate, to shape the future of

energy supply with laws largely given by nature. It

may sound almost absurd, but the transformation of

energy systems, which has been praised as ecologically

unobtainable in Germany, is currently failing because of

nature itself. Politicians may think about changing

Kirchhoff's laws of electrical engineering by decree or even

repealing them in order to solve electricity transport

problems, but it is becoming ever clearer that nature's

originally restrictive requirements for industrial development,

laid down in the well-known work “The Limits to

Growth”, will limit the technologies of energy system

transformation. Donella and Dennis Meadows and their

colleagues at the Jay Wright Forresters Institute of

Systems Dynamics had presented the results of their

studies in 1972. The basis was a system analysis and

computer simulations of various scenarios of a “world

model”. The five sub-areas examined were industrialisation,

population growth, malnutrition, exploitation

of raw material reserves and destruction of habitats.

­Essentially, the exponential form of the progressions for

these central factors of our present time were and are the

basis of predicted collapse scenarios that cast doubt on the

industrial societies and even on the survival of mankind.

However, although it was computer models that certainly

calculated correctly, their functional relationships and

boundary conditions were ultimately determined by

­humans. It is almost paradoxical that for decades the

environmental movement based its argumentation on the

results of what was actually high-tech electronics, which it

vehemently rejected elsewhere or even questioned in

principle. Looking back, it is of course always easy to refer

to errors in studies with predictions. These appear in

science. Even in today's world of high-performance

computers, science is not free of errors and science must

not end with irreversible statements even today, especially

when doubts are justified and central questions of our lives

are concerned. Nor can science be done by voting. Galileo

Galilei certainly had more than 97% of the science of that

time statistically against himself during his lifetime, but he

was right; the sun is in the centre and the earth moves

around it.

The main mistake for the “world models” of the limits of

growth was that the authors had forgotten one thing: man

and his ability to adapt and, above all, to be innovative,

especially when faced with important challenges.

And if the protagonists here see nuclear energy at the

end of its development, it must be said that nuclear energy

is actually only at the beginning of its development.

Nuclear energy today, with its 450 nuclear power plants

and a share of around 11 % of electricity generation worldwide,

is dominated by light water reactor technology.

These techniques are mature, both in terms of reliable

operation and economic viability. The latter may seem

doubtful in view of the some considerable delays in

the construction of several current new plants, but will

cerntainly not apply to future projects. In this respect, one

can consider the “old” countries that used nuclear energy,

for ­example the last nuclear power plants of the “convoy

line” to go into operation in Germany. This proven

technology will certainly continue to dominate in the

coming decades with its so-called Generation III+ systems.

In view of current studies on the technical service life and

safety assessment of plants of the II. and III. generation

in operation over 60 years, these plants will certainly

contribute to providing energy well into this century.

The future potential of nuclear energy then lies in its

ability to innovate. This is due to their energy density.

In view of the essential factor of the world's borders, the

consumption of resources as a whole, nuclear energy is

the first choice, especially in view of the concept of

sustainability, which is overused in some places. And

nuclear energy can do much more than just contribute

to the supply of electricity. If sector coupling is to succeed

in the context of an “energy turnaround”, the plant

­engineering expenditure for primary energies must not

grow immeasurably. Power-2-X, hydrogen or methanol

supply, low-emission steel or basic material production

require a reliable basic supply – e.g. by nuclear energy in

plants with high capacities such as today predominantly or

perhaps rather plants of smaller capacity at many locations.

Whoever wants to advance our future energy supply

will fail with bold and simple demands – the world is

simply too big and too different, innovations will prevail,

not irreversible bans.

Christopher Weßelmann

– Editor in Chief –


Crux of the Matter – Innovation

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July


Des Pudels Kern – Innovation

Liebe Leserin, lieber Leser, die aktuell in vielen europäischen Staaten zu beobachtende Auseinandersetzung

mit dem Thema Energie ist vieles: bunt, schrill, freitags, aber eines sicherlich nicht: Faktenbasiert. Nicht, dass jede

Entscheidung in unserem Leben einer quasi technokratischen Entscheidungskette folgen muss. Aber reicht es, wenn

über ein so wichtiges Thema für unsere Gesellschaft, ja für die Welt insgesamt, wie über die zukünftige Energieversorgung

entschieden werden soll, mit bunten Haaren im Ersatzfernsehen aufzutreten oder freitags demonstrierend

auf die Straße zu gehen? Wo ist noch die inhaltliche Auseinandersetzung mit der Frage, wie die Zukunft unserer

Energieversorgung aussehen kann? Wo sind die Thesen und Antithesen zu den einzelnen Energieträgern? Wo ist der

über Jahrzehnte auf Demonstrationen immer wieder geforderte „Diskurs“ – zumindest der zur „konventionellen“

Energieversorgung, die durch geschickte Lenkung in der Öffentlichkeit in eine andauernde Rechtfertigungsschleife

gedrängt ist, in der sich Fakten kaum platzieren lassen?

Kurzum, es gibt heute weder die Diskussion noch in der

öffentlichen Auseinandersetzung einen erkennbaren

Willen, mit weitgehend von der Natur her gegebenen

Gesetzmäßigkeiten die Zukunft der Energieversorgung zu

gestalten. Es mag fast absurd klingen, aber die als ökologisch

nicht zur Disposition stehende und in Deutschland

gepriesene Energiewende scheitert derzeit an eben dieser

Natur selbst. Politiker mögen darüber nachdenken, zur

Lösung von Stromtransportproblemen die Kirchhoffschen

Gesetze der Elektrotechnik per Dekret zu ändern oder gar

außer Kraft zu setzen, aber immer deut licher wird, dass die

ursprünglich die industrielle Ent wicklung beschrän kenden

Vorgaben der Natur, nieder gelegt im bekannten Werk „Die

Grenzen des Wachstums“, auch die Technologien der

Energiewende begrenzen werden. Donella und Dennis

Meadows sowie deren Mitarbeiter am Jay Wright Forresters

Institut für Systemdynamik hatten die Ergeb nisse ihrer

Studien im Jahr 1972 vorgestellt. Grundlage waren eine

Systemanalyse und Computersimulationen verschiedener

Szenarien eines „Weltmodells“. Untersucht wurden die fünf

Teilbereiche Industrialisierung, Bevöl kerungswachstum,

Unterernährung, Ausbeutung von Rohstoffreserven und

Zerstörung von Lebensraum. ­Wesentlich die exponentielle

Form der Verläufe für diese zentralen Faktoren unserer

Gegenwart waren und sind Grundlage von prognostizierten

Zusammenbruch-Szenarien, die die Industriegesellschaften

und sogar ein Überleben der Menschheit in Zweifel stellten.

Doch es waren nur Computermodelle – sicherlich korrekt

berechnet, aber letztendlich wurden ihre funk tionalen

Zusammenhänge sowie Randbedingungen durch Menschen

bestimmt. Fast ist es schon paradox, dass die Umweltbewegung

über Jahrzehnte ihre Argumentation auf Ergebnisse

einer hochtechnisierten Elek tronik gestützt hat, die sie

andernorts vehement ablehnte oder auch grundsätzlich in

Zweifel zog. Natürlich ist es rück blickend immer einfach,

auf Fehler von Studien mit Vorhersagen zu ver weisen. Diese

treten in der Wissenschaft naturgemäß auf. Wissenschaft ist

auch in der heutigen Zeit der Hoch leistungscomputer nicht

frei von Fehlern und Wissenschaft darf auch heute nicht mit

unumkehrbaren Aussagen enden, insbesondere dann, wenn

Zweifel angebracht sind und zentrale Fragen unseres Lebens

betroffen sind. Auch kann Wissenschaft nicht durch

Abstimmungen erfolgen. Galileo Galilei hatte zeit seines

Lebens sicherlich mehr als 97 % der damaligen Wissenschaft

gegen sich und doch recht; die Sonne steht im

Mittelpunkt und die Erde bewegt sich um diese herum.

Der wesentliche Fehler für die „Weltmodelle“ der

Grenzen des Wachstums war, dass die Autoren eines

vergessen hatten: den Menschen und seine Fähigkeit,

sich anzupassen und vor allem innovativ zu sein, vor

allem dann, wenn er sich drängenden Herausforderungen

stellen muss.

Und wenn hier einige Protagonisten die Kernenergie

am Ende ihrer Entwicklung sehen, so ist dem entgegenzuhalten,

dass sich die Kernenergie tatsächlich erst am Anfang

ihrer Entwicklung befindet.

Die Kernenergie heute mit ihren 450 Kernkraftwerken

und einem Anteil an der Stromerzeugung weltweit von

rund 11 % wird dominiert von der Leichtwasserreaktortechnik.

Diese Technik ist ausgereift, sowohl was ihren zuverlässigen

Betrieb betrifft, als auch was ihre Wirtschaftlichkeit

angeht. Letzteres mag angesichts teils erheblicher

Verzögerungen beim Bau einzelner Neuanlagen zweifelhaft

erscheinen, ist aber nicht die Regel. Es war auch nicht

die Regel in den „alten“ Kernenergie nutzenden Ländern,

schaut man beispielsweise auf die letzten in Deutschland in

Betrieb gegangenen Kernkraftwerke der „Konvoi-Linie“.

Diese bewährte Technologie wird sicherlich in den

kommenden Jahrzehnten mit ihren sogenannten Generation-III+-Anlagen

weiterhin dominierend sein. Angesichts

aktueller Studien zur technischen Lebensdauer und

sicherheitstechnischen Bewertung von in Betrieb befindlichen

Anlagen der II. und III. Generation über 60 Jahre hinaus,

werden diese Anlagen sicherlich dazu beitragen,

Energie bis weit in dieses Jahrhundert hinein zur Verfügung

zu stellen.

Das Zukunftspotenzial der Kernenergie liegt darüber

hinaus noch in ihrer Innovationsfähigkeit, begründet in

ihrer hohen Energiedichte. Mit Blick auf den wesentlichen

Faktor der Grenzen des Wachstums, dem Ressourcenverbrauch

insgesamt, ist die Kernenergie eine gute Wahl.

Und die Kernenergie kann noch viel mehr als nur zur

Stromversorgung beizutragen. Wenn Sektorkoppelung im

Rahmen einer „Energiewende“ gelingen soll, darf der

anlagen technische Aufwand für die Primärenergien nicht

ins Unermessliche wachsen. Power-2-X, Wasserstoff- oder

Methanolbereitstellung, emissionsarme Stahl- oder Grundstoffproduktion

benötigen eine verlässliche energetische

Grundver sorgung – z.B. durch die Kernenergie aus

leistungs starken zentralen Anlagen wie heute vorwiegend

oder vielleicht künftig aus Anlagen kleinerer Leistung an

vielen Standorten.

Wer unsere zukünftige Energieversorgung voranbringen

will, der wird mit plakativen und einfachen

Forderungen scheitern – dafür ist die Welt einfach zu groß

und zu verschieden. Innovationen werden sich durchsetzen,

nicht unumkehrbare Verbote.

Christopher Weßelmann

– Chefredakteur –


Crux of the Matter – Innovation

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

Atomrecht – Das Recht der radioaktiven Abfälle RA Dr. Christian Raetzke 17.09.2019



Atomrecht – Ihr Weg durch Genehmigungs- und


Atomrecht – Was Sie wissen müssen

RA Dr. Christian Raetzke 22.10.2019


RA Dr. Christian Raetzke

Akos Frank LL. M.


07.11.2019 Berlin

3 Kommunikation und Politik

Public Hearing Workshop –

Öffentliche Anhörungen erfolgreich meistern

Kerntechnik und Energiepolitik im gesellschaftlichen Diskurs –

Themen und Formate

Dr. Nikolai A. Behr 05.11. - 06.11.2019 Berlin

13.11. - 14.11.2019 Salzgitter

3 Rückbau und Strahlenschutz

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

3 Nuclear English

Das neue Strahlenschutzgesetz –

Folgen für Recht und Praxis

Stilllegung und Rückbau in Recht und Praxis

Dr. Maria Poetsch

RA Dr. Christian Raetzke

Dr. Stefan Kirsch

RA Dr. Christian Raetzke

10.09. - 11.09.2019

15.10. - 16.10.2019

13.11. - 14.11.2019


24.09. - 25.09.2019 Berlin

Advancing Your Nuclear English (Aufbaukurs) Angela Lloyd 18.09. - 19.09.2019 Berlin

3 Wissenstransfer und Veränderungsmanagement

Veränderungsprozesse gestalten – Heraus forderungen

meistern, Beteiligte gewinnen

Erfolgreicher Wissenstransfer in der Kerntechnik –

Methoden und praktische Anwendung

Dr. Tanja-Vera Herking

Dr. Christien Zedler

Dr. Tanja-Vera Herking

Dr. Christien Zedler

26.11. - 27.11.2019 Berlin

24.03. - 25.03.2020 Berlin

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


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

Die INFORUM-Seminare können je nach

Inhalt ggf. als Beitrag zur Aktualisierung

der Fachkunde geeignet sein.

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July


Issue 6/7 | 2019




Crux of the Matter – Innovation E/G 315

Inside Nuclear with NucNet

Study Shows ‘Widespread Economic Benefits’

of Europe’s Nuclear Energy Industry 320

Did you know...? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321

Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 322

AMNT 2019

Opening Address 323

Key Note Speech 324

Best Paper: Simulation of Multi-compartment

Hydrogen Deflagration Test HD-36 with COCOSYS 327

Impressions 330

Spotlight on Nuclear Law

The New Radiation Protection Law (III) –

Supervisor and Commissioner G 332

Feature | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

The Economic Potential of SMRs 333

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

SMRs – Overview on International Developments

and Safety Features 336

Targeting Innovation at Cost Drivers – How the UK Can Deliver

Low Cost, Low Carbon, Commercially Investable Power 348

Akademik Lomonosov: Pending Countdown 351

Research and Innovation

iMAGINE – A Disruptive Change to Nuclear or How Can We Make

More Out of the Existing Spent Nuclear Fuel and What Has to be

Done to Make it Possible in the UK? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 353

Decommissioning and Waste Management

A World’s Dilemma ‘Upon Which the Sun Never Sets’:

The Nuclear Waste Management Strategy: Japan and China

Part 3 360

Special Topic | A Journey Through 50 Years AMNT

Make Policy With Prudence and Consideration of Assets G 365

KTG Inside . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 367


Artist´s view of the Rolls-Royce 440-MWe SMR

concept. Courtesy: Rolls-Royce Power Systems


Courtesy of Idaho National Laboratory,

Nuclear Reactor Systems, USA.

News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371

Nuclear Today

EV Revolution Could be Running on Empty Without Nuclear 378

Imprint 374



= German

= English/German

Insert: AMNT 2020 Call for Paper


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July



333 The Economic Potential of SMRs


Helmut Engelbrecht

AMNT 2019 | Best Paper

327 Simulation of Multi-compartment Hydrogen Deflagration Test HD-36


Tobias Jankowski and Marco K. Koch

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

336 SMRs – Overview on International Developments and Safety Features

Andreas Schaffrath and Sebastian Buchholz

348 Targeting Innovation at Cost Drivers – How the UK Can Deliver

Low Cost, Low Carbon, Commercially Investable Power

Benjamin Todd

Research and Innovation

353 iMAGINE – A Disruptive Change to Nuclear or How Can We Make

More Out of the Existing Spent Nuclear Fuel and What Has to be Done

to Make it Possible in the UK?

Bruno Merk, Dzianis Litskevich, Aiden Peakman and Mark Bankhead

Decommissioning and Waste Management

360 A World’s Dilemma ‘Upon Which the Sun Never Sets’:

The Nuclear Waste Management Strategy: Japan and China | Part 3

Mark Callis Sanders and Charlotta E. Sanders


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July



Study Shows ‘Widespread Economic

Benefits’ of Europe’s Nuclear Energy


A high nuclear power capacity of 150 GW by 2050 – up from about 118 GW today – would result in

­widespread economic benefits throughout the EU, sustaining more than one million jobs and hundreds of

billions of euros in additional GDP growth, tax revenues and household income, a study has concluded.

The aim of the study, carried out by Deloitte for

the Brussels-based nuclear industry Foratom, was to assess

the contribution of the nuclear sector to the overall

economy of the EU28 both today and until 2050.

It said the European nuclear industry sustains in 2019

more than 1.1 million full-time jobs in the EU and generates

more than half a trillion euros in GDP.

The report also concluded that in 2019 the nuclear



Generates € 124.2 bn in state revenues;


Generates € 383.1 bn in household income;


Generates € 507.4 bn in EU GDP;


Generates € 1,092.3 bn volume of investment and an

€ 18.1 bn trade surplus in the EU economy.

Each GW of installed nuclear capacity in the EU triggers

€ 9.3 bn in annual investments both in the nuclear and

connected economic sectors. Each GW provides permanent

and local employment to just under 10,000 people

and generates € 4.3 bn in GDP for the bloc.

Looking ahead to 2050, the study said that if nuclear

were to continue to account for one quarter of the

­electricity mix in 2050 – or about 150 GW of installed

capacity – the industry would on average support more

than 1.3 million jobs a year, generate € 576 bn a year in

GDP, boost tax revenues by € 110.2 bn a year and provide

households with € 490.9 bn in disposable income.

To meet this high scenario almost 130,000 MW of new

capacity would have to be built by 2050, the study said.

More than 20,000 MW would need to be added in the form

of operating extensions. Adding 130,000 MW of capacity

would mean building about 81 new 1,600 MW EPR plants

like those under construction at Flamanville in France and

Olkiluoto in Finland.

However, the study warned that if installed capacity

falls to 36 GW by 2050 – about 5 % of the electricity mix –

the impact on GDP would fall from € 507.4 bn to about

€ 281 bn. The number of jobs in the industry would fall

from 1.1 million to about 650,400.

In this low scenario most of the bloc’s existing ­nuclear

plants will close without further operating ­extensions and

new plant projects will fail to materialise.

Foratom director-general Yves Desbazeille said if

Europe is serious about decarbonising its economy by

2050, then one quarter of the electricity produced in the

EU will need to continue to come from nuclear.

“Not only will this enable the EU to achieve its

carbon-free targets, whilst at the same time ensuring it has

access to the energy it needs when it needs it, it will also

provide a significant contribution in terms of ­economic

growth and job creation,” he said.

The EU is working on a strategy which will allow

the bloc to be “climate-neutral” by 2050 in line with the

2015 Paris Agreement. In November 2018, the European

Commission presented a policy document, ‘A Clean Planet

for All’, in which it recognised the role nuclear energy can

play and described it as “the backbone of a carbon-free Europe”

together with renewables.

Mr Desbazeille said the Commission’s strategy also

addresses the importance of each technology’s economic

impact during the decarbonisation process. But he said

nuclear’s impact on employment and the economy is not

well understood by policy makers and is not part of the

main policy debate at EU level.

“The nuclear sector is one of the largest in terms of

­contribution to EU GDP. With a share of 3.3%, it is ­second

only to the construction sector,” Mr Desbazeille said.

There would be other economic benefits to ­maintaining

a strong, European nuclear supply chain, the study says.

Those employed in the coal industry could be retrained to

fill the skills gap in the nuclear ­industry and nuclear could

help maintain a European industrial base by providing a

steady supply of low- carbon power at an affordable cost.

According to the Deloitte-Foratom study there are 126

commercial nuclear reactors in operation in 14 EU

countries. The European commission says these plants

generate almost 30% of the electricity produced in the EU

although today’s report puts that figure at 25 % for 2019.

The study says new reactors are being built in France,

Finland, Slovakia and the UK, while 13 EU member states

with nuclear capacity are either analysing the potential

long-term operation of existing units or ­planning to build

new plants. Germany, however, is phasing out nuclear

with 10 out of 17 reactors already shut down. The are 11

reactors in the process of decommissioning in the EU.

However, Mr Desbazeille said this is not enough. “We

need new-build and we need to start today to be able to

maintain today’s share of nuclear and its economic impact

in the long run up to 2050,” he said.

The report noted that in 2016 the EU reaffirmed its

commitment to decarbonising the bloc’s energy mix with a

45 % reduction in emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and

zero emissions by 2050. The role of electricity in the bloc’s

energy mix is expected to grow, with its share in final

­energy consumption increasing from 20 % in 2015 to more

than 40 % by 2050. The EU wants ­electricity to contribute

to the decarbonisation of transport, heating and cooling at

the expense of fossil fuel energy products However, the

additional electrical power needed to achieve these goals

will have to be generated from low-carbon sources.

The nuclear industry argues that nuclear is a lowcarbon

energy technology that offers increased security

of supply and has positive impact on affiliated ­industries

and the economy as a whole. But it says a stable regulatory

environment and market design are crucial for triggering

investment decisions and successful ­execution of new

nuclear projects.

Earlier this month Foratom said adequate financing

and investment is needed in all low-carbon technologies if

Inside Nuclear with NucNet

Study Shows ‘Widespread Economic Benefits’ of Europe’s Nuclear Energy Industry

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

Europe is to achieve full-decarbonisation of its economy.

Foratom called for “coherence across EU legislation and

for policies to be in line with the objective of achieving a

carbon-free Europe by 2050.

EU legislation must support all low-carbon technologies,

rather than cherry-picking one technology over another,

the group said. “Basing decisions on political acceptance

rather than objective criteria will make it much harder for

Europe to achieve goals.”

The study is online:



The Independent Global Nuclear News Agency

Editor responsible for this story: David Dalton

Editor in Chief, NucNet

Avenue des Arts 56

1000 Brussels, Belgium



Did you know...?

Press Release of Kerntechnik Deutschland

Berlin, 7 May 2019

KernD – New Association for

Nuclear Technology in Germany

DAtF (German Atomic Forum) and WKK (Trade Association for the

Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Nuclear Technology) become Kerntechnik

Deutschland e. V. (KernD = Nuclear Technology Germany). The

merged association of the nuclear industry in Germany offers

members, politicians, public authorities and social stakeholders a

platform for expertise and dialogue.

In connection with this, Dr. Ralf Güldner, long-time President of

the German Atomic Forum (DAtF), will hand over the baton to the

newly elected Chairman of the Board, Dr. Joachim Ohnemus.

Dr. Güldner will remain on the board as Deputy Chairman.

“In the tangible sense, we are concerned with maintaining added

value and in the intangible sense with maintaining expertise,

innovation and the ability of a modern industrial nation to participate,

including in nuclear technology,” Mr. Ohnemus continued.

The merger and the election to the new board took place in

connection with the AMNT (Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology)

which is being held this year for the fiftieth time. The AMNT is the

most prestigious meeting of the nuclear industry in Germany. It also

welcomes a large number of international experts and decisionmakers

to exchange ideas and opinions.

Mr. Güldner, “I am pleased to be handing over a well-established

association to Mr. Ohnemus and I am confident that he will lead

the association into a successful future.” Dr. Ohnemus thanked

Dr. Güldner for his excellent and dedicated work.

Mr. Ohnemus said, “The primary objective is to preserve and promote

the skills and expertise involved in the peaceful use of nuclear

technology and in related disciplines in Germany.”

For further details

please contact:

Nicolas Wendler


Robert-Koch-Platz 4

10115 Berlin


E-mail: presse@

Did you know...?

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July






14 th International Conference on CANDU Fuel.

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Canadian Nuclear

Society (CNS),


Radiation Protection Forum. Memphis TN, USA,

Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI),


International Conference on Climate Change

and the Role of Nuclear Power. Vienna, Austria,



ICTP-IAEA Nuclear Energy Management

School. Trieste, Italy, IAEA,


International Conference on Research

Reactors: Addressing Challenges and

Opportunities to Ensure Effectiveness

and Sustainability. Buenos Aires, Argentina,

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),


27 th International Nuclear Physics Conference

(INPC). Glasgow, Scotland,


PATRAM 2019 – Packaging and Transportation

of Radioactive Materials Symposium.

New Orleans, LA, USA.


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),


World Nuclear Association Symposium 2019.

London, UK, World Nuclear Association (WNA),


VGB Congress 2019 – Innovation in Power

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


4 th Nuclear Waste Management, Decommissioning

and Environmental Restoration

(NWMDER). Ottawa, Canada, Canadian Nuclear

Society (CNS),


24 th World Energy Congress. Abu Dhabi, UAE,


Jahrestagung 2019 – Fachverband

für Strahlenschutz | Strahlenschutz und

Medizin. Würzburg, Germany,


13 th International Conference on WWER Fuel

Performance, Modelling and Experimental

Support. Nessebar, Bulgaria, INRNE-BAS

in cooperation with IAEA,


63 rd Annual Conference of the IAEA. Vienna,

Austria, International Atomic Energy Agency




ISFNT-14 – International Symposium on Fusion

Nuclear Technology. Budapest, Hungary, Wigner

Research Centre for Physics,


Technical Meeting on Siting for Nuclear Power

Plants. Vienna, Austria, IAEA,


SWINTH-2019 Specialists Workshop on

Advanced Instrumentation and Measurement

Techniques for Experiments Related to

Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics and

Severe Accidents. Livorno, Italy,


Chemistry in Power Plants. Würzburg, Germany,

VGB PowerTech e.V.,



FSEP CNS International Meeting on Fire Safety

and Emergency Preparedness for the Nuclear

Industry. Ottawa, Canada, Canadian Nuclear

Society (CNS),


11. Freigabesymposium: Entlassung von

radio aktiven Stoffen aus dem Geltungsbereich

des StrlSchG. Hamburg, Germany, TÜV Nord



International Conference on Effective Regulatory

Systems 2019. The Hague, Netherlands,

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),


International Conference on Nuclear

Decommissioning – ICOND 2019. Eurogress

Aachen, Aachen Institute for Nuclear Training




37 th Short Courses on Multiphase Flow. Zurich,

Switzerland, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology



ICONS2020: International Conference on

Nuclear Security. Vienna, Austria,

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),


WM Symposia – WM2019. Phoenix, AZ, USA,


IYNC2020 – The International Youth Nuclear

Congress. Sydney, Australia, IYNC,


12. Expertentreffen Strahlenschutz. Bayreuth,

Germany, TÜV SÜD,


51 st Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology

AMNT 2020 | 51. Jahrestagung Kerntechnik.

Berlin, Germany, KernD and KTG,


Jahrestagung 2020 – Fachverband für

Strahlenschutz I Strahlenschutz und Medizin.

Aachen, Germany,


NPC 2020 – International Conference on Water

Chemistry in Nuclear Reactor Systems. Antibes,

France, Société Francaise d’Energie Nucléaire


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


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

50 th Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology (AMNT 2019)

7 to 8 May 2019, Berlin

Opening Address

Ralf Güldner

Ladies and Gentlemen, On behalf of the German Atomic Forum and the German Nuclear Society, please allow

me to welcome you to our 50 th AMNT. Our first meeting, called the Reaktortagung took place in Frankfurt in 1969,

the same year, by the way, in which the German Nuclear Society was founded. So, happy birthday KTG. Ever since,

this meeting has been the most important meeting of its kind in Germany, addressing the widest range of topics and

attracting international speakers and visitors.


AMNT 2019

The fiftieth meeting after 50 years also provides us with

the opportunity to look back at the varied and eventful

history of nuclear technology in Germany. So, in our

­traditional companies’ exhibition, we have prepared a

­historic display for you with photos and exhibits from five

decades of nuclear technology. At this point, I would

sincerely like to thank all partners who have supported

us with their exhibits and thus made this exhibition


Our meeting this year is not only the fiftieth, it is also

forward-looking. After 60 years of the German Atomic

­Forum and 43 years of the Trade Association for the

Nuclear Fuel Cycle, the two associations have decided to

merge and to go forward into the future as Kern technik

Deutschland or KernD for short. The process was not

always particularly easy and has taken time. However, it

was successful and so now, after the approval of both

general meetings yesterday, we have a joint representation

for the entire industry as contacts for the public, politics

and public authorities as well as the media.

The “new association” also goes hand in hand with a

change in leadership and so, after nine intensive years

at the head of the German Atomic Forum, I am handing

the baton to the new chairman of the board of KernD,

Dr. ­Joachim Ohnemus, who was unanimously elected by

the general meeting of KernD.

Mr. Carsten Haferkamp will continue as treasurer with

the new managing board. Dr. Hannes Wimmer and I will

join the new managing board as deputy chairmen.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow me to look back

briefly on these nine years during which a great deal has

been imposed on our industry. It all began in 2010 on a

positive note when lifetime extensions, ­corresponding

­retrofits, the climate protector media campaign were the

topics that occupied us. I was convinced that, following the

adoption of the energy concept in autumn 2010, we would

be able to shape the future of nuclear energy in Germany

together with the utility companies, manufacturers and

suppliers as well as research and teaching.

Everything changed on March 11, 2011. Initially the

shock on seeing the images from Fukushima and then

the political reaction in Germany which pulled the rug

from under out feet, so to speak. A reaction, ladies and

gentlemen, which even today I consider was overhasty and

exclusively politically motivated. Particularly now when

the discussion about climate change and the phase-out of

coal-fired power generation is intensifying, we could well

use the additional operating years of CO 2 -free nuclear

power plants. I experienced the ­reaction of our foreign

colleagues at WNA and Foratom at close quarters and

there was not much understanding there for the German


For me personally, Fukushima ushered in a phase of

my professional career that I would have gladly foregone.

For several months I was suddenly a sought-after guest in

various television studios. Whether every performance

was successful is for others to judge but I believe that it was

important to show our colors.

This was followed by a phase during which we had

to deal with the consequences of the exit decision.

Decommissioning and dismantling were suddenly the

topics, garnished with the labor of various commissions

that were working on a reorganization of the search for a

final repository and on the financing of interim and final

disposal. The German Atomic Forum was allowed to

support this in the media too and it ultimately led the

nuclear community in Germany to the situation in which it

finds itself today. The description of this situation also

includes the fact that our member companies suffered

massive economic losses and therefore demanded

­significant reductions in membership fees or even ­resigned.

This too is a serious reason for merging the German Atomic

Forum and the Trade Association for the Nuclear Fuel

Cycle into KernD.

Despite these difficult phases, I have always enjoyed

working for the German Atomic Forum. I would like to

thank all the employees in the office for the dedicated and

professional work they have put in and I would like to

thank all of you too and your companies for your

con structive collaboration and support in turbulent times.

I wish Dr. Ohnemus every success in his new, extended

task and I promise that I will be happy to support him if he

so wishes.

Before handing over the microphone to Dr. Ohnemus,

I would just like to announce our anniversary film “KernD

– For Expertise and Dialogue”. It gives us the chance to

­experience a time-lapse history of nuclear technology in

Germany together. I hope you enjoy it!

Dr. Ralf Güldner

Deputy Chairman of the Board of Kerntechnik Deutschland e. V. (KernD)

AMNT 2019

Opening Address ı Ralf Güldner

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July


AMNT 2019

50 th Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology (AMNT 2019)

7 to 8 May 2019, Berlin

Key Note Speech

Joachim Ohnemus

Ladies and Gentlemen, On behalf of KernD and the German Nuclear Society I would also like to welcome you

to our 50 th Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology in Berlin.

First and foremost, I would like to thank my predecessor

and, at the same time, last president of our association

under the founding name of the German Atomic

Forum, Dr. Ralf Güldner, for his many years of dedication

to our industry. In the last nine years, Dr. Güldner

was president of the German Atomic Forum and during

this time he first supported and then successfully

shaped the discussion about a longer lifetime for the

­German nuclear power plants only to experience, like all of

us a few months later, the Fukushima accident with all its

political consequences in Germany. I would particularly

like to thank him for his commitment during this

period when he represented our industry with steady

determination. In the years that followed, he actively

participated in the many profound structural changes

that took place in the field of nuclear energy: for example,

the relaunch of the search for a final repository for highly

active waste, the restructuring of all the institutions in

the field of waste management and the reorganization

of waste management financing.

Prior to this, Dr. Güldner was also the Chairman of the

German Nuclear Society, the World Nuclear Association

and President of the European nuclear industry association

FORATOM. This experience, gained over many years of

dedication to our industry, is extremely important and

therefore I am particularly pleased that we will continue to

have him as deputy chairman of KernD.

Dr. Güldner, thank you very much indeed for your

dedication, your commitment and, in advance, for your

cooperation in the KernD association, a project that we

have promoted together and guided to success.

Why the merger?

Ladies and Gentlemen, Respected Colleagues,

At the 50 th AMNT we are looking back together at the

past, at what has been achieved in nuclear technology

in Germany and at the history of our meeting and

our associations, the German Atomic Forum (DAtF), the

Trade Association for the Nuclear Fuel Cycle (WKK)

and the German Nuclear Society (KTG). But even more

importantly we are looking forward and preparing for

the future.

This is the goal of the merger: to amalgamate both

associations, the DAtF and the WKK, into the KernD

Association. Following a long process with many

discussions, initially between the two chairmen, then the

managing boards and then the members of the associations,

it was clear that the merger was the best solution to

representing nuclear technology in Germany powerfully,

purposefully and efficiently. An association for the whole

industry, a voice to the outside world and a constitution

that also allows government bodies to cooperate, this was

the goal and it was finally resolved yesterday at the two

general meetings of DAtF and WKK.

What is the self-image of KernD,

what are its tasks?

KernD sees itself above all as a skills and expertise

­platform for public and regulatory dialogue as defined by

our association’s purpose: to preserve and promote the

skills and expertise involved in the peaceful use of nuclear

technology and in related disciplines. Under the heading,

“For expertise and dialogue”, our aim is to bring our

­expertise to bear in regulatory processes and legislative

procedures on nuclear technology as well as in social


We want to continue to attract and support schoolchildren,

apprentices and students, who are the next

generation that we urgently need, in addition to research

and teaching. This is a task that we can fulfill more successfully

if “a fascination for nuclear technology” is the

approach as we are using it.

KernD’s other content-related goals are to develop

the expertise and economic contribution of nuclear

­technology in industry, research and in the area of experts

and appraisers. In short, in the tangible sense, we are

concerned with maintaining added value, and in the

­intangible sense with maintaining expertise, innovation

and the ability of a modern industrial nation to participate,

including in nuclear technology.

In a manner of speaking, our association and also its

members live in two worlds: in the shrinking world of

nuclear energy in Germany, where dismantling and

disposal are the dominating topics. On the other hand,

from a global point of view, we live in a world where

nuclear energy continues to play an important role as a

future option, where the construction of new plants,

increased performance and the development of new

concepts and technologies are relevant topics. One

important task for the association is to support the

constructive participation of Germany, i.e. of German

nuclear industry sites, in global development in the future

and to further strengthen the understanding for this

among the population.

A word about Germany’s role

in nuclear energy and climate policy

When we look at the world of power generation, we find

that the renewable energies, wind power, photovoltaics,

biomass, geothermal energy, tidal power and solar thermal

energy only produce about 20 percent of the low-carbon

electricity. 80 percent of the low-carbon electricity is

­obtained from hydropower and nuclear power, 31 percent

from nuclear energy and almost half from hydropower.

In recent weeks, during discussions about phasing

out coal for electricity generation, surveys have shown

that the population is already aware or is now becoming

increasingly aware that nuclear energy has a thoroughly

positive role in preventing CO 2 . On this basis, we can

AMNT 2019

Key Note Speech ı Joachim Ohnemus

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

­expect that there will be long-term understanding for the

fact that Germany is phasing out the use of nuclear power

in its own country but that it can remain a supplier for

those who want to continue to use nuclear power and it

can also continue to develop the technology. This is also

the position of the Federal Government in the coalition


Therefore, it can’t be about completely phasing out

nuclear energy as a whole, it can’t be about closing the

facilities in Gronau and Lingen and it can’t be about

­refusing export credit guarantees for supplying German

safety control technology to foreign nuclear power plants.


AMNT 2019

Innovation Made in Germany

Nuclear technology in and from Germany is still

at the forefront and is very powerful in research and

development. Take the topic of accident tolerant fuel, for

example. This is being developed worldwide and will offer

greater reserves of robustness in the event of major

accidents. Here, Germany is involved in the PROtect

program which is the most advanced of all comparable

programs. The irradiation tests with Swiss partners

started in 2016; the first test assemblies were loaded into

the Vogtle 2 nuclear power plant in the USA in April. This

is also an example of the international collaboration ­

within our industry.

In the USA, Urenco is preparing to enrich uranium to

19.75 percent for new applications. There, the Department

of Energy itself is in charge of a pilot project aimed at

new types of reactors. The Euratom Supply Agency is

supporting a facility such as this for the EU with a view to

the security of supply for research reactors. It is not even

possible to discuss such a thing in Germany.

We also need extensive safety research in the future

so that companies can continue to innovate and so that

the State has access to the necessary skills and expertise

for the safety assessment of nuclear installations and

for the further development of safety standards. This

research must include both new reactor concepts and

innovative fuel assembly and fuel concepts. The companies

of the nuclear industry are indispensable because, without

practical application, it is impossible to maintain or further

develop expertise. In view of the phase-out in Germany,

the international market is vital if we are to apply our

­expertise in practice. Visible political support for our

companies in international business would be highly

desirable. This would help not only the German divisions

of international nuclear technology companies but in

particular the many medium-sized suppliers in German

nuclear technology. Perhaps Mr. Bareiß, the Parliamentary

State Secretary, will comment on this later.

Dismantling is well on the way

Our companies dismantling the nuclear power plants are

working through the program according to schedule and

are making good progress. Applications have already been

made for decommissioning and dismantling licenses for

most of the plants still in operation. Our working

relationship with the authorities is good and professional.

It must also stay this way.

One topic that will occupy us for a long time to come is

the acceptance of waste from nuclear power plants, which

is subject to landfill regulations and has been released for

disposal, at the responsible landfill sites. Support at ­federal

state level is not always able to stop awkward situations

from arising with landfill operators or local government.

Continuous education is required to reassure them that

these residual materials do not pose a radiological hazard,

even if they come from the controlled area of nuclear

power plants.

In spite of all the decommissioning and dismantling,

we should not forget that there are still seven nuclear

power plants producing electricity in Germany and their

flexibility largely supports the stability of our electricity

generation. With the 10,000 MW of currently installed

nuclear power plant output, 76 billion kilowatt hours of

electricity were produced in 2018, 11.8 percent of gross

electricity generation. Reliable plant operation made

Germany the second largest nuclear energy country in the

EU in 2018 and resulted in the Isar 2 nuclear power plant

taking second place in the generation rankings of all

nuclear power plants worldwide.

The transition of operator responsibility at the sitebased

interim storage facilities for high active waste from

the power plant operators to the BGZ [Gesellschaft für

Zwischenlagerung = Company for Interim Storage]

on January 1, 2019 went smoothly and inconspicuously.

On January 1, 2020, the BGZ will also take over

responsibility for site-based low and medium active waste

storage facilities. This will conclude the new allocation

of responsibilities for waste management. As is already the

case with the central interim storage facilities, the

­government will take over a field that our industry has left

in great shape.

What about the final repositories?

Commissioning of the Konrad final repository remains a

common concern of the power plant operators, the BGZ

and all those with obligations to deliver, including the

public sector and in the private sector. In the meantime,

we have another completion date, though not until 2027,

and with the ongoing review of state of the art compliance

with the safety requirements, it appears that we will be

worrying about the project over and over again.

When it comes to the site selection process for high

active waste, all we can do is wait and see what happens.

For the coming year, we are expecting the first report of

the BGE [Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung = Federal

Company for Radioactive Waste Disposal] about subareas

which are supposed to remain in the selection process.

At present, for now we are discussing the publication

of geological data in connection with the disclosure of the

subareas. I am sure that Mr. Steffen Kanitz, member of

the board of the BGE, will bring us up to speed on this later.

Challenge Europe

Despite all the enthusiasm for the opportunities in

emerging countries such as China and India, we should

AMNT 2019

Key Note Speech ı Joachim Ohnemus

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July


AMNT 2019

not forget that the home markets in Europe and North

America still play the key role for western nuclear

companies. Europe is also the scene of the attempt to

­export the German nuclear power phase-out. This is a

dangerous path which could bring new controversy into

the European Union. It is with good reason that the decision

regarding the energy mix is reserved for the ­Member


There is nothing wrong with constructively and

competently bringing a German position, on safety issues

for example, into the discussion. The key, however,

is to convince others with objective arguments and,

as mentioned before, for this we will need sound, practical

expertise in nuclear technology in the future as well.

In contrast, ritualized demands for the shutdown of

installations close to the borders do not open doors but

close them.

In the Commission’s considerations regarding the

reform of Euratom, it is also necessary to pay attention to

the Doctrine of the Mean. Those who want to make the

safety-focused Euratom Treaty into a phase-out treaty, as

two opposition parties have been demanding for years

now, will only drive a new wedge into the EU and generate

strong opposition from those who want to continue using

nuclear energy in the energy mix.

Environmental Progress, Energy for Humanity and the

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which, along

with many others and together with the nuclear societies,

stand up for and promote nuclear energy.

We must adopt this optimism with our new KernD

association. Above all, we must plant the idea into the

minds of the younger generation that it is worth being

involved in this technology, that it offers huge potential

and a wide range of development opportunities. In

­Germany we still have the network, the expertise and

the industrial as well as scientific substance to cooperate

in development and to advance nuclear technology.

In the challenging situation in Germany, we must

work together as an industry and act in concert. Our

joint association is an important step towards this goal and

it deserves our full support.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Your commitment is essential to our meeting, making it

into the forum for sharing ideas and maintaining contacts

that we both know and love. I would like to thank you very

much for all your contributions to the program planning,

for the preparation and acquisition of specialist lectures

and for your lively participation in all the discussions.

I would also like to thank our many partners in the

­industry exhibition and all those who have contributed to

our joint review of the past on the occasion of the 50 th

anniversary of our meeting. Of course, I am particularly

pleased to welcome our British and Czech partners with

their national pavilions and also our other international


The KernD reception, to which you are all cordially

­invited, will be held in the exhibition space immediately

after the plenary session. Following this, we can look

forward to the traditional social evening which our

­exhibitors and sponsors warmly invite you to attend.

I wish everybody a successful meeting, fruitful

­discussions and exceptional insights into our common

passion, nuclear technology. Thank you.

Dr. Joachim Ohnemus

Chairman of the Board of Kerntechnik Deutschland e.V. (KernD)

Is there a global upheaval

in nuclear technology?

Globally, it is possible to speak of an upheaval in nuclear

technology. This is particularly evident in an increasingly

dynamic landscape of innovation. The interest in SMRs

is having a positive impact on the development of new

­reactor types. The financial risks are smaller than

embarking directly on large-scale projects. And as a

result, SMR projects are being driven forward in the

United States, Canada, Russia, China, India, Argentina

and the United Kingdom. Partly with proven light water

reactor technology, partly with alternative designs such

as molten salt or gas-cooled reactors, partly with new

designs such as closed heat pipe microreactors or the

uranium battery for remote areas or mobile use. The

developments offer new opportunities for companies in

the fuel cycle, including the North American subsidiaries

of European companies.

The increasing social commitment to nuclear energy

is somewhat new and unaccustomed for Germany.

Discussions on climate policy and the possibilities

for effectively reducing CO 2 emissions play the main

role here. We should mention organizations such as

AMNT 2019

Key Note Speech ı Joachim Ohnemus

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

Simulation of Multi-compartment

Hydrogen Deflagration Test HD-36


Tobias Jankowski and Marco K. Koch

1 Introduction In case of postulated severe

accident scenario in a nuclear power plant with reactor

core dry-out, a huge amount of hydrogen might be

­generated by oxidation of the cladding tubes. For example,

in a 1,300 MW KONVOI type power plant up to 1,350 kg

hydrogen can be generated [1]. The generated hydrogen

might be released to the containment atmosphere in the

frame of the postulated severe accident scenario and

might reach ignitable concentrations. Those can also

be achieved by use of other safety systems for example

due to spray systems, which on the one hand lead to a

depressurization due to steam condensation and might

enhance the mixing and homogenization of the containment

atmosphere, but on the other hand increase the

volumetric hydrogen fraction by reducing the steam

| | AMNT 2019: Best Paper Award, awarded by Dr. Joachim Ohnemus (left)

and Frank Apel (right) to Tobias Jankowski (middle).

content in the vessels’ atmosphere [2]. Hydrogen combustion in a test vessel has been investigated among others in the

frame of the OECD/NEA-THAI and OECD/NEA-THAI-2 program [3]. The national THAI-V program investigates beside

other topics hydrogen deflagration in a multi- compartment geometry, the THAI+ test facility.

Best Paper


The paper “Simulation

of multi-compartment

hydrogen deflagration

test HD-36 with

COCOSYS” by Tobias

Jankowski and Marco

K. Koch has been

awarded as Best

Paper of the

50 th Annual Meeting

on Nuclear Technology

(AMNT 2019), Berlin,

7 and 8 May 2019.


AMNT 2019

2 Experiment

The THAI+ test facility consists mainly of two test vessels

and two DN 500 connection pipes. Those components have

an inner volume of approximately 79.2 m 3 [4]. The THAI+

test facility is shown in Figure 1.

The bigger vessel called THAI test vessel (TTV) has a

height of 9.2 m and in its largest part an inner diameter of

3.156 m. The thinner vessel on the right, called parallel

­attachable drum (PAD) has a height of approximately

9.73 m due to deeper vessel bottom compared to the TTV.

The inner diameter of the PAD is 1.556 m [4]. The vessel is

mainly made of stainless steel and is enveloped with a rock

wool layer for insulation. The vessel walls can be heated by

thermal oil mantels and some lower and upper parts,

which are not covered by those oil mantles can be heated

| | Fig. 1.

THAI+ test facility [4].

by electrical heaters. The inner cylinder of the TTV and the

horizontal plates between the inner cylinder and the vessel

walls, which are shown in Figure 1, are removed for the

hydrogen deflagration (HD) test 36.

The test HD-36 investigates the hydrogen deflagration

in a pre-mixed homogenous hydrogen-steam-air vessel

atmosphere. The initial absolute vessel pressure is 1.5 bar

[3]. The homogenous vessel atmosphere consists of

10 vol.-% hydrogen and 25 vol.-% steam and has a

­temperature of 90 °C [3]. The mixture is ignited in the TTV

sump compartment at a height of 0.5 m at a problem time

of 0 s. Measurements are performed to investigate the

flame front propagation, the time depended pressure

transient, the temperature evaluation and the hydrogen

concentration in the test vessel [3].

3 Modeling

The test HD-36 is simulated with AC 2 module COCOSYS

V2.4v4. The test vessel is modelled by use of 57 zones, 79

Junctions and 39 structures, as shown in Figure 2.

The TTV as well as the PAD is horizontally divided in an

inner cylinder and an outer circular ring. A finer horizontal

nodalisation has also been investigated but did not show

any major differences in the propagation behavior of

the flame front as the used hydrogen deflagration model

considers only isotropic flame front turbulence.

The propagation mechanism of the flame front is

­simulated by use of the flame front propagation model

FRONT [5]. The initial ignition in the TTV sump

compartment is given by the user. Based on a ternary

­diagram it is checked if the mixture in an adjacent zone is

ignitable. If it is, the FRONT model calculates by use of a

correlation system the flame front velocity in the junction

between those zones. From the calculated flame front

velocity, the time of ignition of the adjacent zone is


AMNT 2019

Simulation of Multi-compartment Hydrogen Deflagration Test HD-36 with COCOSYS ı Tobias Jankowski and Marco K. Koch

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July


AMNT 2019

| | Fig. 2.

Nodalisation HD-36.

The user has to choose between an exponential or a

­linear combustion profile in the zones, what means an exponential

or a linear decrease of the reactant [6]. According

to Pelzer [6] an exponential burning profile is ­typical

for lab-scale experiments whereas a linear profile might

accord to a large scale hydrogen deflagration. The THAI+

facility is known as a large scale test facility, wherefore a

linear combustion profile might be the right choice. Nevertheless,

former investigations [6] indicate that an exponential

combustion profile might lead to a better reproduction

of the experimental data. Therefore, the test HD-36 is

simulated with both options and the results are compared

to each other.

Beside the decision on the type of combustion profile,

the user has the possibility to modify several empirical constants

of the correlation system used in the FRONT model.

However, those parameters were not modified in the present

work, because the FRONT model respectively the CO-

COSYS model basis should be validated as it is.

4 Results

The pressure transient of the test HD-36 and from the

­COCOSYS V2.4v4 simulations by use of an exponential as

well as a linear combustion profile as input value of the

FRONT model is shown in Figure 3.

The experimental pressure transient shows a fast

pressure increase in the test vessel in the time between one

and three seconds after the initial ignition in the TTV sump

compartment. The pressure increase is underestimated

in both COCOSYS simulations. The simulation with

­exponential com­bustion profile reaches the pressure peak

approximately half a second later as the experiment.

By use of a linear combustion profile the pressure peak

is reached more than one second later than in the

­experiment. In both cases the pressure peak is slightly

over estimated. The pressure decrease after reaching the

pressure peak is in both simulations qualitatively in a good

agreement with the ­experiment as the heat removal

behaviour of the test facility is well given by the developed

COCOSYS input deck. In the beginning of the experiment,

the pressure peak is very exactly reproduced by the simulation

with ­linear combustion profile. In the simulation

with exponential combustion profile the initial pressure

increase is slightly overestimated.

In Figure 4 the flame front propagation in the test

­HD-36 and the zone ignition in the COCOSYS simulation

by use of an exponential combustion profile are shown.

In the experiment, the flame front propagates from the

TTV-sump-compartment through the lower connection

pipe into the PAD. The flame front is accelerated to

­approximately 8.1 m/s. Thereafter, the flame front

propagates mainly close to the vessel wall opposite to the

flange of the lower connection pipe and in the vessel

centreline upwards in the PAD. In the TTV the flame front

propagates mainly in the vessel centreline upwards, goes

through the upper connection pipe, where the flame front

is accelerated to approximately 47 m/s and enters the

upper part of the PAD, whereby a jet ignition is observed,

which leads to a very fast downward directed propagation

in the upper part of the PAD. The flame fronts going

through the upper and through the lower connection pipes

meet in the PAD at a height of about 5.6 m.

The zone ignition in the COCOSYS simulation differs

from the experimental flame front propagation. In the

­simulation, the flame front is also accelerated in the lower

connection pipe due to the smaller cross section. By use of

an exponential combustion profile the flame speed through

the lower connection pipe is 6.3 m/s and in the simulation

with linear combustion profile 6.5 m/s. In the simulation

with an exponential combustion profile, the flame front

arrives nearly at the same time at the TTVs’ and PADs’ top.

The flame front propagates from both sides into the upper

connection pipe. In the simulation with linear combustion

profile, the top zone of the PAD is ignited at

3.12 s and the TTVs’ top zone at 3.51 s. Therefore, the

flame front goes through the upper connection pipe from

the top of the PAD and meets the flame front coming from

the TTV at the right top of the upper connection pipe.

In both simulations the first ignition of an elevation

level in both vessels takes place in the vessel centreline.

None of the simulations reproduces the high flame front

acceleration in the upper connection pipe of 47 m/s.

­Nevertheless, the highest flame front velocity is in both

simulations given at the inlet of the upper connection pipe.

In the simulation with exponential combustion profile the

flame front velocity at the upper pipes’ inlet is 12.5 m/s

and in the simulation with linear combustion profile

| | Fig. 3.

HD-36 Pressure Transient.

AMNT 2019

Simulation of Multi-compartment Hydrogen Deflagration Test HD-36 with COCOSYS ı Tobias Jankowski and Marco K. Koch

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

AMNT 2019


| | Fig. 4.

HD-36 Flame front propagation [3] and zone ignition (exponential combustion profile).

16.67 m/s. In the experiment the flame front had a velocity

of 20 m/s at the inlet of the upper connection pipe.

5 Conclusions

The hydrogen deflagration test HD-36 in a multi-compartment

geometry has been simulated with COCOSYS

V2.4v4 by use of the FRONT model by considering an

­exponential combustion profile as well as a linear one.

The flame front behavior in the experiment is highly

momentum driven due to the flame front acceleration in

the lower and upper connection pipes between the two

vessels. The acceleration in the lower connection pipe

leads to a flame front that mainly moves upwards in some

parts close to the vessel wall and in the centerline of the

PAD. In the TTV the flame front moves straight upwards

and is highly accelerated to 47 m/s in the upper connection

pipe, wherefore a downward directed jet-ignition takes

place in the upper part of the PAD so that the flame fronts

going through the lower and upper connection pipes meet

at a height of 5.6 m in the PAD. The very high flame front

velocity in the upper connection pipe might result from a

displacement of unburnt gas that is moved from the TTV to

the connection pipe according to Freitag et al. [3].

The overall flame front behavior is reproduced in both

simulations: The flame front is accelerated in the lower

connection pipe and moves upwards in both vessels. Other

than in the experiment, first zone ignition of an elevation

level always occurs in the vessel centerline, also in the

PAD. The faster upwards traveling flame front in the TTV

and the following acceleration in the upper connection

pipe, leading to flame fronts meeting in the middle of the

PAD, is not reproduced by the simulations. In the simulation

with an exponential combustion profile the upper

vessel zone of the TTV and PAD are ignited at nearly the

same instant. In the simulation with linear combustion

profile a completely different situation is observed.

­Opposite to the experiment, the zone ignition in the PAD is

faster than in the TTV, wherefore the top of the PAD is

ignited 0.4 s early than the TTVs’ top. Furthermore, the

vertical propagation out of the sump compartment of the

TTV in both simulations takes significantly longer than in

the experiment, what might has a huge influence on the

whole simulation and the order of the zone ignition in the

whole test facility. Nevertheless, the pressure transient is

well predicted in the simulation with an exponential

­combustion profile leading to a slightly higher pressure

peak than in the experiment and a reaching of the pressure

peak about half a second later.


This work is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for

Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) under the contract

numbers 150 1512 and 150 1568.

Simulations are performed with AC 2 module COCOSYS

developed by GRS.


[1] T. Hollands: Modellierung der Stickstoffreaktion in Störfallanalysecodes zur Simulation des

Lufteinbruchs in kerntechnischen Anlagen. ISBN: 978-3-934951-27-3, Dissertation,

Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 2010.

[2] S. Gupta, G. Langer, M. Colombet: Hydrogen Combustion During Spray Operation: Tests HD-30,

HD-31 and HD-32. Report No. 1501420-TR-HD-30-32, Technical Report, Becker Technologies

GmbH, Eschborn, 2014.

[3] M. Freitag, B. von Laufenberg, E. Schmidt: Hydrogen Deflagration Tests in a Two-Vessel Test Facility:

Test series HD-36 – HD-39. Report No. 1501455 – TR – HD36-39, Technical Report, Becker

Technologies GmbH, Eschborn, 2017.

[4] M. Freitag, A. Kühnel, G. Langer: Extension of the THAI test facility by a second vessel: THAI+. Report

No. 1501455 – FB/TR – THAIPLUS, Technical Report, Becker Technologies GmbH, Eschborn, 2016.

[5] W. Klein-Heßling et al.: COCOSYS V2.4v5 Users’ Manual. GRS – P – 3/1, Revision 29, Gesellschaft für

Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) gGmbH, Köln, 2018.

[6] M. Pelzer: Validation of ASTEC CPA: FRONT Module Parameter Study on Hydrogen Deflagration

Experiments. ASTEC/DOC/12-04, Rev 0, Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS)

gGmbH, 2012.


Tobias Jankowski and Marco K. Koch

ORCID: 0000-0001-5506-0498 and 0000-0001-7260-5250

Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Fakultät Maschinenbau,

Plant Simulation and Safety (PSS)


AMNT 2019

Simulation of Multi-compartment Hydrogen Deflagration Test HD-36 with COCOSYS ı Tobias Jankowski and Marco K. Koch

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July



AMNT 2019

AMNT 2019

50 th Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology (AMNT 2019) ı Impressions

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

AMNT 2019


AMNT 2019

50 th Annual Meeting on Nuclear Technology (AMNT 2019) ı Impressions

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July



Das neue Strahlenschutzrecht (III) –


Die bewährten Funktionen des Strahlenschutzverantwortlichen (SSV) und des Strahlenschutzbeauftragten (SSB)

sind vom neuen Strahlenschutzrecht übernommen worden. Regelungen dazu finden sich sowohl im Strahlenschutzgesetz

(StrlSchG), dort in den §§ 69-72, als auch in der Strahlenschutzverordnung (StrlSchV) vom 29.11.2018, dort in

den §§ 43 und 44 und an weiteren Stellen.

SSV ist bekanntlich u.a. derjenige, der einer der atom- oder

strahlenschutzrechtlichen Genehmigungen bedarf, wie sie

in der relevanten Norm (früher § 31 Abs. 1 StrlSchV a.F.,

jetzt § 69 Abs. 1 StrlSchG) aufgezählt werden. Zu diesen

Genehmigungen zählen jetzt auch solche zur Beförderung

radioaktiver Stoffe. Das hat zur Folge, dass man hier jetzt

auch einen SSB mit entsprechender Fachkunde braucht;

§ 204 StrlSchG bringt eine Übergangsregelung hierzu mit

einer Frist bis Ende 2021. Von der Ausweitung des Kreises

der Strahlenschutzverantwortlichen sind ferner diejenigen

Aktivitäten betroffen, die nach dem alten Recht “Arbeiten”

darstellten, jetzt aber im erweiterten Begriff der

“ Tätigkeiten” aufgehen. Das betrifft etwa Airlines sowie

Unternehmen mit Arbeitsplätzen, an denen relevante

­Exposition durch natürliche Strahlenquellen stattfindet.

§ 33 Abs. 1 der alten StrlSchV enthielt einen Katalog der

Vorschriften, für deren Einhaltung der SSV verantwortlich

ist. Die lange Liste von Paragraphen war zwar sperrig, aber

immerhin vollständig. In dieser Form gibt es sie jetzt nicht

mehr. Das liegt an der Aufspaltung der Materie in Gesetz

und Verordnung. Das StrlSchG bringt in § 72 Abs. 1 einen in

der Anlage ähnlichen Katalog, der aber nur die relevanten

Vorschriften des StrlSchG selbst aufzählt – die Verordnung

gab es ja noch gar nicht. Die StrlSchV vom 29.11.2018

wiederum enthält ihrerseits keinen zusammenfassenden

Katalog. Stattdessen werden alle Einzelvorschriften, für

deren Einhaltung der SSV verantwortlich sein soll, jeweils

mit den Worten einge leitet: “Der Strahlenschutzverantwortliche

hat dafür zu sorgen, dass…” (In der alten

StrlSchV gab es an dieser Stelle immer eine unpersönliche

Partizipialkonstruktion, etwa: “Strahlenschutzbereiche …

sind einzurichten”). Um sich einen Überblick über die

Pflichten des SSV zu verschaffen, muss man also die

StrlSchV durchlesen und sich alle Vorschriften, auch

einzelne Absätze oder Sätze, notieren, die so anfangen.

Angabegemäß sind es über 100.

Zu Diskussionen gab § 43 Abs. 2 StrlSchV Anlass. Die

Norm lautet: “Die Pflichten der folgenden Vorschriften

dürfen dem Strahlenschutzbeauftragten nicht übertragen

werden: …”. Die in Bezug genommenen Vorschriften enthalten

Grundlegendes wie z. B. die Einhaltung der Grenzwerte

für Ableitungen und für Störfallplanung, aber auch

eher Bürokratisches wie die Aufbewahrung von ärztlichen

Bescheinigungen. Muss der Geschäftsführer also künftig

solche Bescheinigungen auf seinem Schreibtisch stapeln,

neben der Cognac-Karaffe und dem Zigarrenkästchen? Bei

Lichte besehen, war die Regelung aber schon in der alten

StrlSchV angelegt: in § 33 Abs. 2 der alten StrlSchV stand,

dass dem SSB ein bestimmter Teil des Pflichtenkatalogs des

SSV aus Abs. 1 der Norm übertragen werden konnte, aber

eben nicht alles. Was bedeutet das nun? Der SSV konnte

natürlich schon immer, und kann auch jetzt, die operative

Wahrnehmung dieser Pflichten delegieren. Er muss nicht

eigenhändig rechnen oder aufbewahren. Das Übertragungsverbot

des § 43 Abs. 2 StrlSchV kann nur den Sinn haben,

ihm eine gesteigerte Verantwortung zuzuweisen, dass das

auch funktioniert. Da der SSV aber ohnehin immer verantwortlich

bleibt, auch nach ­Delegation von Pflichten an den

SSB (siehe § 70 Abs. 1 S. 2 StrlSchG), bleibt der Unterschied

zwischen “übertrag baren” und “nicht übertragbaren”

Pflichten insgesamt schwer fasslich.

Die in der Praxis entwickelte Funktion des

“Strahlenschutz bevollmächtigten”, auf den der SSV seine

eigenen Aufgaben delegiert, hat es wieder einmal nicht in

den Text des Gesetzes oder der Verordnung geschafft. Sie

wird aber in der amtlichen Begründung des Gesetzes

ausdrücklich erwähnt und gutgeheißen, sodass sie fortgeführt

werden kann.

Interessant sind auch einige Neuregelungen im Gesetz

zum Verhältnis von SSV und SSB. Das Verbot der alten

StrlSchV (§ 32 Abs. 5), den SSB zu behindern oder zu

benachteiligen, ist (selbstverständlich) in das Gesetz übernommen

worden. § 70 Abs. 6 S. 2 StrlSchG gibt dem SSB

nunmehr zusätzlich einen Kündigungsschutz – sofern der

Arbeitgeber, also letztlich der SSV, nicht zur fristlosen

Kündigung aus wichtigem Grund berechtigt ist. Goldene

Löffel darf der SSB also weiterhin nicht klauen.

Wenn der SSV einen Vorschlag ablehnt, den der SSB

“zur Behebung von aufgetretenen Mängeln” macht, dann

hat der SSB weiterhin einen Anspruch darauf, dass der

SSV ihm die Ablehnung schriftlich mit Begründung mitteilt,

mit Kopie an den Betriebsrat und an die zuständige

Behörde. Die Neuregelung des § 71 Abs. 2 S. 3 StrlSchG

gibt dem SSB jetzt das Recht, sich unmittelbar an die

Behörde zu wenden, wenn die Mitteilung des SSV insgesamt,

oder wenigstens die Übermittlung einer Kopie an

die Behörde, unterbleibt. Das erinnert zunächst an die

spannende Thematik des sog. Whistleblowers, also eines

Arbeitnehmers, der Missstände in seinem Unternehmen

oder seiner Institution der Öffentlichkeit oder den Behörden

bekannt macht; gegenwärtig wird ja ganz allgemein

diskutiert, ob eine solche Person eines besonderen gesetzlichen

Schutzes bedarf. Die neue Regelung im StrlSchG

ist aber, wenn man genau hinschaut, doch sehr begrenzt.

Sie greift nur, wenn der Arbeitgeber/SSV seine ohnehin

­ausdrücklich bestehende Pflicht zur Unterrichtung der

Behörde verletzt. Außerdem muss der SSB abwägend vorgehen:

Da das StrlSchG für die Mitteilung des SSV wie

bisher keine Frist setzt, muss der SSB sicherlich eine angemessene

Zeit abwarten und erforderlichenfalls noch

einmal nachhaken, bevor er als ultima ratio selbst die

Behörde informiert.

Insgesamt kann man feststellen: Der SSV wird durch

das neue Recht an seine Pflichten erinnert; die Rolle des

SSB wird gestärkt. Nach dem (sicherlich subjektiven)

Eindruck des Verfassers wäre das in der Kernenergie mit

ihrer hoch entwickelten Sicherheitskultur nicht unbedingt

nötig gewesen. In anderen Bereichen dagegen, etwa in

Kliniken oder in Unternehmen, in denen der Umgang mit

Radioaktivität nur einen Randaspekt darstellt, könnte das

neue Recht durchaus dazu führen, dem SSB in praxisrelevanter

Weise den Rücken zu stärken.


Rechtsanwalt Dr. Christian Raetzke

Beethovenstr. 19, 04107 Leipzig, Deutschland

Spotlight on Nuclear Law

The New Radiation Protection Law (III) – Supervisor and Commissioner ı Dr. Christian Raetzke

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

Feature | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

The Economic Potential of SMRs

Helmut Engelbrecht

Electricity is essential for human well being; its reliable availability is a key success factor for any human

development. Accordingly, the supply of electricity was organised everywhere as “infrastructure”, characterised by an

obligation to supply for the utility, but no competition or price risks. Security of supply was the key success criteria.

In this economic environment nuclear industry has

developed successfully. In times of high demand growth

for electricity, (10 to 15 % annual increase in electricity

consumption was not unusual), it was essential to achieve

a rapid growth of the electricity generation capacity. So

building big nuclear units at a fast pace helped to service

the needs.

But independent of the increase in demand the

economic boundary conditions of a regulated market

allowed for all the investments needed to build and support

the nuclear infrastructure. Many industrial countries

created independent national nuclear industries. They

also created independent national nuclear regulators to

supervise their national reactor build programs. As they

were competing to supply their technologies to interested

third parties there was hardly any international cooperation

amongst the global nuclear industries.

This changed in the 1980s. The well-developed

industrial nations saw a decline in electricity demand

growth. High energy prices triggered technology advances

that reduced the electricity demand in industrial applications.

Only the private consumption kept increasing but

on a reduced level. Electricity supply security for everybody

was a given.

In this market condition many countries decided to

“ liberalise” their electricity markets. They introduced

competition to the electricity supply system. This was

meant to increase the efficiency of the operation and to

allow smaller entities to participate in the market.

It worked out. The different stages of the electricity

supply were organised independently of each other.

Electricity trading saw small sales companies entering the

market, introducing price pressure that ultimately forced

market participants to work as efficient as possible.

Unfortunately this was valid only to parts of the

electricity supply services, mainly generation. Electricity

transport and distribution, even so organised independently

of each other, remained regulated as nobody saw a

reason to duplicate the grids.

Price competition in electricity generation increased

the effectiveness of operation, but unfortunately also

reduced the willingness to invest. Without price certainty

any expenditure for power generation becomes a major

investment risk. If you invest at all, you want to minimise

your exposure, so you decide for the generation with the

lowest upfront investment and the highest variable costs,

namely gas based electricity generation. Nuclear power,

where the investment cost determines up to almost 80 %

of the ultimate electricity price is not well positioned to

be considered favourable in such market conditions.

Negative public sentiment, complex licensing and other

big project related issues add to the financial risks, which

ultimately make investments in big power generation units

impossible for private entities. This is not only true

for nuclear but also effects coal and gas-based power

generation investments. Whereas in a non competitive

market with long term price certainty for your product you

will try to build as big as possible to achieve the economy

of size, in a competitive market it is quite the opposite, you

build as small as reasonable to minimise your investment

risk and the economic effects of a potential failure.

So small is interesting. Accordingly competitive power

markets saw a lot of interest in small generation devices

like solar panels, wind generators and bio gas plants.

Subsidies to support their market introduction helped

tremendously to boost customer’s interest.

Ultimately this changed the electricity generation

market from being a regulated national infrastructure

market to a commodity mass market, driven by consumer’s

needs and perceptions, similar to IT, telecommunication

and mobility.

So how do you react as a supplier to this market? To be

successful you need to convince your customers. But who

is your customer? The big utility that used to dominate in

the regulated market has been replaced by a lot of smaller

players from different industries, local municipalities and

even down to individuals, who take an interest in power

generation. They are all driven by different needs and

ambitions. Security and quality of electricity supply,

­ecological considerations or tax optimisation might be

their mayor interest to name just a few.

You should also learn from your competition. So has the

nuclear industry really investigated and understood why

solar panels, why wind generation has become so popular?

What does nuclear industry need to do to adjust to the

changed market conditions?

What does the individual electricity consumer want?

What are his or her concerns related to power generation?

I believe you should ask the consumers what they want.

I am not aware of any big scale investigation into this

question. But when putting this question to a small group

of young nuclear professionals at the WNU Summer

Institute 2018 the result was eye-opening.

They differentiated the overall view into three market

segments: mature electricity markets, industrial electricity

needs and developing electricity markets. Based on their

anticipation of consumers needs, they saw the demand

for small, flexible units. Favourite solution was gas or

wind-based power generation. Nuclear was nowhere the

preferred choice but managed to achieve a close second

rank for industrial needs and in developing electricity

markets. Interesting to notice was the fact that the smaller

(capacity wise) the nuclear unit used was; the more

favourable was its anticipated ranking. So, assuming the

nuclear unit was easy to transport and operate, inherently

safe, flexible to generate heat and power and did not

require frequent refuelling; these nuclear units did have

one advantage on the alternatives. Compared to gas

generation it does not require a supply infrastructure and

in comparison to wind generation its advantage is to be

reliably available on demand. Both facts certainly have

economic implication in favour of nuclear.

Does a nuclear unit like this exist? No, but all the

required technical features to build such a reactor are


Feature | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

The Economic Potential of SMRs ı Helmut Engelbrecht

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July


High temp gas reactor

known and have been used successfully in the past. Several

international developments are aiming to bring these so

called “micro reactors” to market within the next decade.

There is for example the Uranium Battery promoted by a

consortium under the leadership of Urenco, a 4 MWe gas

cooled, graphite moderated high temperature reactor. Or

another one is the eVinci reactor, designed and developed

by Westinghouse to produce up to 5 MWe. I mention just 2

of several solutions promoted right now, but a Canadian

programme to support this development found more

than 15 international applications from interested parties.

In my mind, all these reactor developments have the

potential to serve the customers’ needs, and at least serve

them better than the nuclear technologies being offered by

our industry today.

| | Westinghouse‘s vision of its eVinci micro reactor.


Now if you reflect on the consequences of such a

customer interest driven approach towards nuclear

generation, the required changes for the industry are vast.

The big reactors build today will only be needed in

regulated markets. The big demand will be for this

­inherently safe, simple, flexible, easy to operate, small


Key success factor for such a new micro reactor will be

its manufacturing as a mass product, similar to a wind

generator. To be affordable it will have to be build and sold

in big numbers.

Such a micro reactor is a technical device that is

comparable to a car or an airplane. We consider nuclear

always as something special, but I believe it is technically

less complex than an airplane or a car. The only unique

feature in a nuclear reactors operation is the decay heat,

which can be as much as 30 % of the power generation

before shut down. This has to be removed, which needs to

happen systematically, without any need for external

human involvement. In my opinion an inherently safe

system achieves that. Hence you can really compare this

kind of reactor to a car, an airplane or a wind generator.

So it should be possible to achieve this reactor development

in a similar manner as development happen in those


Car or airplanes are developed with sales of big

numbers in mind. As this is not the prevailing idea in

­nuclear industry so far, financing such a development

might be harder to achieve for this micro reactors.

Ultimately some kind of state support might be required to

launch the process. This could also be in the form of state

backed purchases of these micro reactors. For example

Westinghouse’s development of the eVinci micro reactor

is believed to happen with US military needs in mind,

who is considering buying these in big numbers (200 is

contemplated on the internet) for their needs. This would,

should it become true, assure the market introduction of

this micro reactor.

Similar to car or airplane developments new reactors

will have to be designed to meet consumers needs.

Also similar to those developments the design and the

operation of such a micro reactor will have to be based on

internationally accepted, common licensing requirements.

Here certainly further advances in the international

regulatory framework for nuclear are required. But this is

not something totally new, as for example transport casks

for nuclear material are licensed in one country, and then

these regulations are agreed to and accepted to permit the

use of these casks in other countries.

Customers of micro reactors will want cradle to grave

services: delivery on short notice, easy operation fulfilling

their energy needs, repair and maintenance when required,

and take back services when the energy is spend.

Similar to what you do today with a battery.

This sounds like an obstacle, but again there are

precedents. All micro reactors will want to use enriched

4 MW power,

10 MW heat

Simple design,

proven technology

Inherently safe

TRISO fuel


at point of use



Primary markets –


Micro – distinct

from SMR

| | U-Battery – Micro Modular Technology.


Feature | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

The Economic Potential of SMRs ı Helmut Engelbrecht

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

| | NASA mini-nuclear reactor.


uranium at a level higher than in today’s Light Water

Reactors. In order to minimise the refuelling requirement

most the micro reactor developments consider 19.5 %

enrichment. High enriched material would be even more

efficient, but thanks to expected political concern most

­developers seem to go for fuel with less than 20 % enrichment.

But reactors, that did use high enriched material in

the past (research reactors), have had offers from the

countries, which delivered the fuel, to take the used

enriched material back. Why should this be impossible for

SMRs, in particular as it would certainly be seen to enhance

nuclear security?

Last not least let’s reflect on the economics of these

micro reactors. Ultimately the electricity generation costs

of these devices while mainly depend on the numbers

build. The first of a kind as usually will be extremely

­expensive, but when you build the 1000 th of a kind your

costs will fall towards the cost of material required. Even at

that level it might be hard to match the generation costs of

big nuclear reactors.

But the end customers’ real concern is the overall

energy cost as delivered. And here small machines have a

real advantage as you can easily adjust the capacity to your


Today in countries like Germany the electricity generation

costs only are app. one third of the overall charge for

the kilowatt-hour consumed. The rest is for electricity

transport, ­distribution, taxes and Germany specific

subsidies for renewable sources. Even in well established

electricity markets long term established grids still make

up app. 20 % of the consumers electricity bill. Imagine

what this would be in developing countries, where this

infrastructure needs to be built in parallel to investing in

big electricity generation. So similar to the developments

seen in telecommunication or information technology, one

could imagine this small electricity generation devices

could change the markets for electricity to become much

more distributed, requiring less grid infrastructure. For

remote areas local operation in island mode seems feasible.

The overall price for this is potentially quite competitive.

But with this it will be an individuals’ choice how to organise

one’s electricity and energy supply. So the customer is

free to do establish what he or she considers best.

I sketched here the potential development that could

happen if SMR (small micro reactors) are successfully

developed and established in the electricity business. I am

sure it can be done, but it requires massive changes to

nuclear industry and the way it is used to operate.

On the other hand the industrial and economic

potential is vast. Small distributed generation on this basis

will change the electricity markets.

Small decentralised electricity generation could reduce

the cost for the end user, as transport- and distribution

costs should be reduced. It also will improve supply

security as local disturbances no longer impact national/

international grids.

The economic potential for SMR’s (small, micro

reactors) looks promising. Who will dare to tackle this

market first?


Dr. Helmut Engelbrecht I Nuclear Professional

(CEO Urenco 2005-2015, Chairman World Nuclear

Association 2016-2018)


Feature | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

The Economic Potential of SMRs ı Helmut Engelbrecht

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July


Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

SMRs – Overview on International

Developments and Safety Features

Andreas Schaffrath and Sebastian Buchholz

1 Introduction

In the last years, several well-developed Small Modular

Reactor (SMR) designs from different international

vendors were announced. SMRs are mainly designated

for deployment not only in sparsely populated remote

areas but also near heavily populated cities and may

provide electricity, district heating and potable water. The

construction and deployment of SMRs is also being

promoted in various European countries (e.g. the UK or

Russia) [BUS-16, WNA-19].

SMRs can satisfy the need for low carbon generation

energy sources and especially the need for new capacities,

since significant (conventional and nuclear) power plant

capacities have to be retired and replaced in the coming

decades. Additionally, many countries see nuclear energy

alongside renewables as a possibility for sustainable

development and a reliable energy system [OZA-19].

Especially for strongly growing developing countries,

SMRs can provide the possibility to establish a nuclear

industry with a fraction of the costs of currently operating

nuclear power plants. These savings result mainly due to

complete prefabrication of modules fully equipped in

factories. This results in high qualities, shorter production

times, lower capital costs, standardization and therefore

lower costs due to mass production, simplification of safety

systems by primarily use of passive systems, lower number

of employees for deploying and removal, the opportunity

to deploy one module after another and higher plant availability

due to modular character. SMRs may also replace

older fossil plants and lead consequently to savings of gas,

oil and other fossil resources [BUS-15, WNA-19].

In chapter 2 of this contribution an overview on current

SMR developments is given. Due to the large number of

designs currently in operation, in construction or under

development, the focus is on identifying general construction

und safety trends. These are discussed in chapter

3. The description of individual details is given below for

illustrative purposes only. For the sake of completeness,

issues such as competitiveness, licensing, position of

selected European decision makers are addressed

additionally. Finally, in chapter 4 an overview of necessary

improvements and validation of the nuclear simulation

chain applied in nuclear licensing procedures is provided.

The improved simulation chain will be used for safety

assessments of SMRs according to the current state of the

art in science and technology.

2 Definitions, history and

current developments

After a compilation of different SMR definitions in section

2.1, a short overview on the history (section 2.2) and

­current projects (section 2.3) is provided. This publication

deals exclusively with SMRs for energy and/or power

generation. Engines for nuclear icebreakers, merchant

vessels and submarines, studies of mobile SMRs, propulsion

systems for outer space, as well as military applications

are not considered here, as this would go far

beyond the scope.

2.1 Definitions

There are two different definitions for SMR in literature.

The first one is widely used in North America (e.g. the USA

and Canada). Here, the abbreviation SMR stands for Small

Modular Reactor. The emphasis of this definition is on the

term modular, which characterises, that a (larger) production

unit can consist of different modules, which may

be added one by one. Also, it is possible to refuel one

module, while the others continue operation. The term

small in the definition SMR characterises an electrical

power output of less than 300 MW e . In this scale the

primary coolant system, selected parts of the secondary

and, where necessary, intermediate circuit and auxiliary

systems can be arranged in an integral reactor pressure

vessel (RPV). An SMR module may be transported to the

construction site in one piece or in few parts [WNA-19].

On the contrary, the IAEA defines SMR as Small

and Medium Sized Reactors. These reactors can have

capacities up to 700 MWe. The modular character is not

met by this definition but is also not excluded [BUS-15].

According to this definition, all reactors ever built in this

power range – even the VVER440s – are SMRs [SCA-19].

Therefore, in the following the focus is on modular SMRs

2.2 History

The idea of small (modular) reactors is not a new one.

Since the mid of the last century the former USSR and the

USA have used SMRs for


energy and heat production of remote areas (e.g. Arctic,

the Antarctica or Greenland) and


engines for their submarines, merchant vessels and ice

breakers [BUS-15].

One well-known example is e.g. the Army Nuclear Power

Program (ANPP) [SUL-90]. Numerous information and

pictures about the ANPP are published on the website

Army Engineer History of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

[ARH-171]. The ANPP was supervised by the U.S. Army

Engineer Reactors Group and had it headquarters in Fort

Belvoir (Virginia). Eight nuclear power plants (NPPs) were

built and operated in remote areas. The program ran

from 1954 to 1977, when the last nuclear reactor was

decommissioned. The main tasks were


to carry out research and development in the field of

nuclear power plants together with the Atomic Energy



to operate the nuclear power plants of the Corps of



to carry out training measures for the operation of

these nuclear power plants,


to provide technical assistance to other authorities as

needed and


to develop programs for the application of nuclear reactors

for military use.

One peculiarity was the naming of the SMRs. The name

consists of two letters followed by a number and in some

cases a third letter. The first letter indicates whether the

installation is stationary (S), mobile (M) or portable (P),

the second letter whether the power is high (H), medium

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(M) or low (L). Then the sequence number of the reactor

follows. Last the character A is added in case of site installation.

The sites and names of the SMRs of the ANPP are:

Fort Belvoir (SM-1), National Reactor Testing Station in

Idaho (SL-1 and ML-1), Camp Century, Greenland (PM-

2A), Sundance United Air Station, Wyoming (PM-1),

McMurdo Station, Antarctica (PM-3A), Fort Greely, Alaska

(SM-1A), Liberty Ship Sturgis anchored in Gatún Lake

(MH-1A) [ARH-172]. Selected SMRs of the ANPP are

shown in Figure 1.

The ANPP has achieved numerous pioneering



detailed designs for pressurized water, boiling water,

gas-cooled and liquid metal reactors (all ANPP NPPs),


first nuclear power plant with a containment (SM-1),


first use of stainless steel for fuel element assemblies



first nuclear power plant in the United States to supply

electricity to a commercial grid (SM-1),

SM-1, Fort Belvoir (Virginia)


first nuclear district heating source in the United States



first replacement of a steam generator in the United

States (SM-1A),


first containment with pressure suppression (SM-1A),


first operational nuclear power plant with boiling water

reactor (SL-1),


first portable, prefabricated, modular nuclear power

plant to be built, operated and dismantled (PM-2A),


first use of nuclear energy for seawater desalination



first mobile, land transportable nuclear power plant



first nuclear-powered gas turbine with closed Brayton

circuit (ML-1) and


first (on a ship) floating nuclear power plant


Nuclear ship propulsion is mainly used by the military (e.g.

nuclear submarines). For this purpose, pressurized water

PM-1, Sundance (Wyoming)


SL-1, Nat. Reactor Test. Station (Idaho)

PM-3A, McMurdo Station (Antarctica)

PM-2A, Camp Century (Greenland)

SM-1A, Fort Greely (Alaska)

| | Fig. 1.

Selected reactors and sites of the Army Nuclear Power Program (all pictures were published by the U.S. Army on [ARH-172]).

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| | Fig. 2.

Nuclear cargo vessels (left: NS Savannah, first commercial nuclear cargo vessel (picture: U.S. Government), right: NS Otto Hahn, third civil nuclear cargo vessel

(picture: Jens Bludau)).

reactors (PWRs) with an output of around 100 mega-watts

are usually used. Nuclear propulsion has also been tested

for the civilian sector. Examples are or were the Soviet

icebreakers Lenin, Arktika and Sibir [ARV-17] and the

cargo ships Savannah (USA), Otto Hahn (Germany), Mutsu

(Japan) and Sevmorput (USSR). The NS Savannah and NS

Otto Hahn are shown in Figure 2. The Russian icebreakers

Rossiya, Tajmyr, Sovetskiy Soyuz, Waigatsch, Yamal and 50

Let Pobedy are still in operation today [ARV-17].

2.3 Current SMR developments

Currently, there are numerous as well as comprehensive

activities in the operation, construction and development

of SMRs. Apart from nuclear ship engines in icebreakers

and submarines, which are not subject of this article,

currently four SMR designs are operating, two in

China and one in India and Russia each (see Table 1 and

Figure 3).

The CEFR (China Experimental Fast Reactor) is China’s

first fast neutron reactor (see upper left photography of

Figure 3). It is located in the vicinity of Beijing and aims

to provide China with fast-reactor design, construction

and operational experience. The CEFR is a 65 MW th

respectively 20 MW e sodium-cooled, pool-type reactor

with a 30-year design lifetime and a target burn-up of

100 ­MWd/kg and will be a key facility for testing and

researching components and materials to be used in subsequent

fast reactors. The CEFR is the basis for the development

of the CDFR (China Demonstration Fast Reactor),

which shall have a capacity of 1000-1200 MW e at present


The CNP-300 is the first own development of a nuclear

power plant in China and was built between 1985 and

1991 at the Quinshan site [IAEA-12]. This design was

­exported to Pakistan, where two reactors were constructed

at Chasman site in 1999 and 2012. The CNP-300 is a

CEFR, Tuoli [POW-11]

4 EGP-6 units, Bilibino NPP [INSP-99]

CNP-300, Quinchan [MPS-14]

4 PHWR-200, Kaiga NPP [NS-19]

| | Fig. 3.

SMRs currently in operation.

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Name Type Manufacturer Country P [MW e ] Status Site

| | Tab. 1.

SMRs in operation.

| | Tab. 2.

SMRs in construction.

pressurized water reactor and has a capacity of 999 MW th

respectively 325 MW e .

The EGP-6, a scaled down version of the RBMK reactor

design, is currently the world’s smallest and northernmost

nuclear reactor in operation [INSP-99]. The only four units

of this type are operating at Bilibino NPP. Plans for

shutdown have been announced. The Bilibino NPP shall be

­replaced by the floating nuclear power station Akademic

Lomonosov (see below).

The PHWR-220 is an indigenously in India built

­pressurized heavy-water reactor. Sixteen units of this

series were constructed at 5 different sites. The PHWR-220

have an output of roughly 800 MW th and 220 MW e .

6 SMR designs (see Table 2 and Figure 4) are currently

under construction. These are the ACPR50S in China

(PWR), the CAREM in Argentina (PWR), 2 CNP-300 in

Pakistan (LWR), 2 KLT-40S in Russia (PWR), 2 HTR-PM

in China (GCR) and a PFBR-500 in India (LMR). In

the ­following these SMRs are briefly described with

­exception of the CNP-300, which has already been

introduced above.

In 2015, China has decided to build an indigenously

modular floating nuclear power plant. This SMR is called

ACPR50S and has an electrical power output of 60 MW.

The reactor is designed to supply energy to islands or

remote coastal areas or offshore oil and gas production

facilities [NFS-162]. The ACPR50S can also be applied for

seawater desalination. For instance, approx. 20 planned

floating nuclear power plants could ensure the supply of

fresh water to islands in the South China Sea [EGN-19]. In

January 2016, China General Nuclear Power Corporation

(CGN) and China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation

(CSIC), China’s largest shipbuilding company, signed a

strategic cooperation agreement for the development of

offshore reactors [NFS-161]. On November 4, 2016, CGN

also announced the start of construction on the first

demonstration unit of a floating nuclear power plant

Currently operating

CEFR LMR CNEIC CN 20 Operating, Prototype for CDFR-1000 Tuoli (CN)

CNP-300 PWR CNNC CN 325 Operating, additional planned Qinshan 1 (CN), Chashma (PK)

EGP-6 RBMK OMZ Group Ru 12 4 operating Bilinino Nuclear Power Plant (RU)

PHWR-220 HWR BARC IN 236 16 operating, additional planned Rajasthan, Madras, Narora, Kakrapar, Kaiga

(all IN)

Name Type Manufacturer Country P [MW e ] Status Site

Currently under construction

ACPR50S PWR CGNPC CN 60 Start of construction November 2016 Demonstration offshore Nuclear Reactor (CN)

CAREM PWR CNEA AR 27 Start of construction: February 2014 Atucha (AR)

CNP-300 PWR CNNC CN 325 2 blocks under construction Chashm (PK)

HTR-PM GCR INET CN 105 Demonstration plant under

construction since 2012 Bau (2 modules)



RU 35 2 reactors in Akademik Lomonosov,

deployment: 2016

PFBR-500 LMR IGCAR IN 500 Under construction, first criticality

planned in September 2014

Shidaowan (CN)

Barge Akademik Lomonosov (RU)

Madras (IN)

with the signing of the purchase contract for the first

ACPR50S reactor.

In Argentina a CAREM-25 [MAC-14] is currently built by

CNEA at the Atucha site northwest of Buenos Aires. A

special feature is the integral design of the primary circuit,

where pressurizer, steam generator and control rod drives

are integrated within the reactor pressure vessel. Since the

core is cooled with natural convection even in operation,

no pumps are necessary [WNN-141]. First tests of the

CAREM started in 2016.

The construction of the HTR-PM started in December

2012 in Shidao Bay Nuclear Power Plant. It consists of two

high-temperature gas-cooled pebble-bed reactors with an

electrical output of 105 MW each. Both reactors are

connected to a single steam turbine. The HTR-PM is partly

based on the HTR-10 prototype reactor and expected to be

the first Gen IV reactor to enter operation [ZUZ-16].

In Russia the floating NPP Akademic Lomonosov has

been built in a shipyard in St. Petersburg since 2007. It

contains two KLT-40S reactors with a thermal power of

150 MW each. These reactors are derivatives of the KLT-40

[IAEA-00], which were used in icebreakers of the

Sevmorput class and the KLT-40M used in icebreakers of

the Taymyr class [OKB-13]. The Akademic Lomonosov shall

be deployed to Pevek at the East Siberian Sea in order to

provide electricity district heating and potable water to the


The PFBR-500 [CHE-06] is a fast breeder developed

by the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research and is

under construction at the Madras Atomic Power Station in

Kalpakkam (India). First criticality is planned to achieve in

2020 [WNN-19]. The PFBR-500 has an electrical output of

500 MW and will burn MOX fuel with expected burn-up

of up to 100 GWd/t. It is is a pool type reactor with 1750

tonnes of sodium.

There are plans for the construction of 11 more SMR

concepts (see Table 3). In addition, roughly 50 SMR


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­concepts are at a design state without explicit deployment


3 GRS study on safety and international

development of small modular reactors

In the last years, several well-developed SMR designs from

different international vendors were announced. For

creating an overview about current SMR designs to identify

essential issues for reactor safety research, GRS performed

a study of safety and international development of SMR.

This is the basis to specify needs of adaptation of system

codes used at GRS for reactor safety research. The large

number of SMR designs in operation, under construction

CAREM, Atucha NPP [EN-17]

Barge Akademik Lomonosov [POW-18]

| | Fig. 4.

Selected SMRs currently under construction.

and under development at an advanced state of planning

requires a generic approach and the identification of

general trends.

In section 3.1 the changed political framework in

­Germany and in section 3.2 the motivation of GRS to

­investigate SMRs are described. Afterwards in section 3.3

selected results of the SMR study such as technical trends on

factory fabrication and transport, compactness and modularity,

core design, improved core cooling and ­exclusion of

accidents and features for preventing and limiting the impact

of severe accidents are presented. ­Afterwards first estimations

concerning economic viability and competitiveness

(section 3.4) and licensing (section 3.5) are summarized.

HTR-PM, Sidaowan NPP [WNN-16]

PFBR-500, Madras [COI-18]

Name Type Manufacturer Country P [MW e ] Status Site

Concepts with planned deployment

ACP-100 LWR CNNC CN 100 Planned construction

(Start 06/2014)

Zhangzhou, later: Jiangxi,

Hunan, Jilin (CN)

ARC-100 SFR ARC USA 100 Well advanced development (CA)

BREST LMR RDIPE RU 300 Planned construction Beloyarsk (RU)

Integral MSR MSR Terrestrial Energy CA 192 Well advanced development (CA)

NuScale PWR NuScale Power

and Flour

USA 60 Well advanced development (US)

PRISM SFR GE Hitachi USA 311 Well advanced development –

SMART PWR KAERI KR 100 Well advanced development (SA)

SMR-160 PWR Holtec


USA 160 Well advanced development (US, CA)

SVBR-100 LMR RDIPE RU 250 Planned construction RIAR in Dimitrovgrad (RU)

VBER-300 PWR OKBM RU 300 Well advanced development (KZ, RU)

| | Tab. 3.

SMRs at an advanced state of planning.

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Finally, in section 3.6 a sound overview on the position of

selected European countries is given.

3.1 Changed political framework in Germany

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster [GRS-16], the

German Federal government decided to terminate the

use of nuclear energy latest in 2022. The thirteenth

amendment of the Atomic Energy Act [ATG-11] came into

force on August 6, 2011. It regulates that the licenses of the

seven oldest and the Krümmel NPP expired and that the

remaining nine NPPs are to be shut down by 2022.

Consequently, the pressurized water reactor (PWR)

Grafenrheinfeld was shut down in 2015 and the boiling

water reactor (BWR) Gundremmingen Unit B in 2017


Worldwide, national government policies differ on the

further use of nuclear energy for electricity generation.

Many countries (e.g. China, Finland, France, Hungary,

Turkey, UK, USA, Russia) are planning to build new NPPs

or at least maintain and/or extend their operating time. In

Europe, currently 27 % of all electricity consumed in the

European Union (EU) is generated by NPPs. The projection

in the latest European Nuclear Illustrative Programme

(PINC) forecasts a stable nuclear capacity in Europe

between 95 and 105 GW e from 2030 onwards. At this time,

roughly 80 to 90 % of the installed capacity would be

new builds [EC-16].

Currently SMRs are discussed worldwide as one

interesting option for new builds in almost all countries,

which continue to use nuclear energy for commercial

power generation. For asserting of legitimate nuclear

safety and/or security interests, German authorities

­require in this context, own and independent expertise for

the safety assessments of NPPs and other nuclear facilities

in our neighborhood on an international level of the state

of the art in science and technology. This position, for

which a cross-party consensus exists, is e.g. stipulated in

the coalition agreement of the current Federal Government

[BR-18]. For this reason, the German Federal

Government continues to fund reactor safety research

which is in line with national and international framework

conditions and obligations.

The technical expertise in Germany for promoting

comprehensive safety reviews and ambitious binding

targets, is essentially built-up and provided by the

Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS)

gGmbH [GRS-19]. GRS is an independent non-profit

organization and entirely funded by projects. The main

shareholders are the Federal Republic of Germany and the

Technical Inspection Agencies, each with a share of

46.15 %. GRS is the


main technical support organization (TSO) in nuclear

safety for the German Federal Government (especially

the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature

Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the

­Federal Foreign Office (AA)),


a major research organization in nuclear safety (e.g. for

the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

(BMWi), BMU and the Federal Ministry for Education

and Research (BMBF)) and


traditionally involved in numerous international

activities (e.g. of the European Commission (EC), the

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the

Nuclear Energy Agency of Organization for Economic

Co-operation and Development (OECD-NEA)).

As a first step, in this direction GRS performed a study on

Safety and International development of Small Modular

Reactors (SMR) [GRS-15], from which selected results are

presented in the following sections.

3.2 GRS study on safety and international

development of small modular reactors

The aims of the GRS study on Safety and International

Development of Small Modular Reactors [GRS-15],

published in 2015, were


to set-up a sound overview on current SMR,


to identify essential issues of SMR reactor safety

research and future R&D projects and


to identify needs for adaption of system codes of GRS

used in this field of activity.

In the following, selected results (e.g. general trends and

safety features) are specifically described for the first

working point. For this it was advantageous to assign the

SMRs compiled in the Tables 1, 2 and 3 into groups.

Criteria for this were:


the coolant (light-water, heavy-water, liquid metals,

gases and molten salts),


the place of construction (onshore, offshore, subseabased)



the state of deployment (in operation, construction,

­development with / without specific construction


3.3 Selected technical trends

In the following the selected trends of the SMRs are

summarized. Some of these trends apply for all SMRs

(­section 3.3.1 up to section 3.3.2), while others (section

3.3.3 up to section 3.3.5) are only valid for light-water

cooled SMRs. These SMRs have best chances of realization

in large numbers because they are based on a long-term

­operational proven technology and an already existing fuel

cycle. Furthermore, all nuclear stakeholder (especially of

the regulators) have collected the greatest experiences

with this technology by far.

3.3.1 Factory fabrication and transport

The definition SMR contains the two terms small and

modular. The term small characterises that SMR are small

(electrical output of less than 300 MW) in comparison to

currently operated NPP, which currently have an electrical

output of roughly 1000 to 1750 MW. Modular means

that these SMR have a modular construction and major

com ponents of a SMR are small enough to be built on a

production line in a factory and assembled on-site

[GAD-19]. Factory production allows to produce several

units simultaneously and not as present assembling one

item at a time [BAJ-18]. Standardisation increases quality

and reduces training [HUK-13].

The components of all current power reactors (for

­example in a PWR the reactor pressure vessel, the steam

generators, the main coolant pumps, the pressurizer and

the blow-off tank) are so large and heavy, so that these must

be manufactured, transported individually to the construction

site and connected here to each other by piping.

However, site construction has a higher risk of sub- standards

and/or rejects. The crafts are e.g. exposed to strongly

varying weather conditions, dirt and grime. Further more,

assembly and mounting devices are only available to a

­limited extend compared to a factory pro­duction [HUK-13].

On-site technical inspection is more ­difficult and is also

more expensive. The same is valid for the costs of on-site

production due to higher ancillary costs [SCA-19].

The advantage of SMR design with ship, truck or even

railway delivering in mind is that the size of modules


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allows their transports from the factory to the construction

site as one unit. Unlike conventional large power plants,

which have huge components that are difficult to ­transport,

SMRs do not require huge custom transporters, highway

closures, or reinforcement of bridges along the transportation

route. With SMRs, getting all the equipment to the

construction site is a lot easier [NGR-11, WNN-18]. This

context is e.g. addressed in [POW-17] and by several SMR

designer. In [POW-17] a picture is shown in which current

construction (e.g. of Olkiluoto 3) is compared to a factory

build module, transported by a truck (see Figure 5).

| | Fig. 5.

Comparison of site construction (here Olkiluoto 3) and a factory-built module delivered by truck

(taken over from [POW-17]).

SMRs are much less demanding in terms of siting. Large

reactors need low population zones, and a relatively large

sites with access to large volumes of cooling water. Therefore,

the number of suitable construction sites for SMRs is

far larger than the number of construction sites for large

reactors. At the same time several of these locations

( especially the site far away from large rivers) are more

difficult to reach [WNN-18]. This is now possible e.g. with

the trucks.

3.3.2 Compactness and modularity

The SMR designs are mainly characterized by high

compactness, which supports the modularity. Modularity

in turn leads to large savings of space. Consequently, the

modules can be factory produced and deployed to the site

by truck, barge or train (see section 3.3.1).

Many of the SMRs are proposed as an integral design

[GRS-15]. Integral means, that the components of the

primary coolant circuit (e.g. core, pressurizer, steam

generators, main coolant pumps (if the respective SMR has

a forced convection cooling)) are arranged within the

­reactor pressure vessel. This construction excludes large

break loss of coolant accidents (LBLOCA) by design, since

no large connection lines are needed (see section 3.3.4). In

some cases, also the control rod drives are integrated into

the reactor pressure vessel [SUH-16].

Beside the integral design, also loop designs with very

short coaxial connection nozzles can be found (e.g.

KLT-40S). Here the hot legs are located in the inner pipe

while the cold legs are in the outer part of the coaxial pipe

in order to minimize temperature losses [IAEA-00].

However, the compact SMR designs require new types

of extremely powerful steam generators able to transfer

large heat quantities at a low overall height at the same

time [SCA-19]. For this purpose, bayonet, helical coil or

plate heat exchangers were adapted from conventional

energy technology. In addition, new arrangements of the

heat exchangers have also been developed (e.g. the steam

generator of the SCOR is placed on the top of the RPV (see

Figure 6 taken from publication [SCA-18]).

The arrangement of the helical coil steam generators

could be either several steam generators in the downcomer

(e.g. in CAREM) or one steam generator around the riser

(e.g. NuScale). Common in all designs is that the efficiency

is increased by thin walls and highly turbulent flow fields,

which makes the steam generators susceptible to flow-­

induced vibrations. Experiments for verification of the

­performance e.g. for the helical coil heat exchangers were

performed for example for the NuScale and the IRIS

concepts at the full-length Helical Coil Steam Generator

(HCSG) tests at SIET in Piacenza (Italy) [WNN-142]. CFD

calculations mentioned in [DEA-14] show a strong

­secondary flow inside the helical tubes, which depends

strongly on the torsion rate (fraction of pitch to diameter of

the helix) and may have an impact on heat transfer.

3.3.3 Core design

The reactor cores of light-water cooled SMRs consist of 40

up to 80 shortened standard fuel assemblies arranged according

to optimized loading patterns. The cores have an

active length between 2 and 2.5 m. The fuel (UO 2 as

well MOX) is higher enriched and shall be burned-up

­significantly higher. The SMR cores are designed for fuel

cycles between two and ten years [SCA-19]. All light-water

cooled SMRs have a negative temperature coefficient for

both primary coolant and fuel. Some concepts spare a

boron acid system in order to safe space and lower the

­temperature coefficient. Instead of a boron system,

burnable absorbers like Gd 2 O 3 , IFBA, Er or B 4 C are used.

Compensation of the excess reactivity is also achieved by

the use of the control rods which are also be used for short

time control of the core. Used materials here are Ag In-Cd,

B 4 C and Dy 2 Ti 2 O 7 [BUS-15, GRS-15].

In NPPs with several modules one module can be

refueled, while the others continue operation. The output

of the multi-module production NPP is reduced only in this

time span; but the plant is not entirely powered down. The

outage can be planned and carried out at times of low

energy demand. At the end of their lives the modules are

returned to the factories for disassembling [SCA-19].

3.3.4 Improved core cooling and exclusion

of accidents

The core cooling of the SMR was improved compared to

the currently operated LWR. For this similar design

principles as for the advanced Gen III / III+ reactors are

applied [WNN-18]. Concerning [SCA-19] these are e.g.:


the reduction of the power density of the core (up to

-50% compared to currently operated Gen II LWR),


a low positioning of the core inside the RPV,


a high-water coverage of the core so that even for a

break of the largest line connected at RPV no core

­exposure occurs during blowdown,


large water inventors in – respectively outside the RPV

to ensure excellent slow-acting accident control



large heat storage inside the containment as a result of

large water inventories


passive equipment for heat removal from the RPV and

the containment,

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passive cooling of the RPV exterior in the event of core

melt scenarios to ensure retention of the core melt

inside the RPV.

There is a scientific consensus, that up to an electrical

power output of roughly 200 MW decay heat can be safely

removed from the RPV and core melt can be excluded. The

improved heat removal features result on the one hand

from the larger surface to volume ration of the RPV. This

again results from the diameter to length ratio of the vessel.

Compared to Gen II LWR, the reactor core has a smaller

distance to the RPV wall, which leads to a better heat conduction.

Additionally, the heat transfer resistance of an

SMR RPV wall is lower than the RPV wall of a Gen II LWR,

because the wall thickness decreases with the curvature of

the vessel [SCA-19].

Several SMRs exclude accidents by design. Many of the

light-water cooled SMR are operating under natural

circulation without the use of main coolant pumps (e.g.

CAREM, NuScale, etc.). Consequently, in these concepts,

no pump trips have to be considered. But especially during

the start-up phase this may lead to flow instabilities like

geysering or density wave oscillations, the designers have

to deal with. Descriptions of such phenomena for the

integrated modular reactor (IMR) design can be found in

[DIX-13]. Boron dilution accidents can be excluded for

SMR with boron free cores. When using integral control

rod drives (e.g. CAREM) the threat of an unprotected

control rod ejection is essentially eliminated, since the

pressure difference between top and lower edge of the

control rod is not formed out of ambient and primary

pressure anymore but level difference in the reactor

pressure vessel only [MAC-14]. Finally, the integral

design can exclude large break loss-of-coolant accidents

(LBLOCA) [HUK-13].

SMR concepts consider three main design principles for

a save control of postulated LOCA: First, the number of

lines connected to the RPV is minimised. Second, the

connections of the pipe are far above the core and third,

lines with radioactive coolant outside shall be avoided.

Since the maximum break sizes of a Gen II LWR (a double

ended break leads to a break area of roughly 1 m²) and a

SMR vary by up to 3 orders of magnitude, LOCA in SMR

can be easier controlled and leads to lower loads on RPV

internal and on the containment [SCA-19].

As mentioned above, in many SMRs decay heat removal

relies on passive safety systems. The operation mode

of these systems is based on laws of nature (e.g. free

convection, condensation, evaporation). The decay heat is

removed by natural circulation to large water inventories

arranged in large heights in- or outside the containment.

However, at present there are neither uniform definitions

of passive safety systems nor requirements for experimental

and/or analytical evidences [SCA-19]. While the

definitions of IAEA [IAEA-91] and EPRI [EPRI-99] allow an

active initiation of the operation of a passive safety system,

German Safety Requirements for NPP [BMU-15] do not

allow this. Systems with an active initiation of operation

would, according to [BMU-15], be an active system, for

which a n+2 degree of redundancy is required. Due to a

current existing lack of operation experience there

are, however concerns regarding the performance and

reliability of passive safety systems [SCA-19].

The light-water cooled SMRs’ containment have a

passive cooling of at least 72 h. Some SMR even have an

infinite passive containment cooling to an ultimate heat

sink which could be either air or water. Four different

­design approaches exist for this issue: These are

| | Fig. 6.

New types of extremely powerful steam generators for SMRs (left: steam generator is placed on the top

of the RPV (SCOR [THC-15]), middle: 12 helical coil type heat exchangers arranged in the downcomer

(CAREM [MAC-14]), right: one helical coil type SG is arranged around the rizer (NuScale [IND-14]).

– Figure 6 was taken from [SCA-18].

horizontally or vertically containments arranged in large

water pools, subsea-based containments, floating containments

and containment cooled by heat pipes [SCA-18].

3.3.5 Features for preventing and limiting

the impact of severe accidents

In general, the smaller amount of nuclear fuel in the SMR

cores, the improved core cooling features and the ­exclusion

of accidents (both described in section 3.3.4) lead to a

reduction of the probability and consequences of core

melting. As a result, the off-site emergency planning

requirements can be scaled down to be proportionate to

those reduced risks. This includes inter alia emergency

planning zones (EPZ), which do not have to be extended

beyond the plant side boundary [WNN-18].

SMRs contain new ideas to increase the resilience

against external events (e.g. earthquakes, explosion

pressure waves, air plane crashes). This includes among

others the arrangement of SMR modules in (water filled)

caverns partially or completely below the ground level or

at the ground of on ocean in a water depth of up to roughly

100 meters. Figure 7 shows the reactor building of the

French SMR I-150, which shall be buried under an earth

wall [CHJ-17].

| | Fig. 7.

The reactor building of the I-150 with 4 modules shall be buried under an earth wall [CHJ-17].

3.4 Economic viability and competitiveness

In principle, questions of economic viability and competitiveness

are not included in the working fields of GRS,

which are exclusively safety aspects. Since both issues are

the ultimately basis for a positive construction decision,

GRS has roughly dealt with these aspects for estimating

whether SMR can be an option for new builds in the direct


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neighborhood of Germany. These are the prerequisite for

the development of additional competences as well as the

necessary extension and validation of the evidence tools

developed by GRS and which have been successfully

applied for these issues in the last decades. Unfortunately,

many countries planning to build SMRs have not yet

­committed themselves to specific designs. Therefore, only

fundamental estimations can be performed, of which

selected aspects are discussed in the following.

The evaluation of various studies (e.g. [LOG-14]), and

publications (e.g. [ENH-19]) as well as qualitative considerations

e.g. by [HUK-13] in this regard indicates that

SMRs can be (under certain assumptions) competitive

compared to Gen II, III and III+ LWR as well as in the

­medium term to gas powered plants. However, the extend

of costs considered vary from study to study.

For SMRs it is the key to offset the economies of

scale, which seemed to be in favor of large reactors, with

economies of numbers, provided by the concept of modules

or entire plants built in factories and shipped to the site


Since, at this stage no valid data are publicly available,

only some qualitative considerations are made in the

following: SMRs have a large application spectrum and

can be used for many purposes such as electricity, heat

production and desalination. They require lower capital

costs for construction. A production unit can be extended

module by module, already after connecting the first

module, electricity and / or heat can be generated and

sold. The risks of delays can be eliminated by factory

production of the nuclear island. After transportation to

the site the modules can be immediately connected to grid.

The SMRs have been designed for longer operating cycles

and require less maintenance. Finally, SMRs can be

disposed easier, since the complete modules can be transported

back to the factory and could be dismantled there.

But however, it must be mentioned that the different

studies indicating the economic feasibility as well as a

­significant market potential base on the assumptions, that


all entry barriers have been overcome,


SMRs are produced in series in factories, which have to

be built first,


efficient transnational licensing procedures have been

established (see section 3.5).

With regard to the second bullet, it should be pointed out,

that it is not clear which company respectively economy is

willing and able to realize the necessary investments.

Furthermore, approvals should be recognized internationally.

For example, the construction surveillance

could be carried out by a TSO in the country, in which the

SMR factory is located. All aspects discussed above require

a harmonization of definitions (e.g. for passive safety

­systems – see section 3.3.4), rules and regulations (e.g. for

experimental and analytical evidence).

As already mentioned in the introduction of section 3.3

SMRs based on LWR technology offer currently advantages,

due to the experiences of the nuclear regulators collected

with light-water reactor technology in the last decades.

Since a licensing process lasts several years, SMRs in

operation or even under construction are in advance.

Licenses have been granted for light-water cooled SMRs

e.g. for CAREM in 2010 and SMART in 2012.

3.6 Position of Selected European Countries

In the following, the position on SMRs of selected European

countries (Germany, United Kingdom, Russia) and the

European Commission is summarized.

According to the 13 th amendment of the Atomic Energy

Act [ATG-11] in Germany neither an SMR will be built or

operated. The European Commission on the other hand

proposes a licensed SMR by 2025 and operation of a SMR

by 2030 as an important strategic target/priority.

In the United Kingdom (UK) the National Nuclear

Laboratories have published a report on SMR concepts,

feasibility and potential in 2014 [NNL-14]. Subsequently

the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

called for expression of interests in a SMR competition to

identify the best value for the UK (2016).

Russia, where 70 % of Russia’s territory and 20 % of

population cannot use the services of centralized energy

providing, has a high potential and interest for SMR

application. The base for civil SMR development are e.g.

SMRs of the Russian Navy (with an operational experience

of approx. 6000 reactor years) and the civil icebreakers

and cargo ships (with an additional operational ­experience

of approx. 370 reactor years) [ARV-17].

One example for the respective extensive Russian

activities are the replacement of the the Bilibino NPP by the

floating nuclear power station Akademik Lomonosov (see

section 2.3 and Figure 4). But Russia is also increasingly

developing SMR for export. The target markets are Asia,

Africa and Latin America, where countries are facing

challenges related to the supply of fossil fuels and grid

development [PEJ-18].

3.5 Licensing

The following section describes necessary global harmonization

of rules and regulations and changes in current licensing

procedures, which are prerequisites for SMRs being successful

in the market. The decisions necessary for the implementation

are taken by respective national governments and

regulators. In this sense, the following remarks are only brief

summaries of the current discussion in the nuclear community,

which may differ from the GRS view.

The studies concerning the economic viability and

­competitiveness indicate that a cost efficiency of SMR

requires the construction of minimum 80 up to 100

identical units worldwide. The phrase identical means,

that the same design has to be deployed in all target

markets. Currently the SMR vendors desire to reduce the

number, the time and financial effort for the nuclear

­licensing procedure. This includes, for example, that if

identical modules are added to a production unit, no new

licensing procedure is required for the nuclear island.

4 GRS simulation chain, identification of

modelling gaps and priorities for closure

The focus of this publication is to provide an overview on

international developments and safety features on SMRs,

which are in several countries of our neighborhood an

interesting option for nuclear new builds. The Gesellschaft

für Anlagen und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) gGmbH, is the

main German technical support organization in nuclear

safety. It supports the German Federal government e.g.

in asserting legitimate nuclear safety and/or security

interests (e.g. by promoting comprehensive safety reviews

and ambitious binding targets). This require the necessarily

know-how as well as qualified numerical simulation tools.

However, these tools must be suitable extended and

­validated at first. Necessary items are summarized below

briefly and concisely. However, the following list does not

claim to be complete.

Today, a comprehensive, historically grown scientific

code system is available at GRS. An overview of this

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| | Fig. 8.

The Nuclear Simulation Chain of GRS taken over from [SCA-15, SCA-17] and Negligible Modified.

simulation chain was e.g. presented at the 1 st Sino-German

Symposium on Fundamentals of Advanced Nuclear Safety

Technology in March 2015 [SCA-15] and published in

[SCA-17] in 2017. In general, GRS develops, as far as

possible, its own codes, because this approach leads

to an improved understanding of the relevant physical

phenomena. This approach allows GRS to be independent

of the interests of commercial software developers and

therefore to improve selected codes to respond faster and

more flexible to current events. The identification of work

required for this was one main result of the GRS SMR

study. The following remarks shall give a brief overview of

what is still to be done.

The structure of this nuclear simulation chain is

depicted in Figure 8 [SCA-15, SCA-17]. It consists of GRS’

own developments (deep blue boxes) and third-party

codes (white boxes). Many codes can be coupled simply for

data transfer (indicated by the dotted lines) or in a more

complex way through interfaces (indicated by red lines) in

Figure 8. The latter option requires the development of

appropriate interfaces. The advantages of coupling will be

discussed more detailed later in this section.

The codes are assigned to the following main thematic

areas: reactor physics, thermal-hydraulics/severe core

damage and structural mechanics (columns in Figure 8).

The systems/components: reactor core, reactor coolant

system (RCS), containment which can be simulated with

the codes are arranged in rows and correspond to the

respective fundamental safety functions control of reactivity,

core cooling and enclosure of radioactivity. In addition,

there is a fourth row, which contains other codes (e.g. for

visualization, sensitivity, uncertainty and probabilistic

dynamic analysis).

From GRS’ point of view at least short and medium-term

proofs for SMRs introduced by vendors and operators in

nuclear procedures will be assessed by independent

recalculations of regulators and/or TSOs with the simulation

tools already developed, validated and successfully

applied for Gen II LWR. These are e.g. the GRS developments

QUABOX/CUBBOX (a 3-D neutron kinetics core

model) and the code system AC 2 consisting of the codes

ATHLET (a lumped parameter code for analysis of leaks

and transients in the reactor coolant circuit), ATHLET-CD

(the extension of ATHLET for severe accident analyses in

the RCS including core meltdown and fission product

release) and COCOSYS (a lumped parameter code for

analysis of conditions within the containment and

buildings of NPP in case of accidents and severe accidents).

The neutron kinetics core QUABOX/CUBBOX requires

further model improvements and validation e.g. for:


long fuel cycle length (> 24 month),


cores with higher burn-up (> 50 MWd/kg) and/or

higher fuel enrichment,


advanced loading pattern,


boron free cores under consideration of the behavior of

burnable absorber at the beginning of new cycles,


moveable reflectors for long-term compensation of

­excess reactivity.

The code system AC 2 requires e.g. further model improvements

and validation for:


innovative, high performance heat exchangers

(­bayonet, helical coiled and plate heat exchanger),


the assessment of occurrence of flow induced ­vibrations

and their effects,


the operation mode and operation boundaries of heat

pipes (viscous, sonic, entrainment, capillary and boiling

limits), enhancement of the parameter range of

correlations towards low pressures, improvement and

validation of the semi-empirical closure correlations

for interphase friction, heat and mass transfer and


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if necessary implementation of properties for new heat

pipe working fluids,


single/two phase flow natural convection, flow

instabilities and transition range between single and

two natural convection,


passive safety systems (special components, start-up

behavior, mutual interaction of different passive safety

systems or trains of one passive safety system, ­extension

of the scope of correlations for containment heat



check-valves, in which the opening cross section and

the associated form loss is calculated dependent on the

pressure difference up- and downstream the valve,


3D models for water pools/environment (ultimate

containment heat sink), temperature and velocity

fields, stratification,


heat transfer at bundle surfaces at free convection,

subcooled or saturated boiling conditions,


steam condensation at containment walls, structures

and internals especially for the case of small break

LOCA, inertised containments or containments

operated at near vacuum conditions,


new coupling (strategy) between ATHLET and COCOSYS,


infinite passive containment cooling to an ultimate heat

sink in ocean environment (influence of seawater,

mussel growth, etc.),


heat transfers of horizontally arranged containment

in large water pools or the ocean at RA-numbers of

approx. 1015.

The above mentioned, open issues shall be processed and

closed with national and international research alliances.

One example is the EU project ELSMOR (Towards European

Licensing of Small Modular Reactors), which has received

approval for grant agreement preparations under the

European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation Literature

programme. Scheduled to be launched in the summer of

2019, a total of 15 organisations from 8 countries will

participate in ELSMOR, to which the EU has granted EUR

3.5 million. GRS leads in ELSMOR two important work

packages. The consortium consists of support organisations

of European TSOs, universities, power companies,

and some of the developers of a French SMR design I-150

[CHJ-17]. ELSMOR is developing systematic methods for

the safety assessments of new and innovative reactors

(here especially SMRs). The project shall contribute that

European experimental infrastructures and modelling/­

evidence tools will be ready for use in nuclear licensing

procedures [VTT-19].

5 Summary

Small modular reactors are one interesting option for new

builds in almost all countries worldwide continuing to use

nuclear energy for commercial electricity production.

­Currently four SMRs are in operation, further six SMRs are

under construction and eleven at an advanced stage of

planning. Different European countries (e.g. the United

Kingdem, Russia, Poland) are planning to build and

operate SMRs. Even after nuclear phase-out the German

Federal government would like to assert legitimate nuclear

safety and/or security interests, e.g. by promoting comprehensive

safety reviews and ambitious binding targets

for the new builds (including SMRs) in our neighborhood.

The Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit

(GRS) gGmbH as the main German technical support

organization in nuclear safety for the German government,

has performed a Study on Safety an International

Development on SMR published in 2015 (GRS-376). In this,

numerous trends of current SMR development were

­identified. They are presented in this publication. The

modelling gaps of the GRS simulation chain were compiled

and a strategy for their closure was developed. The main

findings are: The safety level was increased e.g. by an

advanced, conservative design, implementation of new

safety features (e.g. passive safety systems) and the

­exclusion of accidents (e.g. LBLOCA, control rod ejection).

Therefore, SMR could be – if proven by safety analyses –

among the safest nuclear equipment ever made. Factory

fabrication minimizes the (financial) risk of delay in

construction. Competitiveness e.g. with gas power plants

requires the construction of a large number of identical

SMR units worldwide. Prerequisites for this are that all

entry barriers have been overcome like series production

in factories, which are currently not existing, and a

worldwide harmonization of rules and regulations and

recognition of licenses of foreign nuclear regulators.

­However, currently published figures are fraught with

large uncertainties and not yet reliable. Independently of

the previously mentioned open points, which are irrelevant

from TSO’s point of view, GRS will further develop and

validate its nuclear simulation chain. This allows to

successfully apply the GRS simulation chain in nuclear

licenses procedures and independent safety analyses also

for SMRs.


This article contains results of the research project Study

of Safety and International Development of SMR (grant

number RS1521), which was funded by the German

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).


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ZUZ-16 Z. Zhang, Y. Dong, et al. The Shandong Shidao Bay 200 MWe High-Temperature Gas-Cooled

Reactor Pebble-Bed Module (HTR-PM) Demonstration Power Plant, An Engineering and Technological

Innovation, Engineering, Volume 2 (2016), pp. 112 – 118.


Andreas Schaffrath

Sebastian Buchholz

Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit

(GRS) gGmbH

Boltzmannstrasse 14

85748 Garching bei München, Germany



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SMRs – Overview on International Developments and Safety Features ı Andreas Schaffrath and Sebastian Buchholz

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July


Targeting Innovation at Cost Drivers –

How the UK Can Deliver Low Cost, Low

Carbon, Commercially Investable Power

Benjamin Todd

When it comes to creating affordable, reliable, low carbon energy, the UK consortium led by Rolls-Royce, is bringing

a modern, holistic approach to small nuclear power station design.

The design concept is driven by

improving the economics and market

requirements of nuclear power; targeting

cost drivers such as schedule

uncertainty; and focusing innovation

efforts to reduce or remove those cost

drivers entirely.

The result is a compelling, commercially

investible design for a

whole power station, not just a small

modular reactor, that can help the

world meet its low carbon energy


Why now?

Satisfying the growing global demand

for electricity generation is about

achieving more with less. With more

people leading more electricitydependent

lives, the global energy

sector is under pressure to produce

more power in more places with more

certainty over availability, cost,

­capacity and flexibility.

At the same time, there also has

to be less – less capital investment,

less environmental impact, less time

spent in build, less pressure on

infrastructure and less challenging

delivery and commissioning phases.

The solution to bridging that

­energy gap lies in a ­re-examination

of existing means of generation; innovative

thinking with the power to

repackage the best of what is already

proven in a new innovative way, so

that more really can be delivered with


The UK consortium’s powers

station offers a convincing alternative

to reduce the complexity of financing

and constructing large scale reactors

around the world.

How is cost measured?

The metric of levelised cost of electricity

(LCoE) in £/MWehr is a key

driver for the power station design

( Figure 1). It’s also the metric by

which all current electricity costs are

measured and offers a single point

of competitiveness for new concepts,

such as the small modular reactor

power station design.

In the case of this power station

design, the consortium has assessed

Regulatory/Safety Proliferation Resistant Market Timing Code Compliance

Reduce capital: Manage Investment: Reduce O&M:

• commoditised • reduce overnight financing • minimise maintenance / outages

• standardised • maximise return on investment • standardised parts

• factory built

• transportable

• ease of assembly / reassembly

• minimise manning

each factor driving the cost of LCoE

and targeted its innovation at those

areas, avoiding innovation for innovation’s


Creating certainty

to reduce cost

Creating certainty in order to encourage

cheaper financing is the

dominant consideration of the case

for this power station design, looking

across the entire nuclear and nonnuclear

elements of the power station

(Figure 2).

Financing cost comprises capital

cost, perceived risk profile and construction

time, so the design targets its

innovation at each of those areas.

The factors considered in the

economics of the utility case are

dominated by the degree of certainty

that can be achieved, because that can

bring cheaper financing. Each of these

costs drivers has a different level

of sensitivity to overall LCoE. For

­example, the highest impact on LCoE

on nuclear power station projects is

the weighted average cost of capital




Cost of Electricity


(capital + total O&M + decom + fuel costs + financing cost)

Power generating potential x Capacity factor

Cost of



Risk Profile



Maximise power: Maximise power/ Reduce Fuel cost:

• max power density reliability: • maximise fuel life

• max output • high reliability • minimise refuel time

• maximise generating life

• enable rapid • simplify fuel/waste handling,

maintenance / refuel.

• use existing infrastructure

and capability

-20 % -10 % 0 % +10 % +20 %

WACC (+/-2%) -18 % 20 %

Construcon delay (+ 2 years)

10 %

Compatibility with

Support Infrastructure

and Sites



Utility Familiarisation

/ Selection of







Capital (+/- 10%)

-7 % 6 %

Impact on LCOE

| | Fig. 1.

Factors driving levelised cost of electricity (LCoE).

| | Fig. 2.

reating certainty to reduce cost.

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

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atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

LCOE sensivity assessment

WACC (+/-2 %)


delay (+ 2


Capital (+/-

10 %)

Power Output

(+10 %)

Ulisaon (+/-

5 %)

Op cost (+/-

10 %)


Budget (-20 % /

+20 %)

-20% 0% 20% 40%

-18 % 20 %

-7 % 6 %

-9 %

-5 % 5 %

-4 % 3 %

-2 % 2 %

| | Fig. 3.

LCoE sensitivity assessment.

10 %

(WACC), so something that has

nothing to do with physical elements

of building a nuclear power station

(Figure 3).

Capital costs for the power station

elements are ­approximately 20 % on

the nuclear elements, referred to as

the nuclear island; 40 % on civil

structures such as foundations, piling

and building fabric; and 40 % on

the non-nuclear systems and turbine


While the physical size and power

output of this small modular reactorbased

power station is much smaller

than a large-scale plant (440 MWe v

1200 to 1600 MWe), there are opportunities

for economies of volume, as

opposed to scale. When considered

as a fleet of power stations, with the

application of advanced manufacturing

technologies, factory modular

construction of the whole power plant

reduces construction costs, risk and

schedule overruns.

For example, optimising, simplifying

and standardising production

­processes and logistics; maximising

off-site build and assembly, the use of

digital design processes and the

optimisation of logistics through the

supply chain all the way to site.

The use of digital technologies

in manufacturing, construction and

operation are also an important part

of the power station concept, such

as creating a digital twin at the

design stage to support prototyping,

to reducing manufacturing time,

improving construction sequencing,

all the way through to digitally

connected facilities so operations are

optimised and maintenance periods

reduced. The application of digital

technologies touch every part of the

concept and operation and each can

contribute to greater certainty.

Other forms of uncertainty could

include regulatory approvals, which

could have an impact on investor

­confidence, schedule certainty and

development costs, so from the outset

this has been built into the design,

with an expectation that it matures in

line with the regulatory process

initially in the UK, but also to international

standards also.

Modularisation’s impact

on certainty

The term modularisation is often used

as a solution but the view of the

consortium is that it’s a solution to a

specific set of cost driver challenges,

not a design in itself. (Figure 4)

Just like digital technologies,

­modularisation as a ­principle flows

through the whole concept of

this power station design including

factory manufactured road-transportable

modules ready for assembly

on site. It ­then extends to site construction

elements from the

installation of steel structures, concrete

components and the use of

standardised interfaces, advanced

joining techniques and overall a

reduction in the level of activity

required on site.

In addition, the overall footprint of

the plant is small, with a reduced

weight and shallower ground preparation

required. And the use of

| | Fig. 4.

Some artist´s views of the power station


Fact box – the UK SMR in a nutshell


400 to 450 MWe three-loop pressurised water



Standard uranium fuel


Modular settle containment


Prefabricated structures


Compatible with existing infrastructure


Designed for road transport


Passive safety systems


Simplified maintenance and operations access

­excavated material on site is planned

into the design of the power station.

Even controlling the weather

Another cornerstone of creating certainty

and reducing cost is controlling

the conditions in which those civil and

assembly activities take place, which

is where the site assembly facility

helps greatly. Analysis of previous

nuclear projects puts construction

delays, often due to inclement

weather, as the second largest contributor

to cost overruns.

So, the site assembly facility, a

large covered arena over the entire

site, creates perfect weather 24 hours

a day in which to perform all assembly

activity. This gives certainty on a

baseline plan that feeds in to lower

premiums on the cost of borrowing

and ultimately lower LCoE. It also

creates a far safer and more productive

working environment for


The reduction in capital and risk

resulting in substantially reduced

­financing costs, opens up a broader

customer base including potentially

non-state backed utility companies

and beyond, for example companies

operating large-scale industrial sites.

A fleet approach

SMRs should not be considered as

single power plants, rather they are

designed and intended to operate as

part of a broader fleet. This fleet

deployment order book provides confidence

to the supply chain, allowing

companies in the sector to make

longer term strategic investment in

capability and capacity. A key role for

Government is to ­enable this fleet

approach through enhanced energy


Fleet deployment enables the level

of investment required in the civil

engineering and construction sectors

to affordably realise modular design

benefits (Figure 5). Further, the infrastructure

required by SMRs in the civil

and construction industry are likely

to have significant ­additional benefits


Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Targeting Innovation at Cost Drivers – How the UK Can Deliver Low Cost, Low Carbon, Commercially Investable Power ı Benjamin Todd

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July


| | Fig. 5.

Artist´s view of civil engineering and construction sectors to affordably

realise modular design benefits.

to other major infrastructure programmes

in the UK over the coming


Companies in these sectors will be

able to amortise infrastructure and

capability investment over multiple

­projects. The result will be significant

cost and delivery improvements to a

raft of broader UK infrastructure

programmes such as High-Speed Rail,

increased airport capacity, house

building and urban regeneration.

Nuclear plants contain many high

value components that are fabricated

using a range of complex technical

processes. According to research

carried out by the Nuclear Industry

Association (NIA), in theory the UK

supply chain has the capability to

manufacture nearly all of the components

for the large new build

nuclear programme, with the main

constraint being the capability to

manufacture the largest components

(NIA, 2012)15.

In practice however, capacity is a

pressing issue given that the 30-year

hiatus between the construction of

Sizewell B in the late 1980s and the

present day new build programme has

eroded much of the UK’s nuclear

­industry experience.

Fleet deployment of a UK SMR

­design would provide significant

­confidence to the UK nuclear supply

chain, allowing for the rapid development

of capacity to meet the needs of

an SMR programme. In turn, this new

manu facturing capacity could be

enhanced by the latest in manufacturing

technology already being

developed by world-leading researchers

in the UK – notable examples being

the High-Value Manufacturing (HVM)

Catapult centres like the Nuclear

Advanced Manufacturing Research

Centre (Nuclear AMRC) and the

Advanced Forming Research Centre

(AFRC) and the Manufacturing Technology

Centre (MTC).

Possible timings

For a first power station the consortium

envisages a seven-year period

for proving the manufacturing and

construction sequence of civil works

and then assembly. Lessons learned

would then be applied to standardised

processes from then on with vision

of reducing time and costs overall,

following a lean manufacturing


The UK designed an SMR during

the late 1980s and early 1990s so

the concept for a small output

reactor is not new. However,

large reactors have remained

central to baseload in many

markets, including the UK.

Climate change imperatives have

come into play since then too,

particularly driving wind and

solar, while reducing fossil fuels.

Fact: Who is in the consortium

led by Rolls-Royce

The consortium brings together the

most respected and innovative

engineering organisations in the

world and blend them with Rolls-

Royce nuclear knowledge.

Rolls-Royce has a global pedigree

of more than 50 years in the nuclear

industry as technical authority and

nuclear reactor plant designer. It’s

also the supplier of safety-critical

nuclear products, systems and

through-life services to almost half

the world’s nuclear reactors.

Rolls-Royce, ARUP, Laing O’Rourke,

Nuvia Wood, SNC Lavalin; BAM;

Assystem; Na tional Nuclear Laboratory,

Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing

Research Centre, Siemens;

all have a successful track record of

­delivering large-scale, complex

engineering and infrastructure programmes.

Rolls-Royce already has 32 patents

and patent applications on SMR

technology, and has decades of

design, manufacture, delivery and

­operations ­experience. Using this

already-proven technology and

nuclear capability, we are developing

a modular concept for nuclear technology

that can be installed and

commissioned quickly on site because

it will be factory built and tested.

Adoption of our modular approach

will reduce cost and project risk by

being faster to build. It will be a new

way to generate electricity that will be

available to the world.

A design for life

Overall the power station design

­offers a series of cost ­benefits in terms

of the achievable LCoE: reduced

­financing, off-site modular construction

using standard components

and advanced manufacturing and

imple mentation of digital through-life


It is not just a reactor technology

programme, the consortium has

applied its broad nuclear and nonnuclear

skills to drive modularisation

and standardisation across the whole

power plant.

The entire design philosophy for

this power station is driven to deliver

electricity at the lowest cost, with

modularisation and standardisation

being applied to every aspect of the

design, from how it can be licensed,

manu factured, constructed, operated,

maintained and decommissioned. It’s

a design for life.


Benjamin Todd

Rolls-Royce Civil Nuclear

Jubilee House,

4 St Christopher´s Way,

Derby, DE24 8JY

United Kingdom

Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

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atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

Akademik Lomonosov:

Pending Countdown

Roman Martinek

The world’s only floating nuclear power plant (FNPP) is ready for operation. In April, this information was confirmed

by Rosatom, which is responsible for the Akademik Lomonosov project. Thus, the final stage of preparations is ­underway

now – which means that very soon the world will witness operating nuclear reactors on a floating platform – something

not seen for over 40 years that followed the shutdown of the US FNPP Sturgis.

| | The “Akademik Lomonosov” leaves St. Petersburg under tow.

Just over a year ago, the Russian Arctic

port of Murmansk welcomed the

Akademik Lomonosov, the floating

nuclear power unit (FPU). The ship

that has no propulsion system of its

own was towed from the Baltic Shipyard

in St. Petersburg, where it had

been built, over 4,000 km through the

waters of four seas – the Baltic Sea,

the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea

and the Barents Sea. Since then, the

project has passed a number of key

milestones, now inching the commercial


In late April, Rosenergoatom (Electric

Power Division of Rosatom State

Corporation) announced the successful

completion of integrated tests of

the nuclear power facility. The tests’

main goal was to verify that the facility

achieved the technological parameters

stipulated in the floating power

unit’s design and make sure that it is

fully ready for operation.

Shortly before, on March 31, both

FPU’s reactors were brought up to

100 % capacity confirming the

operational stability of the main and

auxiliary equipment of the FPU, as

well as the automatic process control


“Completing the trials successfully

is a huge accomplishment for the big

team of specialists at Rosatom”, commented

on the occasion Rosenergoatom’s

CEO Andrey Petrov. He also

explained that the results of all trials

will be reported in the floating power

unit acceptance certificate of the

governmental commission stating

that the unit is ready for operation, a

license is scheduled for July.

The FPU is planned to be towed to

the port of Pevek in North-East Russia

(on the Chukchi Peninsula) during

the 2019 summer shipping, where it

will operate as part of a floating

nuclear power plant, replacing the

outgoing capacities of the Bilibino

NPP and the Chaunskaya CHPP. It is

expected to be connected to the power

grid in December 2019.

By that time, onshore and hydraulic

structures for the FNPP, as well as

infrastructure ensuring the transmission

of electricity to the local grid

and heating for the city’s network, are

scheduled to be completed in Pevek.

Current engineering works are running

to plan, according to Rosatom.

The Akademik Lomonosov is the

pioneer project in the series of mobile

transportable small-capacity power

units (20870). This floating unit

represents the new class of power

sources based on Russian nuclear

shipbuilding technology. It is designed

for operation in the areas of the

­Extreme North and the Russian Far

East, its main task being to provide

remote industrial plants, port cities, as

well as offshore gas and oil platforms

with electric energy.

Rosatom actively supports the idea

of deploying floating power units in

other Arctic subregions as well to

replace diesel generation and facilitate

resources development on the

shelf. The Akademik Lomonosov is

one of the key projects on this track –

the company is also developing the

second generation of FNPPs – an optimized

floating power unit (OFPU)

that will be smaller in size and at

the same time more powerful than its

predecessor – it is supposed to have

two RITM-200M reactors with a

capacity of 50 MW each. At present,

Rosatom is negotiating with polar

regions to probe local demand.

In its turn, the Akademik Lomonosov

is equipped with two KLT-40S

reactor units that are capable of

generating up to 70 MW of electric

energy and 50 Gcal/h of heat energy in

the normal operation mode – which is

enough to maintain the activity of a

town with a population of 100,000

people. Furthermore, the unit can also

be converted into a desalination plant.

The innovative Russian concept has

already aroused interest among quite a

number of foreign partners including,

for instance, island states in South-

East Asia and in the Middle East.

| | Docking of the Floating Power Unit Akademik Lomonosov in Murmansk.

Prof. Thomas Walter Tromm, who

heads the Nuclear Waste Management,

Safety and Radiation Research

Program (NUSAFE) at the Karlsruhe

Institute of Technology (KIT) Energy

Centre, notes the high export potential

of small modular reactors. While

the prospects for the emergence of a

global market for such power plants

are uncertain as yet, a growing


Serial | Major Trends in Energy Policy and Nuclear Power

Akademik Lomonosov: Pending Countdown ı Roman Martinek

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July


| | View of the upper reactor pressure vessel head.

| | Starting to the final place of operation.

demand for floating NPPs may be conceivable

in the foreseeable future,

with the market responding to the pinpoint

demand of isolated regions.

This is particularly the case with

developing countries that have yet

no nuclear infrastructure, the expert

thinks. “The most convincing argument

in favor of SMR technologies is

the lack of centralized energy distribution

system in most developing states,

which virtually excludes the possibility

of building large-sized multi-gigawatt

power plants”, believes Prof. Tromm.

Meanwhile, just as in the case with

typical large NPPs, safety infrastructure

is of primary importance here,

too. “Of course, you can manufacture

SMRs on a much larger scale at the

factory, thus reducing the amount of

construction works immediately on

the ground, but there still has to be an

adequate structure of competent control

bodies and technical supervision

authorities”, the expert argues.

As regards such plants’ own safety,

Prof. Tromm assumes that passive

safety systems are easier to implement

than in large reactor plants thanks to

smaller reactor capacity and better

­external cooling: “Provided this safety

barrier remains intact, the probability

of a major radioactivity leak into the

environment is practically excluded.

In parallel, this ensures a higher safety


After being moored, a floating NPP

is connected to the onshore energy

infrastructure, making it possible to

provide small regions with power in

the long term. Fuel elements can be

replaced immediately at the operating

site or reactors can be transported

to a special facility to be loaded with

fresh fuel there. After fuel reloading,

the facility can be returned to its

destination point and continue to

generate electricity and heat for many


Rosatom assures that the Akademik

Lomonosov is designed with a great

safety margin that exceeds all possible

threats and makes nuclear reactors

invincible for tsunamis and other

natural disasters. For instance, the

FPU vessel should be able to withstand

a collision with an iceberg, a 7-meter

tsunami wave and hurricane wind up

to 200 km/h.

The FPU rooms are isolated from

the external environment with a

double vessel hull, while reactor

facilities are equipped with special

biological barriers that do not let

radioactivity spread beyond the compartments

where the reactors are

installed – even in case of a hypothetical


The FPU design also takes into

account the climatic conditions where

it is to be operated. The main vessel

and load-carrying structures are made

of steel resistant to brittle fracture

under low temperatures. Further, the

FPU is provided with ice strengthening

– additional constructive elements

that ensure the vessel’s strength when

moving through ice – as well as with

all means necessary for towing by a

nuclear icebreaker. In addition, Rosatom

emphasizes that all nuclear processes

on board the FPU comply with

all the highest requirements of the

International Atomic Energy Agency

(IAEA), posing no threat to the environment.

It is of interest to note that despite

the guarantees expressed by the

Russian side, the project has been a

regular subject of concern for international

environment NGOs. One of

such organizations, the Oslo-based

Bellona Foundation, was invited

by Rosatom to visit the Akademik

Lomonosov in late September 2018.

The special technical tour took place

within the XI Regional Public Dialogue

Forum “Cooperation for Sustainable

Development of the Arctic”.

The outcomes were hailed by Bellona:

according to its CEO Nils Bøhmer,

Rosatom demonstrates transparency

in implementing the FNPP project.

At the same time, he stressed that

Bellona would closely follow further

implementation of the project: “This is

our first visit on board the floating

power unit. We are still concerned

over all issues relative to the operation

of this floating nuclear power plant. In

the first place, we are currently concerned

about the fueling process and

subsequent tests after the reactors are


The first reactor unit was launched

on October 31, around a month

after the environmentalists’ visit.

­Specialists of Atomflot, subsidiary of

Rosatom, conducted all necessary

preparatory operations, and the starboard

reactor was brought to a

minimum controlled power level with

taking all measurements needed. In a

short time, it was followed by the

second reactor unit.

Back then, the physical launch

marked the start of a new extensive

stage of works involving comprehensive

tests of the floating power unit

(which, as mentioned above, were

concluded this fall). Commenting on

this significant event, Vitaly Trutnev,

Head of Directorate for the Construction

and Operation of Floating

Nuclear Thermal Power Plants, put

it figuratively: “Physical start-up is

an essential stage for any reactor.

With the launch of the first nuclear

chain reaction, it transforms from a

piece of metal into a full-fledged

nuclear facility”.

Now it only remains to wait until

the Akademik Lomonosov arrives at

its destination point where it will then

significantly contribute to the energy

supply and industrial development of

the strategically important Russian

Arctic. It might well be expected that

in a few years, when a number of new

concepts of floating reactors have

been presented, the reactors in Pevek

have proved reliable suppliers of

electricity and heat, and, possibly, the

first international supply contracts for

such facilities have been concluded –

it will be possible to draw a clearer

­picture of what place floating reactors

will occupy in the global nuclear

power industry and in the energy

balance of the future.


Roman Martinek

Expert for Communication

Czech Republic

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Akademik Lomonosov: Pending Countdown ı Roman Martinek

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

iMAGINE – A Disruptive Change to Nuclear

or How Can We Make More Out of the

Existing Spent Nuclear Fuel and What Has

to be Done to Make it Possible in the UK?

Bruno Merk, Dzianis Litskevich, Aiden Peakman and Mark Bankhead

Background The energy trilemma (e. g. by the world energy council [1], an UN-accredited global energy body or

the scientific community [2]) and the United Nations sustainable development goals (UN Sustainable Development

Goal 7: “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all as one piece of sustainable

development of the future world”[3]) form the key drivers for the future of all kinds of energy research. These goals

lead to a strong, urgent demand for reliable as well as controllable low carbon electricity production technologies to

address the low carbon strategies following the commitments of the COP 21 agreement in Paris [4]. For the United

Kingdom, Nuclear technologies are recognized to have the potential to become the key technology to meet the CO 2

reduction targets, but only if the development targets for nuclear will be met. However, the Emissions Gap Report 2017

of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) [5] identified that the Contributions set in Paris 2015 will even not

be sufficient to hold global warming to well below 2 °C. In 2007, the UK formally re-introduced nuclear power into its

overall energy policy followed by a long-term Nuclear Energy Strategy in 2013 [6], leading to subsequent plans to build

new reactors. These plans are now starting to materialize at the Hinckley Point C site [7] with the construction of two

pressurized water reactors and the Wylfa project [8], which is foreseen to lead to two advanced boiling water reactors,

even if ­currently on indefinite hold. However, these projects rely on commercially existing technologies, delivered by

worldwide acting companies, and are essentially based on technology developments of the 50ies and 60ies. In addition,

the decision for the new build programme, along with the closing down of reprocessing in 2018 [11], creates a demand

for developing novel, innovative technologies to deal with spent nuclear fuel (SNF) of existing and upcoming reactors.

The case for recycling (reprocessing) is driven by factors such as closing the fuel cycle and the costs of disposal/burning

of transuranic, with various scenarios proposed [16, 17].



In general, two different approaches

for research and development (R&D)

of new technologies can be distinguished:

the demand or user driven

innovation vs the technology driven.

Historically, nuclear industry has been

mostly applying the technology driven

approach to create novel solutions

and technologies in an evolutionary

manner. A typical example is the

development of the closed nuclear

fuel cycle based on applying reprocessing

technologies (PUREX process)

which have been developed to

separate Plutonium from irradiated

fuel. The cycle can be closed using

fast reactor technology which has

­existed since 1951, when the first

power-generating nuclear reactor,

the liquid metal-cooled fast reactor

EBR1, was put into operation [9].

­Another example is the nuclear

waste management using the technology

of partitioning and transmutation

(P&T), separating longlived

TRUs and burning them in reactors

[10]. The partitioning is based

on the existing PUREX process with

additional downstream processes for

minor actinide separation and the

transmutation uses liquid metal

cooled fast reactors.

We propose a much more strategic

approach applying demand driven

innovation and strategic development

procedures to direct nuclear technologies

into a brighter future [18,

19]. In our view, the technology

driven approach has not been successful

in re- creating the strongly required

belief in nuclear technologies, which

has been lost in the 1980ies. However,

belief in a technology is the key

to get the urgently needed public,

private and political support. The key

points for the strategic development

process are combined in the questions:


What technologies are currently

existing and where does these

come from?


What is the demand we are

currently facing and what is

­expected for the future?

This information will be used to

develop a vision for the future to

provide a direction for the researchers

and a mission to come as close as

possible to this vision or dream.

Demand Driven Strategic


Based on the demand of sustainable

power production, see “energy trilemma”

and UN SDG7, the next,

disruptive development step should

be driven by an ultimate, holistic

vision for any kind of energy production.

This vision needs to be by

definition much more advanced than

the development goals of the first

nuclear reactors, and broader than the

goals of the Generation IV international

Forum – a co-operative international

endeavour, set up to carry out

the R&D ­needed to establish the next

generation nuclear energy systems

[12]. This vision (call it a dream or the

end of the rainbow) can be given with

one simple, old phrase – “perpetuum

mobile” or by the old promise of

nuclear, “too cheap to meter” (nowadays

economically as well as environmentally),

whilst recognising that

this represents as a conclusion an

unattainable goal. Fredmund Malik

characterizes the function of vision

and mission as follows: “A mission is

definitely necessary… It often follows

from a very broad and far-reaching

idea which could be called a vision or

a dream. That dream, however, has to

be transformed into a viable mission:

this is the only way to distinguish

useful from useless visions” [13], see

Figure 1.

When translating the vision into

the mission some realistic limitations

have to come into play to create a

solvable challenge. It is fairly obvious

why the vision is unattainable, the

first and second laws of thermodynamics

prevent the “perpetuum

mobile” from operation outside of the

hypothetical. Harsh economic lessons

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we have learned over the last four

decades have shown that “too cheap

to meter” is equally unobtainable in a

modern world. Thus we should call

both a dream or “the end of the

rainbow”. However, this dream

provides a far-reaching development

goal which should give R&D the right

direction. The key words for our vision

and the goals of our mission are given


| | Fig. 2.

Expected improvements by the proposed disruptive demand driven, innovative development.

| | Fig. 1.

The steps of the strategic development process

for future nuclear reactor systems.

The very general vision has to be

developed into a mission, which is

­demand specific. It reflects a weighting

of the different attributes forming

the vision. Our mission could be, to

develop a reactor that can breed and

burn its own fuel using existing SNF

stockpiles. This mission for a disruptive

nuclear energy system forms the

basis for creating an economically as

well as environmentally sustainable

approach to deliver a solution for the

future massive demand on low carbon

energy production. Besides the discussed

sustainability, the ideal disruptive

nuclear system has to deliver a

solution for historically created problems

of nuclear reactor operation,

the nuclear waste accumulation while

avoiding the creation of additional

proliferation issues. “Nuclear proliferation,

[is] the spread of nuclear

weapons, nuclear weapons technology,

or fissile material to countries

that do not already possess them”

[24]. Our mission leads to a fast

molten salt reactor and the related,

significantly reduced fuel cycle with

the potential for massively improved

sustainability indices, see Figure 2.

The approach is based on a system

­operating on existing SNF without

prior reprocessing.

Assembling all given arguments,

the aim is to harvest the fruits of the

closed fuel cycle, while avoiding the

massive upfront investment which has

always been associated with liquid

metal cooled fast reactors (like the


and aqueous reprocessing

(like THORP in Sellafield/UK).

Today, almost all nuclear reactors

are operated in open fuel cycle mode,

see Figure 3. This terminus describes,

the process when fuel is produced,

only once inserted into a reactor and

then stored/disposed in the form of

fuel assemblies without further treatment

of the SNF. For a future nuclear

system with improved sustainability

indices, it has always been envisaged

to achieve closed fuel cycle operation

and the feasibility has been demonstrated,

applying fast reactor technology

[16]. The UK has followed this

approach too, which led to the industrial

reprocessing of SNF at Sellafield

and the demonstration of fast reactor

technology in the Dounreay fast

reactor (DFR) and the prototype fast

reactor (PFR). However, closure of the

fuel cycle has never been achieved on

an industrial scale leading to a stockpile

of separated Pu as leftover of

the successful reprocessing without

having the required fast reactor technology

established. The driver for

the closure of the fuel cycle had

dis appeared after the oil crisis had

been resolved, the uranium prices

decreased, and the growth rate of the

nuclear reactor programmes slowed

worldwide after the Three Mile Island

accident. Fast reactor technology as

well as the required fuel cycle technologies,

specifically the production

of the required Pu bearing mixed

­oxide fuel, has been shown, to be

much more complex to be operated

than expected.

With the view on long term

sustainability, the challenges of the

­final disposal, and the demand for a

massive growth of the nuclear power

as one of the most attractive low

carbon technologies, we propose to

revive closing the fuel cycle but in

contrast to the historic approaches

now by applying new, demand driven,

tailored technologies.

We will consider the idea of closing

the nuclear fuel cycle using a molten

salt fast reactor operating on SNF

which will neither require a supply

with new, fresh fuel nor create additional

waste to the already existing

SNF. In comparison to today’s strategy,

see Figure 3, there are significantly

fewer steps and fewer specific

­demands. The most significant of

which is that a fast reactor demands a

significantly higher amount of fissile

material in the core than in a thermal

reactor. This forms the need for

some additional fissile material

for the start-up, either by enriched

Uranium or by Plutonium originating

from historic reprocessing operation

like it is avail able in the UK. The

additional fissile material is only

required for the start-up phase,

during operation sufficient new fissile

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| | Fig. 3.

Todays fuel cycle and fuel cycle options for the future closing of the fuel cycle.

material will be bred from the fertile


The feasibility of operating purely

on SNF has been demonstrated using

advanced modelling & simulation

(M&S) [18, 19]. The inserted SNF

(~95 % Uranium, ~1 % Plutonium

and ~4 % fission products) will be

transformed into vast amounts of

­energy and a clean stream of fission

products, partly out of the salt cleanup

system, partly appearing in the

off-gas scrubbing system. Both

streams have to be conditioned in an

appropriate way to limit the source

term under accidental conditions.

Compared to the existing process,

considering spent nuclear fuel as

waste, the mass of waste will remain

the same, while the short term activity

will clearly increase due to the proportionality

between the amount of

­fission products and the amount of

energy produced out of the fuel. The

energy ‘squeezed out’ from the SNF

will be increased by a factor of 20

which will lead to the increase of short

term activity (up to 500 years) while

the long term activity will be significantly

reduced due the burning of all


This proposed innovative nuclear

system will require a complete redesign

of the nuclear chemistry

applied in the salt clean-up based on

the principles described in [19] using

the inter- disciplinary optimization

potential described in “Demand

driven salt clean-up in a molten salt

fast reactor – Defining a priority list”

[20]. There are further challenges to

be con sidered on the development

path. Challenges on plant structural

inte grity will need to be addressed

either through clever design or operational

procedures. Control systems

will also need to be developed to

manage plant throughput against the

strong thermal feedback effects that

would occur in such a reactor system

which is an essential part of the

general safety approach which has to

be developed among the other challenges

[21]. We would be expect to be

able to exploit a range of technical

inno vations drawn from outside of the

nuclear sector. Digitalisation and

industry 4.0 are delivering digital

twin solutions that create a high

­degree of confidence in our ability to

effectively operate such a plant.

The consequences of the proposed

approach on the fuel cycle, see Figure

3, are massive since the whole concept

of the complex closed fuel cycle will

be replaced by a really slick process

with promised lower complexity, less

proliferation concern, and because of

this reason, cost reductions can be realised

across the industry.

Based on the calculations that have

been performed to date the overall

performance indicators of a closed

fuel cycle based on the molten salt fast

reactor are impressive. The neutronic

feasibility study indicated that a

­classical 3 GWth reactor (roughly

equivalent in scale to Sizewell B)

could be operated for 60 years on

130 tons of SNF and ~ 17 tons of

plutonium [18, 19] for the start-up.

Thus the UK Pu stockpile of 140 tons

in 2020 [22] would be sufficient to

start 8 reactors and the currently

stored 8000 tons of SNF (6000 t AGR

fuel, 2000 t LWR fuel [23]) would be

sufficient to operate these 8 reactors

for more than 930 years each.

Taking a view into the UK approach

to build several new light water

reactors and the opportunity of

increasing the number of reactors by

splitting the salt of operating reactors,

it gets clear that this reactor system

could be a long term available,

reliable, and sustainable low carbon

electricity source.

The process of developing

a new, innovative nuclear

energy system

This journey will be started with a

glance into the historic steps and time

scales of, at that time, new reactor

developments. It will be followed by a

short description of each process step

for a state of the art development plan

to get a deeper understanding what

would have to be done to make a new,

disruptive nuclear energy system real.

This will lead at the end to a short

closing remark on the role of the

government required for success.

A glance into history

The analysis of the historic development

of UKs MAGNOX technology

gives insight into the time scale as well

as the process of a new reactor development,

even when it has taken place

in the middle of the last century.

Figure 4 shows the timeline of the

development with several zero power

facilities GLEEP (Graphite Low Energy

Experimental Pile) in 1947 to Windscale-1

in 1952 [26], which have

been used to get first insight into the

considered technology and to create

the skilled workforce for the next

steps. This first phase was followed by

a small scale experimental reactor

Calder Hall (180 MWth), and after

several intermediate steps the full

scale demonstrator, with the Hinckley

Point power stations achieving

almost 1000 MWth. The application

of modern, digital M&S technologies

will not avoid all real world experiments,

but has definitively the

| | Fig. 4.

Magnox development timeline as described by the Electric Power Research

Institute [26].


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potential to reduce the number of

steps as well as to improve the confidence

in choosing the right/ideal

settings for the still required experiments.

It seems essential to operate

at least in a three step approach producing

real life facilities as marked in

Figure 4 above by the red circles.

There is the argument that the

MAGONX development is from a time

that is too distant to be relevant today

(1947 to 1956). Instead, let’s compare

it with a more modern case, one of

the last developments of a really new

nuclear power technology in the west,

the pebble bed high temperature

reactor technology in Germany (see

Figure 5). Even then, this was over

3 decades ago (1966 to 1983). The

process still indicates the three major

steps, even if the order seems surprising

– the small scale technology

demonstrator AVR before the zero

power experiment. This approach was

the ­result of a very efficient planning

based on the experience with the

graphite moderated reactor technology

in the 60ies, specifically our

previous case the MAGNOX programme,

and the follow up AGR

programme which was an evolution of

the MAGNOX technology. Even with

this experience of graphite technology,

a skilled workforce, and

­experience with building reactors, the

developers came back to the zero

power experiment (the KAHTER

facility) to gain a deeper insight into

the mode of operation and the optimization

potential before taking the

step to the industrial demonstrator


In the development of the indus trial

demonstrator, the major arguments for

the zero power experiment are the

comparably low cost and the opportunity

of rapid, flexible, very well

instrumented tests to demonstrate and

improve understanding of the system

behaviour as well as to support licensing

code validation, for example

forthe pebble flow [27]. The benefits of

the zero power experiment are an almost

immediate accessibility after shut

down, the significantly ­reduced shielding

requirements during operation

and the flexible ­operational envelop,

allow signifi­cantly faster take up of a

relevant set of experimental results.

Experiments of this kind are almost

impossible to implement in power producing

systems (in this case the AVR)

with high operational temperature,

high neutron flux, and a high radiation

level due to fission products and

material activation.


How can we use this experience

for the planning of a new, disruptive

system? What are the arguments

for the initial step, an own

zero or low power experiment in

the UK for new developments?


Many arguments have been given

in the last paragraph why a zero

­power experimental facility is of

high importance for the development

of a dis ruptive, new reactor

technology. However, there are

two questions remaining: Could

we make progress relying on M&S

without an experiment at this

stage? Can we just go and ‘order’

some experiments for validation in

another facility?

The massive use of M&S will help to

create a much better overview of

the opportunities and thus to optimize

the nuclear system but it cannot

­replace the experience in experiments

­completely. Experimental data is

at a minimum required to establish

model credibility through a process of

validation, especially since the performance

characteristics of any novel

system are to an extent unknown.

M&S will help to get the best possible

outcome and reduce the number of

costly experiments via a down selection


There are clear reasons why the

start of a nuclear programme is often

associated for with the first significant

reactor experiment, see the GLEEP

­experiment in the MAGNOX process

given in Figure 4. The decision for a

low power experiment requires:


a real commitment to kick off a

serious programme for building

and operating the facility and the

formation of a team of specialists

which is able to develop the project


development and production of

the first key components, e. g. the

fuel with governmental agency

support needed to cover licensing

and proliferation of nuclear



the establishment of a supply

chain, bringing in Small and

Medium Sized enterprises and

cross organisation agile delivery


the close interaction with the regulator

to get the experiment licensed


strong links to nuclear innovation

programmes, which will supply the

innovative methods and partnerships

to undertake our mission

Thus, the zero power experiment will

help the UK to create/re-create the

essential skills basis in designing,

licensing, building, commissioning,

and operating an innovative reactor

of a completely new type. In addition,

an experiment will


help creating international recognition

as basis for future collaboration


give an opportunity for necessary

safety demonstrations in the regulatory

process of the next step


leverage cost saving opportunities

by reducing the uncertainty margins

in the following design steps


create a business opportunity by

providing financed reactor experiments

for other MSR developers

with their own designs who cannot

collaborate due to sensitivities over

sharing of IP.


serve as a case study and collaborative

R&D platform for linking

with international partners who

want to access the UK market.

| | Fig. 5.

Timeline of the pebble bed reactor development in Germany.

| | Fig. 6.

Time and investment scales for the development

of a disruptive nuclear system

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The 4 steps in the process

Based on the already proposed reduction

of the number experimental facilities

a 4 step process will be developed

with a rough description what should

be achieved in each step. The 4 steps

will have different time requirements

and will be interlinked. The given

timescales are based on the future

plan of the BEIS (Department

for Business, Energy & Industrial

Strategy) nuclear innovation programme

with the aim to have a

market ready, in industrial application

demonstrated product in 2050.

Figure 6 gives a qualitative overview

on the time scales (construction and

operation) and the required investment

for the different steps. From the

figure it already gets clear, that the

development of a new, disruptive

nuclear system does not require large

investments in the first years (step 1

and 2, see red mark), which opens

the opportunity to work on different

systems in the early stages to down

­select the options before the first large

investment for the small scale demonstrator

is to be made. Current UK

strategy for AMR’s could provide a

route to kick-start the necessary R&D.

Basic studies

The basic studies of a new nuclear

technology is the time to form a first

consortium with academic partners,

national laboratories, and industrial

players to exploit the proposed disruptive

approach and demonstrate its

feasibility. It will provide attraction to

the industry due to new long term IP

creation, and provide scientific underpinning

to their own proprietory

designs and ideally create public

belief and trust in the innovative

capacities of nuclear research, ‘we are

solving the problems of the future’.

The necessary modern digital M&S

tools will be created and a pool of

­experts will be formed. They will

­identify possible deficiencies on M&S

basis to work out the challenges and

shape the future requirements in more

detail. Basic studies will make use of

the traditional strength of the country

to leverage from recent governmental

investments. New capabilities will

be built up in subject areas where

currently strength is missing by

leveraging from international networking,

working with supra-national

institutions, and attracting specialists

from abroad.

Experiments can be used in order

to establish fact (validation) or to

understand the characteristics of

critical components/processes of the

system – proof of principle as well as

to validate models using basic

­experiments that examine separate

effects [25]. In general, large scale

modelling does not by definition mean

fewer experiments as the number of

experiments could increase. But these

will be smaller in scale – separate

effects – and more numerous, and

can be delivered at a lower cost per


The basic studies step will create

the first interaction with the regulator

to develop an understanding of a

reasonable safety approach and the

definition of supporting experiments

required for licensing. It will lead to

international recognition which can

be supported by establishing international

research collaborations. This

step will support the UK strategic

vision for the nuclear 2020 target to

establish the capabilities & collaborations

necessary for a collaborative

research programme across industry

and research organizations.

Advanced studies

In this stage new technology

approaches (e. g. salt clean-up) have

to be developed and demonstrated

­using existing infrastructure leveraging

past investments. For the scale

up a hot salt laboratory for thermalfluid

dynamics and material interaction

studies as well as a fuel lab for

salt clean-up studies and fuel production

(for the zero power experiment)

has to be established. Advanced

studies will leverage the traditional

strength to create innovative approaches

and can foster the development

of IP within the industry support

base. Within this step, the zero power

reactor will be a key stage to form a

consortium and develop the skilled

workers for the next step. Ideally, the

zero power reactor can be based on

refurbishment of a recently shutdown

facility like it has been shown in the

GUINEVERE experiments in Belgium.

This approach has shown to create

­significant cost and time savings. As

already mentioned a zero power

reactor will create the international

collaboration opportunities and can

serve with experiments for money for

industrial players. A comparable

approach is offered, e. g. by the IPPE

in Russia using the BFS facility for

fast reactor technology.

Experimental reactor

The experimental reactor is typically

the small scale technology demon strator

and the first step into a power producing

unit. However, it could be used

later on as demonstrator for a small

size reactor for remote siting. However,

this dual approach will require a

disruptive development in the process

of establishing a reactor system. In

our case, the experimental reactor

could be initially designed without

salt clean-up, operating on enriched

uranium (smaller and cheaper)

serving a market niche like the

Akademik Lomonosov for remote site

electricity production [28] or for propulsion.

The system will be of small

size with a power of 10 to 50 MWth

even if the demonstration of the

self-sustained operation on SNF will

not be achievable in a such small size

system. To limit and stretch the initial

investment requirement the salt

clean-up step could be added offline

in a second development stage to

demonstrate the new technologies.

Detailed design, licensing, construction,

and commissioning will create

the future skilled workforce for the

full scale industrial demonstrator.

Close technological and financial

collaboration with industrial partners

will be a key to create innovative

solutions in the supply chain as well

as possibly a system integrator for

the next step. At this point two approaches

are possible, a collaboration

driven approach for international

innovative reactor development, or a

more commercially driven approach.

The historic boiling water reactor

development shows that both approaches

can even be followed in

parallel [26].

In our case, the experimental reactor

will deliver the first operational

experience with a liquid fuelled

system since the molten salt reactor

experiment at Oak Ridge National

laboratory in 1965 to 1969 [29]. A key

point for a rapid application of the

disruptive innovation will be starting

with a conservative approach with

reduced temperature level and low

power density followed by a successive

process of stretching the operational

envelop to improve the economy

performance based on the operational

experience and detailed observation

of the material behaviour. The experimental

reactor is the first opportunity

for material testing under real

operational con ditions involving high

temperature, corrosive environment

and high radiation level. Taking the

step into the experimental reactor

early will provide the developer with a

steeper learning curve in a new

technology and thus an earlier success,

but sure on the cost of taking a

higher risk. Taking leadership will


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give the developers the early lead in

an innovative technology resulting in

excellent ­market opportunities.

Full scale industrial system


In this stage industrial demonstration

of economic, reliable, sustainable,

and safe power production using a

new technology for the national as

well as the international market is the

essential function. The functionality

of the entire nuclear system from fuel

production over reactor operation as

well as salt clean-up and off-gas

treatment as one unit has to be

demonstrated, thus the application of

a new highly sustainable low carbon

technology. By providing the first

industrial demonstrator since generations,

the UK will demonstrate industrial

leadership and create the

related market opportunities required

to achieve a significant market share.

The industrial demonstrator can/

should already be owned by a commercial

operator and should be supported

by the government in critical

components like the nuclear island

and the fuel as well as in the licensing.

In the UK currently, this approach is

consistent with current policy of

supporting industry through the

Advanced Modular Reactor programme

and is in-line with recent

NIRAB recommendations to the UK


The IP generated during the development

and operation of an industrial

scale demonstrator will serve the

­specific purpose of lowering the technical

and commercial risk of licensing

and operating a novel reactor technology.

Commercial solutions will

share some of the underlying technologies,

though with additional privately

held IP in order to differentiate

one commercial design from its competitor.

By no means, the full scale demonstrator

need to be a short term

operating prototype. Based on massive

use of M&S it should be a welldeveloped,

M&S supported, ideal experiment

which will be a first of class

and thus go into full production for a

significant time. There is history for this

– the Calder Hall reactor, see Figure 4,

operated for decades but it was also

the full scale demonstrator. It powered

Sellafield site (a large town in scale)

[30], and was com parable to EBR-II at

the Argonne-West site in US [31].

Closing remark

The link between the proposed 4

stages of the process, the required

| | Fig. 7.

Interlinked development processes required for establishing an innovative.

­information exchange between the

stages, and a proposed time scale is

given in Figure 7, supported by a

qualitative sketch for the national

skills base and the requested shares of

governmental investment.

The governmental share of the

required investment is proportionally

higher in earlier phases of the project

where the driver is to develop the

wider skills base. Later in the programme,

the share of government

investment is lower due to the fact

that industry will be more able to

attract the investment needed to

commercialise the tech nology when

it is demonstrated as an attractive

investment opportunity.

Electric Power Research Institute

(EPRI) has analysed the historic

development of 4 different reactor

types [26]. In all cases, the development

activities have been carried out

and financed by different partners in

government and industry. The topic of

the zero power reactor is typically in

the hand of the government (not

shown in Figure 8 since the study was

based on power producing systems),

while the next steps are shared with

increasing level of industry involvement

correlated with the increasing

maturity of the technology, see

Figure 8 [26]. A detailed analysis

indicates that the nuclear island as

well as the fuel fabrication and supply

for the demonstrators are mainly

in the hand of the government

while other com ponents are already

delivered by the industrial partners.

The main reason is that a new, innovative

fuel supply has to be handled

on governmental level due to proliferation

concerns while the nuclear

island is subject to supervision of the

IAEA and the regulator.

Based on the given arguments

highly innovative reactor technologies

without a planning for zero power

­reactor experiment lacks the seriousness

which is required to start such an

important endeavour. Thus, investing

into a reactor physics experiment on

an innovative technology will immediately

give the UK a high profile in

research and the connected international


Cost estimations given by insiders

of the Indian fast reactor programme

and the lead cooled fast reactor programme

in Russia indicate an overall

investment volume of ~10 bn $ and

10 bn € respectively to achieve the

level of the industrial demonstrator.

Within the analysed historic US Programme

the investment shares for the

first of a kind reactor ranged between

8 % and 86 % governmental contribution

with an average of ~40 % with

higher industrial contribution for

mature technologies. In some promising

technologies industry has

­already taken a significant share in the

small scale demonstrator (e. g. BWR

technology)while in other high risk

approaches even the industrial

demonstrator has been supported by

national governments.

Typically significant teams within a

strong leadership in national programmes

and research centres have

been operated creating the required

number of qualified experts and the

essential skills level for designing,

licensing, constructing, commissioning,

as well as operating the ‘new

nuclear reactors’ at that time.


The energy trilemma and the UN

development goals form the key

driving forces for all kind of energy

research. Based on these requirements

a universal vision for strictly

demand driven strategic development

has been worked out based on the key

words: no resources requested, no

waste produced while being highly

economic, reliable, safe, and secure.

Following this vision a mission for a

future disruptive, demand driven

nuclear energy system with the

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| | Fig. 8.

Visualization of evolving government and industry roles in the design, construction and operation

of test, demonstration and first commercial reactors as described by the Electric Power Research

Institute [26].

additional aim of solving the long

term nuclear waste problem is developed.

Key point for the massively

improved sustainability indices is

the operation in closed fuel cycle

mode based on already existing spent

nuclear fuel. Even if the advantages of

closed fuel cycle operation are well

known, the technology has never been

established successfully due to the

prohibitively high development cost

and high commercial risk.

In the first part, we describe the

requirement for a disruptive technology,

an innovative molten salt

­reactor operating on already exiting

SNF without extensive and expensive

pre-processing. The side requirement

is on developing an online salt cleanup,

for online removing elements

which prevent the reactor from long

term operation. This approach will

significantly ­reduce the proliferation

risk, the radiation to human in fuel

manu facturing, as well as the high

reprocessing cost and the even higher

cost of solid fuel production, while

opening a massive optimization potential

due to online linking of reactor

and fuel cycle.

In a second part, we developed an

innovative process to establish a new,

disruptive nuclear system. In contrast

to historic approaches, the new process

consist only of 4 major stages

supported by the massive application

of modelling and simulation to reduce

the number of required experimental

facilities. The process is characterized

by: basic studies, advanced studies

and zero power experiment, small

scale demonstrator, and finally the

industrial demonstrator. The process

gives a clear structure for innovative

nuclear development with specific

roles which have to be taken over by

the government and industrial players

with different shares. It indicates

the requirement to involve different

partners, but the reward of the successful

development has the potential

to give the world one of the most

promising, sustainable, and reliable

low carbon technologies.



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Environmental Sciences Volume 23 No 1, 2014, available:

env_sci_feb_14.pdf, accessed 07/03/2019



5. The Emissions Gap Report 2017 A UN Environment Synthesis

Report, UNEP available :

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6. Long-term Nuclear Energy Strategy, HM government,




pdf, accessed 13/07/2018




9. Argonne’s Nuclear Science and Technology Legacy, Historical

News Releases, available:

news111220.shtml, accessed 07/03/2019

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Transmutation and how to develop an Innovative Approach

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Campus Verlag: Frankfurt, Germany; New York, NY, USA, 2013.

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BN-type Reactor Facilities, FR17 Yekaterinburg, Russian

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WebSite/papers/FR17-435.pdf, accessed 26/02/2019

15. A. Khaperskaya: Conceptual approaches and the main

directions of R & D on partitioning and transmutation of minor

actinides and long-lived fission products in the Russian

Federation 15th IEM P&T, 30 Sept.3 Oct. 2018, Manchester

Hall, Manchester, UK

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in reliability of fast reactor operation and new trends to

increased inherent safety, Applied Energy 147, 1 June 2015,

Pages 104–116

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Mathers: ”On a Long Term Strategy for the Success of Nuclear

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way of thinking Nuclear Waste Management – Neutron

physics of a reactor directly operating on SNF”, PLOS ONE July

27, 2017,

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clean-up in a molten salt fast reactor–Defining a priority list,

PloS one 13 (3), e0192020

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Abfälle. Chancen und Risiken in Forschung und Anwendung

(acatech POSITION), München: Herbert Utz Verlag 2014

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Kingdom: The need for a dual track strategy, Energy Policy,

Volume 101, February 2017, Pages 303-309

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UKPastPresentAndFuture.pdf, accessed 11/10/2018


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Review and Analysis. EPRI, Palo Alto, CA: 2017. 3002010478

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Bruno Merk

Dzianis Litskevich

University of Liverpool,

School of Engineering, L69 3GH,

United Kingdom

Bruno Merk

Dzianis Litskevich

Aiden Peakman

Mark Bankhead

National Nuclear Laboratory,

Chadwick House, Warrington,

WA3 6AE, United Kingdom


Research and Innovation

iMAGINE – A Disruptive Change to Nuclear ı Bruno Merk, Dzianis Litskevich, Aiden Peakman and Mark Bankhead

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July



Due to the length

of the article it is

published in some

different parts. The

authors and editor

hope you will enjoy

and look forward to

reading the entire

article, as each

portion is published.

This republication is a

shortened version of

an article originally

published in the

journal Progress in

Nuclear Energy. The

full-length version of

the article may be

found at: Sanders, M,

& Sanders, C 2019

“A world’s dilemma

‘upon which the sun

never sets’ – The

nuclear waste

management strategy

(part II): Russia, Asia

and the Southern

Hemisphere”, Progress

in Nuclear Energy

110, 148-169.

A World’s Dilemma ‘Upon Which

the Sun Never Sets’: The Nuclear Waste

Management Strategy: Japan and China

Part 3

Mark Callis Sanders and Charlotta E. Sanders

5 Asian Continent

5.1 State of Japan or 日 本 国

Nippon-koku or

Nihon-koku (Japan)

5.1.1 Historical Overview & Law

Unfortunately, Japan’s story with

“ nuclear” suddenly and sadly began

on August 06, 1945 when the world’s

first atom bomb fell on the beautiful

city of Hiroshima. On March 11, 2011,

Japan was struck with a tsunami

(­resulting in approximately 19,000

deaths) that crippled the Fukushima

Daiichi nuclear power plant causing a

release of radiation into the environment

of surrounding communities

[38]. Japan is unique in that it is

the only nation state to date to have

experienced the use of atomic

weapons during wartime, resulting in

approximately 100,000 deaths [39].

Despite Japan’s horrendous experiences

with nuclear during the Second

World War; in the years post ceding

the end of the Second World War

(1939-1945), Japan shortly thereafter

embarked on establishing a civilian

nuclear power program.

The paradigm of Japan having

few natural resources and limited

land surface for its population has

­resulted in a spate of complex and

awkward politically sensitive situations

through out recent Japanese

history. During the 20 th Century, this

need for access to raw materials saw

the Japanese invasion of Manchuria

(1933), as well as the attack on Pearl

Harbor, Hawaii, USA (December 07,

1941), to name a few. These two

acts, and others, were intended to

secure supplies and provide vital raw

materials needed for the Japanese

homeland and its growing industry. It

should be observed, that aggressive

behavior to secure access to natural

resources is certainly not unique to

Japan and is a reoccurring theme

among nation states since the beginning

of human history. Certainly, one

of the potential benefits of nuclear

power generation is that nation states

may have access to an abundant,

secure, and stable supply of energy,

thereby theoretically resulting in a

downward spiral of aggressive behavior

among nation states as they

engage for access of energy supplies.

Similarly, to other western nation

states, Japan imported much of its

energy, especially its oil supplies from

the Middle East. This dependence on

foreign imports was made bare during

the 1973 oil shock that shook all

western industrialized nation states.

One important consequence for

Japanese energy policy was the

­impetus to expand its nuclear power

generating program. Since this time,

“ensuring a stable supply of energy at

a low cost” [40] has formed a cornerstone

of Japanese political persuasion.

5.1.2 Government and

legislative regime

As a democratic system of government

with open and fair elections, the

citizens of Japan are warmly involved

with affairs of state through its

government structure. Therefore,

politicians are concerned with issues

surrounding the cost of energy and its

relation to the national economy. Thus,

Japan’s nuclear power program is a

political football at the forefront of Japanese

politics. As a constitutional monarchy,

the government system is based

on a separation of power between three

branches of government (executive,

legislative and judicial), with the

Japanese emperor maintaining mostly

a ceremonial role. The cabinet houses

the powers of the ­executive and formulates

national policy and direction for a

nuclear program in Japan. In practice,

the prime minister of Japan is

appointed by the emperor, having been

first nominated by the parliament and

is usually a member of the House of

Represen tatives. Japan’s constitution,

which arose from the ashes of the

Second World War, became operative

on May 3, 1947, and consists of 103

articles [41]. Corruption

The country of Japan holds the

distinction of being one of the world’s

least corrupt nations. Japan’s Penal

Code, and Unfair Competition Prevention

Act 1 , which was promulgated

in 1993 2 , forms the centerpiece of

anti- corruption legislation and enforcement

mechanisms in the country

and are largely well imposed. In the

latest Transparency International

­Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI),

Japan ranked 20 out of 180 countries

in 2017. Japan does perform relatively

excellent work in the enforcement of

its penal codes and legislation in this

area. However, the Organization for

Economic Cooperation and Development

3 (OECD) pointed out in 2014

that it is worried there is not enough

attention being paid to the potential

bribing of foreign public officials

by Japanese companies. At the end

of 2013, it recommended that the

country take steps to develop all

necessary resources “to proactively

detect, investigate, and prosecute

cases of foreign bribery by Japanese

companies” [42]. Legislative Framework

In light of Japan’s terrifying ending to

the Second World War, Japan sought

to establish a solely civilian nuclear

1 See: Unfair Competition Prevention Act (Act No. 47 of May 19, 1993, as amended up to April 23, 1999), viewed April 19, 2018.

2 It was last amended almost 20 years ago in 1999.

3 For information about the OECD, See:, viewed July 12, 2018.

Decommissioning and Waste Management

A World’s Dilemma ‘Upon Which the Sun Never Sets’: The Nuclear Waste Management Strategy: Japan and China Part 3

ı Mark Callis Sanders and Charlotta E. Sanders

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

| | Japan, nuclear power, again a vital source for a reliable energy supply.

Inside view of a pressurised water reactor.

program dedicated to the promotion

of peaceful economic application in

passing The Atomic Energy Basic Law

(AEBL) in 1955. The AEBL enshrines

into law that as a nation Japan is

dedicated to upholding three overriding

philosophies of: (1) democratic

methods, (2) independent management,

and (3) transparency. These

three philosophies establish the starting

point for any nuclear activities at

home and for Japanese cooperation

internationally [43]. Subsequently,

the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)

was created to promote nuclear power

development and utilization. To

further provide a nuclear regulating

infrastructure in Japan, a number of

other organizations were set up in the

year following the promulgation of

the AEBL including, the Nuclear

Safety Commission (NSC), and the

Japan Atomic Energy Research

Institute, to name two [44].

where it restated its commitment to

solving the high-level nuclear waste

disposal dilemma 5 . More recently

(2016), the Diet agreed on legislation

to “tak[e] measures necessary for

the steady implementation of the reprocessing

of used nuclear fuel” [45]

by forming a new organization, the

Spent Fuel Reprocessing Organization

6 (SFRO).

Japan classifies its radioactive

waste dependent on the waste’s

activity and/or source of origination

as either high- or low-level waste.

Additionally, low-level waste may

also be further sub-classified depending

on its origin, such as

waste containing transuranic radionuclides,

with a further category of

very-low-level waste from reactors

sites being acknowledged. The setting

of upper limits on the concentrations

of radionuclides for wastes authorized

for disposal in Japan are delineated

per the Reactor Regulation Law 7 . The

­scientific basis for the setting of

these limits originate from published

reports by the Nuclear Safety Commission

of Japan (NCS), which are

then used for preparation of license


The legislative framework for the

final disposal of radioactive waste in

Japan is outlined in the Specified

Radioactive Waste Final Disposal Act,

Law No. 117 (Final Disposal Act)

which was passed by the Diet on June

7, 2000. This law contains provisions

governing the definition and implementation

of policy in what may be

called the final disposal plan. This law

also provides for the funds necessary

to finance such disposal activity, for

the entity responsible in carrying out

this mandate, and the procedures to

be used for site selection. The law

mandates that high-level waste is only

disposed of in deep geological constructed

sites (i.e., only vitrified waste

resulting from the reprocessing of

spent nuclear fuel) [46]. Permanent disposal

The Japanese program for high-level

nuclear waste management envisages

that such vitrified high-level waste

will be stored in “a stable host rock

formation more than 300 meters

under ground, using a multi-barrier

system [comprising both] engineered


5.1.3 Nuclear waste


Currently, government policy for

shepherding its nuclear waste

manage ment program is to conduct

all the obligatory reviews for needed

sites “for the final disposal of high-­

level radioactive waste, without

postponing the issue” [40]. On June

14, 2013, the Japanese cabinet agreed

on its yearly report relating any

measures it has taken regarding

energy supplies and demand, as

required by Article 11 of the Basic Act

on Energy Policy 4 (Act No. 71 of 2002)

| | Japan: remediation work at the Fukushima site.

4 See:, viewed July 12, 2018

5 See: FY2013 Annual Report on Energy (Energy White Paper 2014) Outline,, viewed July 12, 2018.

6 See:, viewed July 12, 2018.

7 See:, viewed July 12, 2018.

Decommissioning and Waste Management

A World’s Dilemma ‘Upon Which the Sun Never Sets’: The Nuclear Waste Management Strategy: Japan and China Part 3 ı Mark Callis Sanders and Charlotta E. Sanders

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July


and natural barriers” in order to provide

sufficient isolation of this waste

to the outside environment [47]. The

current plan is to begin operation of a

final disposal facility sometime in

the 2030’s. These efforts are to be

conducted under the purview of the

Nuclear Waste Management Organization

of Japan (NUMO) and as

sanctioned by the Final Disposal Act.

In April 2014, the newly adopted

‘ Basic Energy Plan’ considers matters

surrounding high-level waste disposal,

and in 2016 Japan’s cabinet

endorsed taking a more active

approach on this issue by working

with local governments. In conjunction

with these efforts, the Geological

Disposal Working Group issued

a report titled “Summary of

Requirements and Criteria for a

Nation­wide Map of Scientific Features

for Geological Disposal”. 8

The siting of a geological storage

facility involves the investigation of

many complex variables. To help

­facilitate this process, METI identified

pertinent criteria based on scientific

characteristics publishing a map

allowing it to differentiate areas of

interest nationwide for possible locations

for the siting of a national nuclear

geologic storage facility [48]. The map

allows for readily identifi­able regions

having the suitable geological requirements

for hosting a repository and provides

a working platform as Japan

­begins any site ­selection examination.

Locations that are located within a

close proximity to volcanoes, active

fault zones, or areas containing

mineral resources, and more especially

the Fukushima prefecture, are

considered to be disqualified when

conducting any site search. This is to

ensure that the chosen area is seismically

stable, that mineral reserves are

protected, and that a greater burden is

not placed on specified regions already

hosting other aspects of Japan’s

nuclear fuel cycle [49].

Previously, Japan has engaged in

investigation and experimentation of

appropriate media for the disposing

of high-level nuclear waste. It has

considered the use of sedimentary

rock at a depth of 500 meters, undertaking

tests at the Horonobe Underground

Research Centre, as well as at

a depth of 1000 meters in igneous

rock at the Tona Geoscience Centre,

as part of Mizunami Underground

Research Laboratory. The current

concept that Japan is investigating is

to store approximately “20 high-level

waste canisters in a massive steel cask

or over pack and surrounding this by

bentonite clay” [49].

5.2 People’s Republic of China

or 中 华 人 民 共 和 国 (China)

5.2.1 Historical Overview & Law

China’s continued rapid economic

­expansion is creating numerous challenges

in meeting its ever-increasing

energy demands, and is placing an

ever-greater burden on its energy

­infrastructure. Therefore, experts

recommend and believe China should

continue developing nuclear power

[50]. In the first quarter of 2018,

power production increased by

10 ­percent from the same period

in 2017, with dramatic increases seen

in power production from wind,

solar, and nuclear (37.9 %, 58.7 %,

and 12.7 %, respectively) [51].

Extremely high levels of air pollution

in China has led to diminishing

crop yields, as well as an increase in

respiratory disease, with this now

becoming the leading cause of death

[52]. Due to the environmental

impact and health risks of pollution,

current government policy considers

nuclear power as a clean energy

source, and forms part of the government’s

commitment to tackle climate

change, and secure its energy supply


China’s nuclear power program

began its initial development in 1970.

Construction began on China’s first

self-designed nuclear power plant 9 in

March 1985, with start of commercial

operation taking place six years later

[53]. From this initial foray into

nuclear power production, China has

witnessed the construction of 38

nuclear power reactors with about 20

more under construction [54].

5.2.2 Government and

legislative regime

China is a socialist state that is

based on a dictatorship comprising

its working class, combined with an

alliance between the workers and

peasants 10 . This system forms the basis

of the working interaction between

the government and the people, with

any disruption of this system

“by any organization or individual

[being] prohibited”. 11

Though the

State considers it has three main

obligations towards its citizenry of

“equality, unity and mutual assistance”,


with discrimination or oppression

of any nationality prohibited,

­tension exists within this ‘class’ system

as Chinese society has evolved from

Mao’s ideology to a more market

based economic system, leading to

sometimes “unequal treatment before

the law for a certain segment of

the population” [55].

Mao Zedong’s version of the ideal

society was one in which the citizen is

totally committed to societal goals as

set forth by the ruling class. In this

effort, he viewed it as the State’s duty

to ensure that all powers associated

with the functioning and governing

of the State over the individual be

employed to ensure that this vision is

achieved [56]. Following the conclusion

of the Second World War, the

Communist Party of China under Mao

established strict controls and policies

at the time costing the lives of tens of

millions of people [57]. From the

1970’s, China has loosened policies in

certain areas as it seeks to strike a

balance in the government-market

relationship. Pivotal issues in its

continued economic structural reform

include a streamlining of administration

and an increased delegation of

8 Recommended: Matsumoto, et. al., Scientific Basis for Nationwide Screening of Geological Disposal Sites in Japan, Nuclear Waste Management

Organization of Japan,, viewed July 12, 2018.

9 A 300 MG prototype reactor.

10 Constitution of the People's Republic of China, amendment on March 14, 2004, Art. 1,, viewed June 15, 2018.

11 Id. art. 1

12 Id. art. 4; Kellogg states that though an authoritarian constitutional document may contain within its text many lofty ideals, which are not

generally put into practice, this should not denote that those same concepts are false and have little value in the political framework of that

nation state. Additionally, one may not automatically assume that the state will not attempt to acquiesce to exert its actions in relation to the

underpinning argument. He notes that because many authoritarian rules mandate an allocation of authority between various internal state

actors; it is this division/separation of powers that can still be beneficial as these powers are spread over the purview of various agencies and

departments. See: Kellogg, Thomas E. "Arguing Chinese Constitutionalism: The 2013 Constitutional Debate and the 'Urgency' of Political

Reform," University of Pennsylvania Asian Law Review vol. 11, no. 3 (Spring 2016): p. 337-408.

Decommissioning and Waste Management

A World’s Dilemma ‘Upon Which the Sun Never Sets’: The Nuclear Waste Management Strategy: Japan and China Part 3

ı Mark Callis Sanders and Charlotta E. Sanders

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

power, as well as improved regulation

and services. 13

China’s chief of state (President) is

indirectly elected for a five-year term

by the National People’s Congress,

which also appoints members to the

State Council (Cabinet). Legislative

power is centered in a unicameral

chamber, the National People’s Congress.

However, its 2,987 members

typically only meet about once every

five years, which provides limits on its

spheres of influence as powers to act

on its behalf are mostly subsumed into

various standing committees [57].

China’s judicial system consists of its

high court (the Supreme People’s

Court), with other subordinate courts.

Though considered in many areas to

be effective, it faces such challenges as

a lack of qualified personnel, as well

as concerns that such personnel are

unable to fully divest the separation

between judicial and political decision

making [58]. Corruption

During the 1950’s and 1960’s, corruption

in China was largely driven

underground, but from the “post-Mao

reform period in 1978-79,” China has

experienced an exponential upward

growth of corruption, as more light is

shed on these incidents [59]. In the

latest Transparency International

­Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI),

China ranked 77 out of 180 countries

in 2017, 14

and Chinese President Xi

­Jinping has made fighting corruption

a cornerstone of his legacy to “fundamentally

improve the political ecosystem

of the Party” [60]. Since

launching a campaign against corruption

in 2012, the Communist Party

has disciplined well over one million

persons [61].

Guanxi (pronounced gwon-she)

symbolizes the process through which

networks or connections are able to

open closed doors and through which

the axel of the wheel of business is

greased. Li explains the most fundamental

definition synonymous with

“guanxi”: “is used as an entity which

an agent can act upon, such as ‘gao

(to make/play) guanxi’” [62]. Zhan

indicates that “guanxi” has at times

been used to influence the decision-­

making process of a court, but that

this has now become more difficult

due judicial reform and the anti-corruption

movement [63]. Corruption

can lead to a number of social challenges

in a nation state, as a person’s

feelings of self-worth from engaging

in corruption reflect negatively on

their happiness as a result of feelings

of “guilt when paying or accepting

bribes” [64]. The greatest impacts on

a nation state and its society are economic

in that:

“Corruption takes much needed

resources from economic development

and diverts them into the

­pockets of corrupt officials... [and]

politically, corruption undermines the

trust of citizens in public officials and

the government” [65]. Legislative framework

China is a party to the Joint Convention

on the Safety of Spent Fuel

Management and on the Safety of

Radioactive Waste Management, with

its submission of accession submitted

on September 13, 2006. The Legislation

Law of the People’s Republic of

China 15 (LLRPC) institutes the necessary

and proper framework for spent

fuel and radioactive waste management

in China. This embodies the

incorporation of a comprehensive set

of relevant national laws, administrative

regulations, departmental rules,

management guides, as well as reference

documents. The China Atomic

Energy Authority is charged with the

developing of plans and projects

related to the disposal of high-level

radioactive wastes, while The Ministry

of Environment Protection and its

­affiliated institute (the National

Nuclear Safety Administration), make

up the relevant regulatory bodies. The

China National Nuclear Corporation is

the current agent charged with the

implementation of activities for radioactive

waste disposal [66].

China’s hierarchy for its legislative

framework consists (from highest to

| | China: new build of a NPP.

lowest): (1) law; (2) State Council

Regulations; (3) Departmental Rules;

(4) Guides; and, (5) Reference documents.

Laws governing safe disposal

or storage of spent fuel and radioactive

wastes are promulgated by the

National People’s Congress Standing

Committee 16 (NPCSC), and are:

1. Law of the People’s Republic of

China on Prevention and Control

of Radioactive Pollution (LPCRP),

enacted by the NPCSC in 2003.

2. Regulations of the People’s Republic

of China on Safety Control

of Civilian Nuclear Installations

(HAF001), issued by the State

Council in 1986.

3. Regulations on Safety and Protection

of Radioisotope and Raygenerating

Installations (RSPRRI),

issued by the State Council executive

meeting in 2004.

4. Regulations on Safety of Radioactive

Waste Management

(RSRWM), issued by the State

Council executive meeting in 2011.

Due to China having embarked on

such an ambitious nuclear power program,

within a short time span, this

has resulted in many potential challenges.

Hou et. al. (2011) 17 highlighted

a number of areas of concern,

which has a direct effect towards the

legitimacy and sustainability of the

Chinese nuclear power program.

Challenges include: (1) having access

to a limited pool of educated and

trained nuclear professionals; (2)

governmental departments working


13 Report on the Work of the Government delivered by Premier Li Keqiang at the Fifth Session of the 12th National People's Congress on March 5,

2017 and adopted on March 15, 2017,, viewed June 15,


14 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index,,

viewed April 19, 2018.

15 The Legislation Law of the People's Republic of China is designed to “standardize lawmaking activities” in the country ensuring that good

governance is achieved through the establishment of legal mechanisms, so that the rule of law is more comprehensively developed.

See: Article 1 –, viewed July 24, 2018.

16 A standing committee of the National People's Congress with about 150 members.

17 Hou, J, Tan, Z, Wang, J, & Xie, P 2011, 'Government Policy and Future Projection for Nuclear Power in China', Journal Of Energy Engineering,

137, 3, pp. 151-158, Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 19 February 2014.

Decommissioning and Waste Management

A World’s Dilemma ‘Upon Which the Sun Never Sets’: The Nuclear Waste Management Strategy: Japan and China Part 3 ı Mark Callis Sanders and Charlotta E. Sanders

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July


| | China: four nuclear power plants at one site,

a common picture form Chinas nuclear power programme.

under different ministries, with different

interests in developing nuclear

power, leading to overlap of effort;

and, (3) a con­tinuing developing

nuclear legal framework, that is not

yet as effective as it should be.

The Chinese government has yet to

adequately address the role of private

investment in its civilian nuclear

power program, and currently manages

its operations through state owned

enterprises. 18

5.2.3 Nuclear waste


To maximize resources and reduce the

amount of high-level waste requiring

long-term disposal, China intends to

engage in the reprocessing of spent

fuel. Currently, spent fuel generated

from nuclear power plants and research

reactors are stored at the reactor

site. Necessary funding for the

storage and treatment of spent fuel, as

well as the disposal of high-level

waste, is conducted under the purview

of the ‘Projects Management

Methods of the Funds for Treatment

and Disposal of Spent Fuel from

Nuclear Power Plants’ [67]. To meet

the cost of the back end of the nuclear

fuel cycle, a “levy of CNY 2.6 cents/

kWh [is imposed] from the fifth year

of commercial operation of each

reactor” [68]. Permanent disposal

As previously mentioned, spent

nuclear fuel management in China is

to be conducted in a series of three

stages: (Stage 1) the reprocessing of

the spent nuclear fuel, (Stage 2)

­vitrification, and (Stage 3) permanent

disposal in a suitable geologic repository.

The concept for storing this

­vitrified high-level waste “is a shaft-­

tunnel model, located in saturated

zones in granite” [66]. China’s highlevel

waste program is to be conducted

in three phases: “(Phase 1) laboratory

studies and site selection for a

[high- level waste] repository to be

com pleted by 2020; (Phase 2) underground

in-situ tests (2021–2040); and

(Phase 3) repository construction

(2041–2050) followed by operation”


Three types of radioactive waste

management facilities currently exist

in China: (1) the on-site nuclear

facility’s waste management system;

(2) storage facilities for radioactive

waste arising from nuclear technology

applications; and, (3) Low and Intermediate

Level Waste (LILW) disposal

sites. There are currently two solid

LILW disposal sites in operation,

which are the Guangdong Beilong

disposal site and Northwest China

disposal site. Both Sites began commercial

operation following the

granting of operation licenses by the

Ministry of Environmental Protection,

National Nuclear Safety Administration

in 2011. China’s legacy radioactive

wastes generated in past practices

are retrievable. Where these are

unable to meet current storage and

disposal requirements, this radioactive

waste is required to be retrieved

and re-conditioned to meet any new

acceptance requirements [67, 68].


[38] FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI: ANS Committee Report, A Report by

The American Nuclear Society Special Committee on Fukushima,, viewed April 06, 2018.

[39] The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,,

viewed April 06, 2018.

[40] Policy Speech of Mr. Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister of Economy,

Trade and Industry, Minister of State for the Corporation in support

of Compensation for Nuclear Damage, Minister in charge of Nuclear

Incident Economic Countermeasures, and Minister in charge of

Industrial Competitiveness March 19, 2013

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Mark Callis Sanders

Sanders Engineering

1350 E. Flamingo Road

Ste. 13B #290

Las Vegas NV 89119


Charlotta E. Sanders

Department of Mechanical


University of Nevada

Las Vegas (UNLV)

4505 S. Maryland Pwky

Las Vegas, NV 89154


18 Includes: China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co., Ltd. (CGNPC),

and China Power Investment Corporation (CPI).

Decommissioning and Waste Management

A World’s Dilemma ‘Upon Which the Sun Never Sets’: The Nuclear Waste Management Strategy: Japan and China Part 3

ı Mark Callis Sanders and Charlotta E. Sanders

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

Special Topic | A Journey Through 50 Years AMNT

Politik mit Vernunft und

Güterabwägung betreiben

Norbert Blüm

In den sechziger Jahren hatten wir eine Kernenergie-Euphorie. Die friedliche Nutzung der Atomkraft schien ein

Universalschlüssel für die Lösung unserer Energieprobleme weltweit zu sein. Inzwischen ist das Pendel zurückgeschlagen,

jedenfalls in Teilen der Öffentlichkeit. Wir erleben eine Ablehnung der Kernenergie, bei der das Irrationale

das Rationale überdeckt.

Exaltierte Gemütsstimmungen sind Denkblockaden.

Deshalb ist weder die Euphorie noch die Panik die

Gemüts lage für einen rationalen Diskurs über unsere

Energiepolitik. Euphorie, weil sie zur Sorglosigkeit in

Sicherheitsfragen verführt, auch zur Suche nach weitergehenden

Energieformen. Die Hysterie, weil Panik ein

schlechtes Fundament für die Entscheidung ist. Aber

auch deshalb, weil das Kolossalgemälde der atomaren

Gefahren, Gefahren, die bei anderen Energiegewinnungen

auftreten, Umweltgefahren verdrängt und so insgesamt

eine nüchterne Wertung versagt. Die Darstellung gleicht

der Darstellung im Märchen, als sei eine Energieform die

Hexe und die anderen, das seien die guten Feen. Als seien

die einen mit Gefahren überwuchert und die anderen

gefahrlos. Das trifft die eigentliche Frage der Güterabwägung,

in der wir uns befinden, nicht.

Ich stelle unsere Gesellschaft nicht als problemlos und

gefahrlos dar. Aber wenn sie tatsächlich nur noch von

Katastrophen begleitet wird, wenn in jedem Lufthauch

bereits der Tod enthalten wäre, wenn in jedem Schluck

Wasser bereits das Gift wäre – dann frage ich mich, wieso

die Leute alle älter werden, wenn das so ist. Wir wollen

Gefahren minimieren. Aber bei der Suche dürfen wir nicht

der Illusion erliegen, es gäbe ein Licht ohne Schatten,

es gäbe eine Welt ohne jedes Risiko. Aber über der

Beschreibung der Risiken dürfen wir die Chancen nicht

vergessen. Manchmal pflegen und hätscheln wir die

Risiken und vergessen darüber, die Chancen zu nutzen.

Es gilt darum, Risiken zurückzudrängen. Es gilt darum,

Gefahren zu minimieren, aber die Politik muß Güter

abwägen, muß einen Saldo von Positivem und Negativem


Wenn etwa die Stigmatisierung bestimmter Techniken in

gläubiger Hast denjenigen folgt, die gerade die

Meinungsführerschaft auf dem publizistischen Schadstoffmarkt

behaupten, geht politische Gestaltungskraft ver loren.

Man wird zum Spielball nicht mehr beherrschbarer

Irrationalität. Wir erleben tagtäglich, daß man –

Stimmungen folgend – abstrakte Gefährdungen bizarr überzeichnet,

während man zugleich konkrete Schädigungen

kaum wahrnimmt. Mit der Energie gewinnung aus fossilen

Rohstoffen sind auch Gefahren verbunden.

Diese Art rationaler Problembewältigung, Gefahren

nicht zu verdrängen, sie ernst zu nehmen, diese Art

vermisse ich bei der Kernenergiediskussion, weil sie nur

ihre Gefahren beschreibt und nicht die Chancen, die in ihr

liegen. Unsere Gesellschaft neigt zu einer selektiven Angstbewältigung.

Während man die Angst gewissermaßen

punktuell, und zwar manchmal völlig ungetrübt von

Kompetenz- und Beurteilungsfähigkeit, auf ausgewählte

Gefahrenpunkte konzentriert, lebt man ansonsten ein

sorgloses Leben.

Welche Therapie hat die Gesellschaft anzubieten? Die

Therapie: Aufklärung! Es ist eine große Zumutung, an die

Vernunft zu glauben. Aber wie käme denn eine aufgeklärte

Zivilisation weiter, wenn sie nur Gefühle manipulieren

wollte, wenn sie nicht geradezu vom aufklärerischen

Optimismus geprägt wäre, daß man durch Information,

durch Vernunft und Einschätzung politische Probleme

bewältigen kann. Wollten wir uns einer Stimmungs-

Demokratie anheimgeben, wäre das der Abschied von der

Tradition der Aufklärung. Das wäre der Abschied vom

Menschen als vernunftbegabtes Wesen.

Daher mein erster und wichtigster Beitrag: Laßt uns

den Versuch nicht aufgeben, Politik mit Vernunft zu

verbinden, mit rationaler Argumentation. Laßt uns den

Versuch nicht aufgeben, Politik als eine Güterabwägung zu

begreifen. Es gibt nicht die reinen Lösungen, es gibt auf

dieser Erde nicht die Patentlösungen. Es gibt auch nicht

die Lösungen ohne Risiken. Ideologen haben für solche

Politik wenig Sinn, weil ihr Geschäft die Verkürzung ist.

Kernenergie birgt Risiko, das wissen wir nicht erst seit

Tschernobyl. Mit dem Stand von Wissenschaft und Technik

verbessern wir immer wieder den Sicherheitsstandard.

Dieses ständige Streben nach verbesserter Sicherheit

darf seriöserweise nicht interpretiert werden als das

Eingeständnis, bisher sei die Sicherheit demnach vernachlässigt

worden. Nichts ist so gut, daß es nicht noch

verbessert werden könnte.

Das explosionsartige Bevölkerungswachstum und

die zunehmende Industrialisierung auch bisher wenig

entwickelter Teile der Erde lassen den weltweiten

Energiebedarf in den nächsten Jahrzehnten weiter stark

ansteigen. Auch wenn wir alle Anstrengungen zum

Energiesparen unternehmen – wofür ich bin – der

Energiebedarf steigt. Heute decken wir 90 % des Weltenergieverbrauchs

durch das Verbrennen fossiler Energiereserven.

90 %! In einem Jahr vernichten wir dadurch das

Ergebnis von 500.000 Jahren Erdgeschichte, und zwar

unwiederbringlich. Die Frage nach der Verantwortung

stellt sich hier nicht minder ernsthaft als bei der Kernenergie.

Sie beschränkt sich im übrigen nicht auf diesen

Aspekt des Ressourcenabbaus. Hier stellt sich auch die

Frage nach unserer Verantwortung für den Lebens standard

in der Zukunft, für das Schicksal in der Dritten Welt.

Wir müssen sorgsamer umgehen mit der Energie. Wir

müssen den ärmeren Staaten die leichter verfügbaren

Energiearten überlassen. Wir müssen alles tun, um

alternative Energie auch zu nutzen und zu entwickeln.

Dazu zählt auch die Kernenergie. Für sie sprechen auch

Am 7. und 8. Mai

2019 begingen 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.

Aus der Ansprache

des Bundesministers

für Arbeit und

Sozialordnung, Bonn,

Dr. Norbert Blüm,

am 9. Mai 1989 in




Special Topic | A Journey Through 50 Years AMNT

Make Policy With Prudence and Consideration of Assets ı Norbert Blüm

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July



| | 1989: Jahrestagung Kerntechnik – JK ´89 in Düsseldorf, Eröffnungsveranstaltung.

ökologische Gründe. Klimaforscher warnen immer dringlicher

vor einem Treibhauseffekt mit einer drohenden

globalen Katastrophe, der auf das Verbrennen von Kohlenstoffen

zurückgeht. Die schleichende Schädigung durch

diese konventionelle, nicht-nukleare Energiegewinnung

ist sicher, allein ihr Ausmaß ist strittig. Ausstieg aus

der Kernenergie heißt zwingend, Verstärkung des CO 2 -

Problems und Beschleunigung der dadurch verursachten


In unserem selektiven Angstsyndrom nehmen wir diese

Alternative des Erduntergangs gar nicht wahr. Wollen wir

denn die Folgen in Kauf nehmen? Sind sich überhaupt

diejenigen dessen bewußt, die auf einen sofortigen

Ausstieg aus der Kernenergie drängen? Gegner und

Befürworter der Kernenergie sind sich einig, daß regenerative

Energiequellen intensiv erforscht werden müssen.

Einig ist man sich auch, daß diese Energiequellen nicht,

derzeit noch nicht, geeignet sind, in größerem Umfange

die klassischen Formen der Energiegewinnung zu

substituieren. Die Tatsache, daß alle – einschließlich der

Energiewirtschaft – die Kernenergie nicht als die einzige

Energiequelle und schon gar nicht so, als hätte sie

Ewigkeitsdauer, proklamieren, entzieht uns doch nicht der

Verantwortung, sie heute zu nutzen und mit ihr auch die

Erde zu schonen.

Wer heute die nuklearen Risiken verabsolutiert und

sie mit dem Traum von einer gefahrlosen heilen Welt

konfrontiert, vernachlässigt die nötigen Anstrengungen,

unser Wissen zu bündeln und Gefahren zu beherrschen.

Politische und wissenschaftliche Lösungen können sich

nicht an dem Kinderspiel orientieren, in unangenehmen

Situationen einfach die Bettdecke über den Kopf zu ziehen.

Eine Gesellschaft, die sich in eine permanente

­Angst­psychose flüchtet, narkotisiert ihre Fähigkeit zur

Zukunftsgestaltung. Ich sehe derzeit keine Möglichkeit,

uns einseitig aus der Kernenergie zu verabschieden. Sparsame

Energieverwendung, Ressourcenschonung, Risikominderung

und die Erschließung regenerativer Energiequellen

– das ist ein Viereck unserer Energiepolitik. Und

in unserem Land Nordrhein-Westfalen sind wir im

besonderen Maße darauf angewiesen, in der Frage einer

friedlichen Nutzung der Kernenergie zu einem Konsens

zurückzufinden. Wir in Nordrhein-Westfalen wollen das

herausragende Energieland der Bundesrepublik bleiben.

Dafür brauchen wir den Verbund Kohle – Kernenergie.

Unsere Kohle wird nur überleben in einer Mischkalkulation

mit dem billigeren Atomstrom. Wer den

Kumpels die Treue halten will, darf sich nicht um diese

Wahrheit drücken. Die Bergleute verlangen nach Klarheit.

Es muß jetzt über Anschlußregelungen, auch über den

Jahrhundertvertrag, gesprochen werden. Je schneller

Regelungen gefunden werden, um so sanfter die Lösungen.

Wir brauchen eine europäische Zusammenarbeit, auch

bei der Energieerzeugung und beim Umweltschutz. Aber

in die Europäisierung der Energiepolitik muß unser

nationales Interesse einbezogen werden, auch unser

nationales Kohleinteresse und unsere nationale Versorgungssicherheit.

Es geht nicht, Kernenergie zu europäisieren

und Kohle zu nationalisieren – das wird nicht

klappen, dieses Konzept.

Daß Unternehmen in Frankreich wiederaufarbeiten

wollen, weil sie dabei Geld sparen – jährlich 1,5 Milliarden

–, das leuchtet ein. Aber ich warne auch vor einer

Energiepolitik, die sich nur am Geld ausrichtet. Wir wissen

doch alle, daß der Atomstrom aus Frankreich billiger

ist, als der Strom bei uns. Hieße das nicht auch, dann

die Kohle zu beerdigen? Wenn man es nur unter Kostengesichtspunkten

sieht, ja dann ist das „Aus“ für die

Kohle gesprochen. Und wenn man mit Kohle und Kernenergie

einen Verbund eingehen will, dann entweder

national oder europäisch. Aber diese Fragen müssen noch

geklärt werden.

Wer überall nur die wirtschaftliche Lösung will, der

wird bald anstelle des Jahrhundertvertrags auch der

Importkohle das Wort reden. Europäische Zusammenarbeit

„ja“, aber neben der Wirtschaftlichkeit gibt es auch

für uns noch andere Kriterien: Sicherheit der Energieversorgung

und Umweltverträglichkeit.

Im übrigen, auch für Kalkar und den Hochtemperatur-

Reaktor in Hamm-Uentrop gilt immer: Sicherheit geht vor

Wirtschaftlichkeit. Sicherheit, das ist die politische Verantwortung.

Und wenn der HTR ein besonders attraktives

Modell einer Kerntechnologie ist, dann kann er auch nicht

Augenblicksüberlegungen zum Opfer fallen. Da muß

Sicherheit gewährleistet und an dieser Technologie weitergearbeitet

werden. Nordrhein-Westfalen kann doch keine

Blaupausen in die Welt exportieren. Wenn es Exporteur

von Spitzentechnologie sein will, wird es sie am eigenen

Leibe ausprobieren müssen, wenn es Absatz finden will.

Diese Dimension der Kernenergie muß viel stärker ins

öffentliche Bewußtsein. Und wir sollten auch unsere

Industriegesellschaft, die Ressourcen in unserer Industriegesellschaft

nutzen, um Umwelttechnologie als ein

Produktionsangebot der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

stärker herauszustellen.

Ich bin zu Ihnen gekommen auch aus Demonstrationsgründen.

Nicht, weil ich die Kernenergie vergöttlichen

möchte. Wer das erwartet hat, den muß ich enttäuschen.

Aber ich wehre mich auch gegen ihre Verteufelung. Und

ich weiß, daß unser Konzept einer Energieversorgung am

besten aufgehoben ist in einem Mischsystem, das aus

verschiedenen Trägern besteht, für die allerdings die

Kern energie unverzichtbar ist. Und solange niemand

etwas Besseres weiß, halte ich es für verantwortungslos,

vom Aussteigen zu sprechen und weiterhin den hohen

Lebensstandard genießen zu wollen, den unsere Industriegesellschaft

zur Verfügung stellt.

Special Topic | A Journey Through 50 Years AMNT

Politik mit Vernunft und Güterabwägung betreiben ı Norbert Blüm

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July



Schlussrede des Vorsitzenden der

Kerntechnischen Gesellschaft e. V.

Frank Apel



den 7. Mai 2019

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

liebe Mitglieder der KTG,

Auch zur Halbzeit unserer Veranstaltung noch einmal ein

„Herzliches Willkommen“ zu unserer Jahrestagung

Kerntechnik – dem Original – seit 50 Jahren. Die kerntechnische

Branche trifft sich erneut im großen Rahmen zum

zweiten Mal in diesem Jahr, nach Dresden zur „Kontec“

jetzt in Berlin zur AMNT“.

Wir erleben gerade, dass die diesjährige Jahrestagung

ganz besonders und auch ganz besonders gut ist und auch

sicherlich noch bleibt. Ganz besonders, weil wir für diese

AMNT eine Reihe von außergewöhnlichen Highlights für

Sie vorbereitet haben:

Wir haben einen Film mit dem Titel „Die ersten

50 Jahre“ für Sie gedreht, sie konnten Ihn heute Vormittag

anschauen. Wir wollten mit dem Titel „Die ersten 50“

einen Rückblick auf relevante Meilensteine der Vergangenheit

liefern aber eben auch einen Ausblick auf die

Zukunft geben. Florian Gremme hat heute der KTG zu den

ersten 50 gratuliert. Unsere „Junge Generation“ und auch

viele andere sind von der Zukunft der KTG über zeugt.

„Der nukleare Traum“ ist der Titel eine Fotoausstellung,

in der der Fotograf – und für mich auch Künstler – Bernhard

Ludewig Motive aus dem Bereichen Forschung, Bau und

Betrieb, Rückbau und Entsorgung eindrucksvoll in Szene

gesetzt hat. Falls Sie noch nicht dort waren: es lohnt sich!

Eine Reihe unserer Aussteller präsentieren zur

50. Jahrestagung „besondere“ Exponate an ihren Ständen,

besuchen Sie auch weiter rege unsere Industrie ausstellung.

Circa 600 Besucher aus dem In- und Ausland haben den

Weg zu unserer 50. Jahrestagung Kerntechnik gefunden.

Die Anzahl unserer ausländischen Teilnehmer bleibt

erfreulicherweise konstant.

So haben wir neben dem UK und tschechischen Pavillion

auch Vertreter aus anderen Ländern auf der Jahrestagung,

unter ihnen Schweden. Schweden galt in der Vergangenheit

oft als Blaupause für Kernenergie entwicklungen in

Deutschland: Ausstieg aus der Kern energie, Wiedereinstieg,

Laufzeitverlängerung, vorzeitiges Abschalten von

Blöcken aufgrund fehlender Wirtschaft lichkeit…

Aber es gibt auch Unterschiede: die Schweden, die

Ihren Strom zu ca. 50 % aus Wasserkraft und 50 % aus

Kernenergie erzeugen, haben ein Endlager für schwach-,

mittel- und hochaktive Abfälle und sie haben Greta.

Greta Thunberg, eine 16-jährige schwedische Klimaaktivistin,

die zur Ikone einer neuen Jugendbewegung für

den Klimaschutz wurde. Sie hat eine Wahrheit ausgesprochen,

die so unbequem ist, dass sie in Deutschland

kaum jemand hören will. Sie twitterte: „Ich bin eigentlich

gegen die Kernenergie. Aber laut Weltklimarat kann

Kernenergie tatsächlich ein kleiner Teil einer großen,

neuen CO 2 -freien Energielösung sein... nämlich dann,

wenn Länder keinen Zugang zu erneuerbaren Energien

haben. Darüber sollten wir debattieren.“

Gefragt nach Lösungen zum Klimaproblem antwortet

Greta Thunberg, dass sie die Antwort nicht kenne.

„ Niemand weiß genau, was zu tun ist. Und darum geht es:

Wir können nicht einfach ein paar Steuern erhöhen oder in

ein paar grüne Fonds investieren und dann weitermachen

wie bisher. Mit unseren aktuellen Systemen gibt es keine

Lösung. Wir müssen uns das ganze Thema anschauen …

und nur durch die beste verfügbare Wissenschaft, könne

man eine Lösung finden.“ Zur Wissenschaft kommen wir

nachher noch einmal…

Lesenswert ist übrigens auch der Vortrag von Michael

Schellenberger, dem Präsidenten von „Environmental

Progress“ und Mitbegründer von „Nuclear Pride Fest“, den

er auf der diesjährigen Atomexpo hielt. Michael Schellenberger

vergleicht Frankreich und den Klimaschützer Nr. 1:

Deutschland. Er sagte: „Deutschland erzeugt im Vergleich

zu Frankreich weniger als die Hälfte seines Stroms aus

CO 2 -armen Rohstoffen und produziert pro Kraftwerk das

Zehnfache an CO 2 -Emissionen. Dazu kommt, dass der

emissionsarme Strom in Frankreich nur wenig mehr als die

Hälfte des Stromes in Deutschland kostet.“

Greta Thunberg und Michael Schellenberger sind mit

ihrer Haltung nicht allein: 446 aktive Kernkraftwerke gibt

es weltweit und noch einmal fast 150 befinden sich derzeit

in Bau oder Planung. Die deutsche Energiewende hat

weltweit wenig Nachahmer gefunden.

In Deutschland sind derzeit noch 7 Kernkraftwerke am

Netz und speisen im Mittel ca. 14 % der in Deutschland

benötigten Grundenergieversorgung in die Energieübertragungsnetze

ein. 26 Anlagen sind in der Nachbetriebs-

bzw. Stilllegungsphase, nur zwei der abgeschalteten

Anlagen haben noch keine Stilllegungsgenehmigung

erhalten; die Anträge sind gestellt, sodass

auch diese Anlagen in absehbarer Zeit mit der Stilllegung

beginnen werden. Die hohe Zahl an Projekten im Rückbau,

die gleichzeitig in Bearbeitung sind, zeigt, dass für kerntechnische

Unternehmen genügend Aufgaben anstehen.

Unsere Kerntechnische Gesellschaft wurde am 14. April

1969 zunächst als Kerntechnische Gesellschaft im

Deutschen Atomforum gegründet. Bei der Gründungsversammlung

in der Aula der Universität Frankfurt am

Main wählten die 163 Neu-Mitglieder Herrn Prof. Wolf

Häfele zu ihrem ersten Vorsitzenden.

Professor Häfele beschrieb unsere KTG als „gemeinsamen

kerntechnischen Heimathafen von Wissenschaft und

Technik“. Ein schönes Bild, das bis heute so Bestand hat.

Werner von Siemens beschrieb den Zusammenhang

von Wissenschaft und Technik übrigens wie folgt: „Die

naturwissenschaftliche Forschung bildet immer den

sicheren Boden des technischen Fortschritts, und die

Industrie eines Landes wird niemals eine internationale,

leitende Stellung erwerben und sich selbst erhalten

können, wenn das Land nicht gleichzeitig an der Spitze des

naturwissenschaftlichen Fortschritts steht.“

Betreiber, Hersteller, Behörden und Gutachter, Lehre

und Forschung verbindet nach wie vor ein zentrales

Thema: das kerntechnische Know-how muss in

Deutschland erhalten werden, um den verbleibenden

Leistungsbetrieb, den Nachbetrieb, die Stilllegung und


KTG Inside

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July



den Rückbau deutscher Anlagen sicherzustellen und die

Entsorgungsfrage nachhaltig zu lösen.

Deutschland ist ein Land der Spitzenforschung, das

Forschungsreaktoren betreibt und in internationalen

Nuklearforschungsprogrammen mitarbeitet. Deutschland

hat einzigartige wissenschaftliche und industrielle Fähigkeiten

in der Kerntechnik, zu deren langfristigen Erhalt

eine ausreichend große kritische Masse von deutschen

Herstellern, ihren Zulieferern und Dienstleistern notwendig

ist. In unserem Land wurden und werden die

verlässlichsten Kernkraftwerke und kerntechnischen

Anlagen betrieben.

Die Bundesregierung plant, auch in der Zukunft

internationale Sicherheitsbewertungen durchführen zu

können. Dieses Interesse wird sicherlich langfristig

bestehen, da die Mehrzahl der anderen Staaten, die Kernenergie

nutzen, keinen Ausstieg anstreben. Ohne eine

eigene kerntechnische Industrie und einer entsprechend

eingebetteten Forschungslandschaft, wird es schwer

möglich sein, weiter weltweit eine treibende Kraft kerntechnischer

Sicherheit zu sein.

Heute Vormittag haben wir den Vortrag von Florian

Gremme zum Thema „Selbstverständnis und Perspektive

des kerntechnischen Nachwuchses“ gehört. Ich fand die

Ausführungen von Florian als Vertreter unserer „Jungen

Generation“ sehr gelungen und hervorragend ehrlich. Da

haben wir Zuversicht gehört: „Wir sind da! Einer muss sich

um den Rückbau des ungeliebten Klimaschützers ja


Der Arbeitsplatz in der Kernenergie ist zumindest bis

zum Ende des Rückbaus stabil, aber Kernenergie hat in der

Öffentlichkeit ein schlechtes Image, die Stigmatisierung

der Kernenergie muss beendet werden.“

Florian schloss seinen Vortrag wie folgt: „Es muss

daher ein integrales Konzept von Industrie, Wissenschaft

und Forschung, Ausbildung sowie Politik her, um die

Attraktivität der Kerntechnik zu erhöhen, um kerntechnischen,

ggf. lehrenden, Nachwuchs zu finden und zu

fördern und um schließlich die kerntechnischen Aufgaben

in unserem Land zu bewältigen.“

Abschließend möchte ich mich bei allen bedanken,

die diese Tagung organisiert und mitgestaltet haben.

Insbesondere gilt mein Dank dem Programmausschuss

und allen Referenten dieser Tagung. Unsere KTG hat

­erneut ein exzellentes und hochaktuelles Programm

vorbereitet. Gerade in Zeiten großer Herausforderungen

ist der Beitrag unserer KTG-Mitglieder, die sich persönlich

mit großem Engagement für Kerntechnik „made in

Germany“ im Allgemeinen und für unsere Jahrestagung

im Speziellen einbringen, nicht hoch genug zu würdigen.

Dafür möchten wir uns auch an dieser Stelle nach drücklich

noch einmal bedanken. Wir gehen auch weiterhin davon

aus, dass die Unternehmen und Organisationen, in denen

unsere ehrenamtlichen Mitglieder arbeiten, diese

KTG-Tätigkeit wertschätzen. Was die Mitglieder der KTG

verbindet, ist die „Faszination Kerntechnik“. Lassen auch

Sie sich davon anstecken…

Ihr Frank Apel

Verleihung der Ehrenmitgliedschaft

der Kerntechnischen Gesellschaft e. V.

an Dr. Ralf Güldner

Sehr geehrten Damen und Herren!

Liebe KTG-Mitglieder!

Werte Gäste!

Ich freue mich, dass Sie den Weg zurück in den Plenarsaal

gefunden haben und hoffe, dass Sie am Nachmittag

in den Focus Sessions interessante Präsentationen erleben

konnten und einen aktiven Austausch zu den Themen


Seit Jahren ehren wir verdiente Größen unserer

Branche und es ist mir eine große Freude, Sie so zahl reich

zur diesjährigen Verleihung der KTG-Ehren mitgliedschaft

begrüßen zu dürfen.

Zum 39. Mal wird heute eine Persönlichkeit für ihre

Verdienste um die Kerntechnik ausgezeichnet und ich

freue mich ganz besonders, in diesem Jahr Dr. Ralf ­Güldner

für sein unermüdliches Engagement und seinen tatkräftigen

Einsatz für die Kerntechnik ehren zu dürfen.

Lieber Dr. Güldner, seien Sie uns auf das Herzlichste

hier im Estrel Convention Center willkommen!

Im Besonderen möchte ich an dieser Stelle auch unsere

hier anwesenden Ehrenmitglieder der KTG und auch die

ehemaligen Präsidenten des DAtF begrüßen.

Ich darf das Handelsblatt vom 15. April 2010 zitieren:

„Während die Energiekonzerne mit der Bundesregierung

über längere Laufzeiten für Kernkraftwerke verhandeln,

wechselt der Mann an der Spitze des deutschen

Atom forums. Energie-Manager Ralf Güldner soll neuer

­Cheflobbyist der Atombranche werden. Er gilt als offensiver

Verfechter der Kerntechnik.“ So die Überschrift und

dann geht es weiter: „Das Deutsche Atomforum bekommt

einen neuen Präsidenten: Ralf Güldner wird das Amt in

Kürze übernehmen, Güldner stellt sich der Aufgabe in

einer schwierigen Phase. Die Erfahrungen, die Güldner im

Umgang mit Verbänden und Politik gesammelt hat, wird er

künftig gut gebrauchen können. In den kommenden

Monaten müssen die vier deutschen Kernkraftwerksbetreiber

mit der Bundesregierung über die Verlängerung

der Laufzeiten verhandeln. Güldner ist ein offensiver Verfechter

der Kerntechnik. „Die politischen Entscheidungen

der Vergangenheit waren schädlich, Deutschland hat sich

in dieser Frage isoliert“, sagt Güldner mit Blick auf den

Atomausstieg. Technisch einwandfreie Kraftwerke vom

Netz zu nehmen, die kostengünstig und verlässlich Strom

erzeugten, ergebe keinen Sinn.“

Starke Worte. Und damals wie heute: bewegte Zeiten,

in denen es auf engagierte und beherzte Menschen

ankommt, die sich von der Kerntechnik nicht nur faszinieren

lassen sondern sich für diese auch stark machen.

Menschen wie Sie, Dr. Güldner, die sich mit tiefster Überzeugung

und unermüdlicher Hingabe für unsere Branche

einsetzen. Hierfür gilt Ihnen unser ausdrücklicher Dank!

Sie haben in Ihrem gesamten Berufsleben Ehrgeiz,

Einsatz und Engagement bewiesen, das verrät auch ein

Blick auf Ihre berufliche Vita:

Ralf Güldner studierte von 1972 bis 1978 an der

Ludwig-­Maximilians-Universität in München Chemie,

1981 promovierte er dort in Radiochemie. Ab 1981 war er

bei der Alkem GmbH, dem spätereren Brennelemente­werk

in Hanau tätig. Von 1995 bis 1999 war Dr. Güldner bei

Advanced Nuclear Fuels, der ANF zunächst als Werkleiter

KTG Inside

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in Duisburg (heute ist übrigens die Duisburg Tubes

Production ein Unternehmen der Chinesischen Taihai-

Gruppe) und dann als Geschäftsführer in Lingen tätig.

Danach verantwortete er für zwei Jahre das europäische

Brennelement-Geschäft der Siemens AG in Erlangen. Von

2001 bis 2008 war Dr. Güldner technischer Geschäftsführer

und Arbeitsdirektor der Framatome ANP GmbH

in Erlangen, heute sind aus der damaligen Framatome

ANP drei Firmen am Standort Erlangen entstanden: die

Framatome, die Orano und die AREVA GmbH. In seinen

letzten drei Jahren bei der AREVA leitete Dr. Güldner als

Executive Vice President von Paris aus das weltweite

Brenn elementegeschäft des Nuklearunternehmens.

In 2008 wechselten Sie, lieber Dr. Güldner – leider,

denn damit hatte ich in Erlangen meinen Chef verloren –

zur E.ON.

In Hannover war Dr. Güldner von 2008 bis 2016

Mitglied der Geschäftsführung der E.ON Kernkraft GmbH

bzw. der PreussenElektra GmbH und in den Jahren 2010

bis 2015 deren Vorsitzender. Seine Zuständigkeit betraf

die Bereiche „Neubau“, „Rückbau“ und „Brennstoffkreislauf“.

Bis heute ist Dr. Ralf Güldner Mitglied des Aufsichtsrats

der PreussenElektra GmbH in Hannover.

Neben Ihrem eindrucksvollen beruflichen Werdegang

haben Sie sich – Dr. Güldner – auch in verschiedenen

Verbänden national und international für die Kerntechnik

nachhaltig eingesetzt:

Egoistisch beginne ich mit der KTG: in der Zeit von

2003 bis 2006 waren Sie unser Vorsitzender; von 2006 bis

2008 waren Sie Vorsitzender der World Nuclear

Association; von 2009 bis 2011 waren Sie Präsident des

europäischen Branchenverbandes FORATOM und das

Präsidium des Deutschen Atomforums hat Sie im April

2010 einstimmig zu seinem neuen Präsidenten gewählt,

der Sie bis gestern waren.

Ihre fachlichen Stärken auf den Gebieten des Kernbrennstoffkreislaufes,

dem KKW-Neubau und Rückbau

haben Ihre Dienstherren hervorragend erkannt und für

eine starke Kerntechnik „Made in Germany“ genutzt. Dazu

kommen Ihre einzigartigen Kommunikationsfähigkeiten.

Der Reihe nach: ich konnte Sie Ende der neunziger

Jahre im Wesentlichen bei Brennelement-Kunden in den

Nordic Countries erleben. Neben erfolgreichen Geschäftsabschlüssen

in Schweden und Finnland, deren Anlagen

übrigens partiell heute noch deutsche Brennelemente

in den Kernen haben, war für Sie der Dialog über die

Nutzung der Kernenergie als CO 2 -armer Stromlieferant

und der gesellschaftliche Energie-Dialog wichtig. Es

gelang Ihnen, internationale Kontakte zu knüpfen, die Sie

als Netzwerker heute noch nutzen.

Im Neubau haben Sie sich für die E.ON oder auch partiell

gemeinsam mit anderen Deutschen EVU’s einen

hervorragenden Ruf erarbeitet. In den Gesprächen in

Großbritannien, Finnland, Frankreich oder Italien war es

Ihr Ziel, hervorragende Anlagentechnik und Anlagenkenntnis

vereint mit einem fundierten Betreiber wissen in

KKW-Neubau-Projekten einzu bringen. Die Anlagen der

neuen Generation, die im Ausland gebaut werden sollten,

basierten auch auf deutschen Referenzen eines sicheren

Leistungs betriebes und wiederholten Weltmeistertiteln

bei Verfügbarkeit und Stromproduktion.

Bezüglich des KKW-Neubaus haben Sie – wie viele

andere auch – in der ersten Dekade dieses Jahrhunderts an

eine bevorstehende KKW-Renaissance geglaubt, so sicher,

dass Sie mit der Grünen-Politikerin Bärbel Höhn

wetteten, in Italien werde bis 2020 mindestens ein

neues Kernkraftwerk die Stromproduktion aufnehmen.

Ansonsten würden Sie Sekt auf einem Grünen- Parteitag

ausschenken. Mit dem Referendum in Italien ist es

anders gekommen…

Die im Eingangszitat erwähnten Verhandlungen über

eine Laufzeitverlängerung für deutsche Anlagen waren

erfolgreich: Betrieb der Kernkraftwerke bis zum Jahre

2036. Mit dem 11. März 2011 und den Ereignissen in

Fukushima kam dann jedoch alles ganz anders. Aber Sie

haben gekämpft und hier hat der „Kommunikator Güldner“

Großes geleistet.

Als Präsident des Atomforums waren Sie Deutschlands

begehrtester Gesprächspartner zu allen sich aufdrängenden

Fragen. Keine Talkshow, die nicht dieses

Thema aufgemacht und Sie nicht angefragt hat und kein

ZDF-Spezial- oder Morgenmagazin ohne Ralf Güldner.

Und hier ist sich die Branche einig: Sie haben einen supertollen

Job gemacht.

Ihre Präsenz in den Medien Dr. Güldner – und übrigens

nicht nur im Jahr 2011 – war und ist beein druckend, Ihre

inhaltlichen Ausführungen, Ihre verbale Überzeugungskraft

aber auch Ihre bemerkenswerte Sachlichkeit und

Ruhe selbst bei provo zierenden Frage stellungen deutscher

und inter nationaler Medienvertreter waren und sind


„Rückbau können wir“ haben Sie uns oft gesagt und das

stimmt. Hier – wie auch im internationalen Neubau, bei

Nachrüstungen und im Brennelementgeschäft – setzen Sie

sich dafür ein, dass deutsche Lieferanten von Kerntechnik

auch im Ausland erfolgreich sind. Neben dem Geschäftserfolg

für die Unternehmen kann dies einen Beitrag zum

Kompetenzerhalt Kerntechnik leisten. Ob im Rahmen von

„Energie im Dialog“, Interviews oder anderen öffentlichen

Debatten fordern Sie den „Masterplan für die Weiterentwicklung

der kerntechnischen Kompetenz“. Ich zitiere

aus Ihrer Eröffnungsrede der AMNT des letzten Jahres:

„ Angesichts der Notwendigkeit der Weiterentwicklung

der kerntechnischen Kompetenz und Fähigkeiten zur

Bewältigung der anstehenden Aufgaben in Deutschland

und zum Erhalt der internationalen Mitsprache fähigkeit

ist die Frage angebracht, wann es einen Masterplan der

Bundesregierung für die Weiterent wicklung der kerntechnischen

Kompetenz geben wird. Einen Masterplan,

der es Deutschland auch in zehn, in 20 und in 30 Jahren

erlauben wird, internationale Entwicklungen sei es im

Betrieb, in der Regulierung oder in der Forschung adäquat

bewerten zu können.“

In den zurückliegenden Jahrzehnten verbanden Sie

Ihr Talent und Ihre beeindruckende Fachkenntnis mit

politischem Geschick, Beharrlichkeit, Durchsetzungsvermögen

und der charmanten und höflichen Art, die

wir so an Ihnen schätzen. Neben Fachmann, Netz werker

und Kommunikator sind Sie Dr. Güldner übrigens

immer eins geblieben: ein Mensch / ein Chef – mit

großem Herz und Empathie, einem offenen Ohr für

­berufliches und ­privates. Für mich persönlich waren und

sind Sie Vorbild. Sie sind Familienmensch, der jetzt – auch

– Zeit für die Enkel und die Hobbies hat. Obwohl

Sie im Besitz des bayerischen Jagdscheins sind, habe ich

bislang wenig Jägerlatein von Ihnen vernommen,

Geschichten vom Fischen im eigenen Gewässer gab es


Für Ihren jahrzehntelangen unermüdlichen Einsatz

für die Deutsche, aber auch Europäische und internationale

Kerntechnik möchten wir Ihnen aufrichtig

danken und Sie als Zeichen unserer hohen Wert schätzung

mit der diesjährigen Ehrenmitgliedschaft der Kerntechnischen

Gesellschaft auszeichnen.



KTG Inside

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July



Lieber Herr Dr. Güldner, willkommen als neues Ehrenmitglied

der KTG! Sie sind uns eine große Bereicherung

und ich hoffe, dass Sie uns auch noch aus Ihrem Fast-Ruhestand

in Herrsching am Ammersee mit Ihren Erfahrungen

als Ratgeber zur Verfügung stehen werden.

Dr. Ralf Güldner ist promovierter Chemiker. Lassen Sie

mich deshalb an dieser Stelle den deutschen Chemiker

Prof. Quadbeck-Seeger zitieren „Reden ist Silber, Loben ist

Gold!“. Damit schließe ich auch in der Hoffnung, dass Sie

sich in meinen Worten wieder gefunden haben. Das Motto

der KTG könnte – lieber Herr Dr. Güldner – Ihr Lebenscredo

sein: „Kerntechnik – Meine Faszination“.

Herzlichen Dank!

Frank Apel

Im Anschluss an die Verleihung und die Laudatio

bedankte sich Dr. Ralf Güldner wie folgt:

Lieber Herr Apel,

zunächst einmal herzlichen Dank für diese – natürlich

etwas übertriebene – Laudatio.

Lieber Herr Apel, liebe Mitglieder des KTG Vorstands,

liebe Mitgliederinnen und Mitglieder der KTG, Ihnen allen

einen ganz herzlichen Dank für diese Aus zeichnung. Ich

empfinde diese Ehrenmitgliedschaft als eine große Ehre.

Natürlich sehe ich persönlich darin eine Aner kennung

meines Wirkens in den verschiedenen Funktionen meiner

beruflichen Laufbahn, in den hauptamtlichen Aufgaben

bei Siemens, AREVA und EON/PreussenElektra aber auch

in den „Nebentätigkeiten“ beim DAtF, WNA, Foratom und

natürlich in der KTG. Dies gilt umso mehr als das Verhältnis

zur KTG und Teilen der Mitgliedschaft nicht

immer konfliktfrei war. Ich erinnere mich an Zeiten der

politischen Aus stiegsbeschlüsse als aus der KTG heraus –

inhaltlich berechtigt – eine klarere öffentliche Positionierung

für unsere Technologie gefordert wurde, dies aber

politisch insbesondere mit Blick auf die Interessen der EVU

nicht opportun war. Oder die Internationalisierung des

AMNT mit einer verstärkten Ausrichtung auf englische

Vorträge, die auch nicht in allen Teilen der KTG positiv

gesehen wurde. Rückblickend glaube ich, dass es richtig

war nicht auf öffentliche Konfrontation zu setzen

auch wenn mehr Investitionen in eine aufklärende Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

sinnvoll gewesen wären. Auch die internationale

Ausrichtung des AMNT hat Früchte getragen,

wie wir hier und heute wieder feststellen können.

Die besondere Wertschätzung dieser Auszeichnung

leite ich aber aus den Leistungen der KTG und Ihrer

Mitglieder ab, ohne die „Kerntechnik made in Germany“

heute nicht die internationale Wertschätzung erfahren

würde, die wir immer noch spüren.

Wenn man die Listen der KTG Vorsitzenden und der

Ehrenmitglieder durchgeht, dann liest sich das wie das

„Who is Who“ der deutschen Kerntechnik: da finden sich

herausragende Ingenieure, großartige Wissenschaftler,

Vorstände, die mutige Investitionsentscheidungen

getroffen haben, sogar der eine oder andere Politiker –

heute kaum noch denkbar – und auch ein paar ausländische


In meiner Zeit als Vorsitzender durfte ich einige Ehrenmitgliedschaften

selbst überreichen und ich war bei vielen

Verleihungen dabei. In besonderer Erinnerung ist mir

aber die Verleihung an Dr. Yumi Akimoto im Jahr 2001

geblieben. Dr. Wolf-Dieter Krebs war damals der KTG

­Vorsitzende. Dr. Akimoto berichtete in seiner Dankes­rede,

dass er als Jugendlicher Augenzeuge eines der Atombombenabwürfe

in Japan war. Er sagte dann, dass er sofort

von dieser Energie fasziniert war und den Gedanken hatte,

diese für friedliche Zwecke zu nutzen. Beeindruckend,

Faszination Kerntechnik auf eine ganz besondere Art!

Meine Damen und Herren, es ist mir eine große Ehre

und ich bin stolz darauf Mitglied in diesem erlesenen Kreis

zu werden.

Meine Damen und Herren, bei einem derartigen Anlass

und zum 50. Geburtstag der KTG muss man natürlich auch

nach vorne sehen. Wie geht es weiter. Ich bin der Überzeugung,

dass wir auch in Zukunft kerntechnische

Kompetenz in Deutschland brauchen, für die restlichen

Betriebsjahre der Kernkraftwerke, den geordneten Rückbau,

die sichere Endlagerung, die kerntechnische

Forschung, den Betrieb von For schungsreaktoren, die

Teilnahme an internationalen Forschungsprojekten wie

z. B. Iter, die Anwendung von Kerntechnik in Medizin und

Technik natürlich für die Diskussion um zukünftige

Reaktorentwicklungen auf internationaler Ebene.

Dafür brauchen wir junge Menschen, die ebenfalls von

der Kerntechnik und ihren Möglichkeiten fasziniert sind

und diesen jungen Menschen sollte die KTG ein attraktives

Angebot machen, das sie nicht ausschlagen können. Das ist

in unserer heutigen Gesellschaft, in der das Engagement

für eine Sache in Organisationen oder Vereinen etwas aus

der Mode gekommen ist, nicht einfach.

Es gibt aber Hoffnung. Kürzlich gab es in Bayern unter

dem Titel „Rettet die Bienen“ ein Bürgerbegehren für

mehr Artenvielfalt. Das Bürgerbegehren wurde angenommen

und die Bayerische Staatsregierung ist dabei die

Forderungen umzusetzen. Nun wird es sicher nicht gleich

ein Bürgerbegehren für mehr Artenvielfalt in der grundlastfähigen,

CO 2 -freien Stromerzeugung geben, aber

vielleicht hat ja die Kernenergie in Deutschland doch noch

eine Zukunft.

Nehmen wir doch die Windenergie als Beispiel, die

gab es in früheren Jahrhunderten auch schon mal und

heute bewundern wir mit nostalgischem Blick die noch

­existierenden dickbäuchigen Windmühlen vergangener

Jahr hunderte. Heute ist die Windenergie wieder da, in

neuer Form, eleganter, schlanker, effizienter, ein Stützpfeiler

unserer Energiewende.

Es gibt keinen Grund, heute eine derartige Ent wicklung

für die Kernenergie auszuschließen. Das Klimaproblem

wird uns erhalten bleiben und der Bedarf an CO 2 -freier Energie

wird steigen. Bleiben wir am Ball. Welche Rolle mir

als Ehrenmitglied dabei zukommt weiß ich nicht, ich halte

es da wie Franz Beckenbauer. Als er Ehrenpräsident des FC

Bayern wurde, fragte ihn ein Journalist nach den Aufgaben

eines Ehren präsidenten. Franz antwortete, das

wisse er nicht, aber wenn er gebraucht wird, sei er da.

Herzlichen Dank!

Dr. Ralf Güldner

KTG Inside

atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

Die KTG gratuliert ihren Mitgliedern sehr herzlich zum Geburtstag

und wünscht ihnen weiterhin alles Gute!


Juli 2019

30 Jahre | 1989

10. Dirk Voß, Lingen, Ems

50 Jahre | 1969

6. Dipl.-Ing. Tadeusz Kozielewski, Düren

55 Jahre | 1964

4. Siegfried Krüger, Grevenbroich

14. Jens-Peter Seyer, Hemmingstedt

60 Jahre | 1959

10. Prof. Dr. Ulrich W. Scherer, Jülich

70 Jahre | 1949

9. Roland Gottfried, Baiersdorf

26. Kurt Wagner, Recklinghausen

75 Jahre | 1944

17. J. Krellmann, Le Puy Ste. Réparade/FR

20. Günter Langer , Rosbach

76 Jahre | 1943

10. Dipl.-Ing. Dieter Eder, Alzenau

79 Jahre | 1940

31. Dr. Peter Schneider-Kühnle, Worms

80 Jahre | 1939

10. Dr. Bernhard Steinmetz,

Bergisch Gladbach

23. Heinz Stahlschmidt, Erlangen

26. Dipl.-Ing. Ewald Passig, Bochum

81 Jahre | 1938

30. Dr. Philipp Dünner, Odenthal

82 Jahre | 1937

29. Dr. Herbert Reutler, Köln

85 Jahre | 1934

14. Prof. Dr. Walter-H. Köhler, Wien/AU

87 Jahre | 1932

24. Dipl.-Ing. Joachim May, Burgwesel

31. Dr. Theodor Dippel,


August 2019

40 Jahre | 1979

20. Dr. Chris Breuer, Gronau

60 Jahre | 1959

29. Dr. Martin Steinbrück,


30. Dr. Marina Sokcic-Kostic,


70 Jahre | 1949

8. Dipl.-Ing. Frank-Egbert Rubbel,


22. Dipl.-Ing. Gerold Klein, Stadland

75 Jahre | 1944

24. Dr. Gerd Uhlmann, Dresden

29. Dipl.-Phys. Harald Scharf, AX


77 Jahre | 1942

28. Dipl.-Ing. Hans-J. Fröhlich, Berzhahn

78 Jahre | 1941

17. Dipl.-Ing. Jörg-Hermann Gutena,


21. Dipl.-Phys. Peter Kahlstatt, Hameln

80 Jahre | 1939

1. Dipl.-Ing. Gerhard Becker,


29. Dr.-Ing. E. h. Adolf Hüttl, Monte Estoril

(Parque Palmela)/PT

81 Jahre | 1938

6. Prof. Dr. Rudolf Avenhaus, Baldham

21. Dr. Gerhard Schücktanz, Altdorf

84 Jahre | 1935

16. Dr. Dietmar Albert, Salzgitter

85 Jahre | 1934

15. Dipl.-Phys. Heinrich Glantz,


88 Jahre | 1931

11. Dipl.-Ing. Siegfried Dreyer, Overath

90 Jahre | 1929

2. Dipl.-Phys. Wolfgang Schwarzer,


Wenn Sie künftig eine

Erwähnung Ihres

Geburtstages in der

atw wünschen, teilen

Sie dies bitte der KTG-

Geschäftsstelle mit.

KTG Inside


für den Inhalt:

Die Autoren.


Natalija Cobanov,


Gesellschaft e. V.


Robert-Koch-Platz 4

10115 Berlin

T: +49 30 498555-50

F: +49 30 498555-51





IEA: Steep decline in nuclear

power would threaten energy

security and climate goals

(iea) With nuclear power facing an

uncertain future in many countries,

the world risks a steep decline in

its use in advanced economies that

could result in billions of tonnes of

additional carbon emissions, according

to a new report by the International

Energy Agency.

Nuclear is the second-largest lowcarbon

power source in the world

today, accounting for 10 % of global

electricity generation. It is second

only to hydropower at 16 %. For advanced

economies – including the

United States, Canada, the European

Union and Japan – nuclear has

been the biggest low-carbon source

of electricity for more than 30 years

and remains so today. It plays an

important role in electricity security in

several countries.

However, the future of nuclear

power is uncertain as ageing plants

are beginning to close in advanced

economies, partly because of policies

to phase them out but also as a result

of economic and regulatory factors.

Without policy changes, advanced

economies could lose 25 % of their

nuclear capacity by 2025 and as much

as two-thirds of it by 2040, according

to the new report, Nuclear Power in a

Clean Energy System.

The lack of further lifetime extensions

of existing nuclear plants and

new projects could result in an

additional 4 billion tonnes of CO 2


Some countries have opted out of

nuclear power in light of concerns

about safety and other issues. Many

others, however, still see a role for

nuclear in their energy transitions but

are not doing enough to meet their

goals, according to the report.

With its mission to cover all fuels

and technologies, the IEA hopes that

the publication of its first report

addressing nuclear power in nearly

two decades will help bring the topic

back into the global energy debate.

The report is being released during

the 10th Clean Energy Ministerial in

Vancouver, Canada.

“Without an important contribution

from nuclear power, the global

energy transition will be that much

harder,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s

Executive Director. “Alongside renewables,

energy efficiency and other

innovative technologies, nuclear can

make a significant contribution to

achieving sustainable energy goals

and enhancing energy security. But


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July



| | IEA: Steep decline in nuclear power would

threaten energy security and climate goals

unless the barriers it faces are overcome,

its role will soon be on a steep

decline worldwide, particularly in the

United States, Europe and Japan.”

The new report finds that extending

the operational life of existing

nuclear plants requires substantial

capital investment. But its cost is

competitive with other electricity

generation technologies, including

new solar and wind projects, and can

lead to a more secure, less disruptive

energy transition.

Market conditions remain unfavourable,

however, for lengthening

the lifetimes of nuclear plants. An

­extended period of low wholesale

electricity prices in most advanced

economies has sharply reduced or

eliminated profit margins for many

technologies, putting nuclear plants

at risk of shutting down early.

In the United States, for example,

some 90 reactors have 60-year operating

licenses, yet several have already

retired early and many more are at

risk. In Europe, Japan and other

­advanced economies, extensions of

plants’ lifetimes also face uncertain


Investment in new nuclear projects

in advanced economies is even more

difficult. New projects planned in

Finland, France and the United States

are not yet in service and have faced

major cost overruns. Korea has been

an important exception, with a record

of completing construction of new

projects on time and on budget,

though government policy aims to end

new nuclear construction.

A sharp decline in nuclear power

capacity in advanced economies

would have major implications. Without

additional lifetime extensions and

new builds, achieving key sustainable

energy goals, including international

climate targets, would become more

difficult and expensive.

If other low-carbon sources,

­namely wind and solar PV, are to fill

the shortfall in nuclear, their deployment

would have to accelerate to an

unprecedented level. In the past 20

years, wind and solar PV capacity has

increased by about 580 gigawatts in

advanced economies. But over the

next 20 years, nearly five times that

amount would need to be added. Such

a drastic increase in renewable power

generation would create serious

challenges in integrating the new

sources into the broader energy

system. Clean energy transitions in

advanced economies would also

­require $1.6 trillion in additional

investment over the same period,

which would end up hurting consumers

through higher electricity


“Policy makers hold the key to

nuclear power’s future,” Dr Birol said.

“Electricity market design must value

the environmental and energy security

attributes of nuclear power and

other clean energy sources. Governments

should recognise the costcompetitiveness

of safely extending

the lifetimes of existing nuclear


As governments and industry

address these challenges, the IEA is

ready to provide support with data,

analysis and real-world solutions.

| |

Deloitte study: The widespread

economic benefits

of Europe’s nuclear

energy industry

(nucnet) A high nuclear power capacity

of 150 GW by 2050 – up from

about 118 GW today – would result

in widespread economic benefits

throughout the EU, sustaining more

than one million jobs and hundreds of

billions of euros in additional GDP

growth, tax revenues and household

income, a study has concluded.

The aim of the study, carried out

by Deloitte for the Brussels-based

nuclear industry Foratom, was to

assess the contribution of the nuclear

sector to the overall economy of the

EU-28 both today and until 2050.

It said the European nuclear industry

sustains in 2019 more than

1.1 million full-time jobs in the EU and

generates more than half a trillion

euros in GDP. The report also

con cluded that in 2019 the nuclear

­industry generates € 124.2 bn in

state revenues, generates € 383.1 bn

in household income, generates

€ 507.4 bn in EU GDP, and generates

€ 1,092.3 bn volume of investment

and an € 18.1 bn trade surplus in the

EU economy.

| |

Sustainable Finance:

FORATOM calls for relevant

criteria to be applied equally

to all technologies

(foratom) FORATOM welcomes the

European Commission’s goal of

­creating a sustainable finance initiative

which supports technologies that

can help Europe decarbonise its

economy. We take note of the work

undertaken so far to develop an EU

classification ­system for environmentally

sustainable economic activities,

however, we believe that much still

needs to be done, especially as coal

and nuclear have been put on an equal

footing. In FORATOM’s opinion, the

Taxonomy ­report published yesterday

discriminates between technologies

as it does not apply the same criteria

equally to the different low-carbon

power sources.

“Both the IPCC and the IEA have

made it very clear that decarboni sation

goals cannot be achieved without

nuclear energy. On this point, we

welcome the fact that the report

recognises that nuclear is a contributor

to climate mitigation objectives”, says

Yves Desbazeille, FORATOM Director

General. “However, whilst we understand

concerns regarding nuclear

waste – despite the fact that the industry

manages it in a respon sible and

sustainable way – we question why it is

only this particular type of waste which

has been targeted. We expect that,

moving forward, the Commission will

engage with experts on this issue to

enable a fact-based debate which will

ultimately lead to nuclear being included

in this initiative”.

The ultimate goal of the sustainable

finance initiative is to decarbonise

the economy, therefore it is

important that it does not include

fossil fuel-based technologies. At the

same time, it is also essential that it

does not trigger other environmental

impacts. Indeed, all power producing

technologies have an environmental

impact at some point during their life

cycle (such as significant land use or

the generation of toxic/hazardous

waste). Whilst reducing CO 2 emissions

is important, so is using less raw

materials and minimising our impact

on biodiversity, for example.

FORATOM believes that this

­initiative should not aim to exclude

a particular technology without


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

Operating Results February 2019

Plant name Country Nominal











Energy generated, gross


Month Year Since


Time availability


Energy availability

[%] *) Energy utilisation

[%] *)

Month Year Month Year Month Year

OL1 Olkiluoto BWR FI 910 880 672 622 312 1 302 341 262 957 549 100.00 100.00 100.00 99.39 100.66 99.97

OL2 Olkiluoto BWR FI 910 880 672 620 873 1 307 315 253 203 858 100.00 100.00 100.00 99.96 100.43 100.35

KCB Borssele 2) PWR NL 512 484 514 2 611 230 2 991 699 164 713 388 75.54 88.16 75.37 88.08 76.13 88.77

KKB 1 Beznau 7) PWR CH 380 365 672 259 063 545 909 127 880 019 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 101.49 101.51

KKB 2 Beznau 7) PWR CH 380 365 672 257 626 542 761 134 893 168 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.88 100.87

KKG Gösgen 7) PWR CH 1060 1010 630 658 478 1 455 121 315 330 649 93.75 97.03 91.98 96.17 92.44 96.95

KKM Mühleberg BWR CH 390 373 672 259 730 544 220 127 948 535 100.00 100.00 99.95 99.51 99.10 98.55

CNT-I Trillo PWR ES 1066 1003 672 713 243 1 502 767 248 794 436 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 99.14 99.05

Dukovany B1 PWR CZ 500 473 665 318 249 690 302 112 919 796 98.96 99.51 98.96 99.51 94.72 97.50

Dukovany B2 PWR CZ 500 473 672 331 929 701 445 108 935 616 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 98.79 99.07

Dukovany B3 2) PWR CZ 500 473 361 168 874 168 874 106 666 915 53.72 25.49 50.28 23.86 50.26 23.85

Dukovany B4 PWR CZ 500 473 672 337 618 710 715 107 153 984 100.00 100.00 99.92 99.70 100.48 100.38

Temelin B1 PWR CZ 1080 1030 672 707 307 1 517 389 115 878 431 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 97.28 99.04

Temelin B2 PWR CZ 1080 1030 672 735 915 1 550 643 110 823 160 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 101.21 101.21

Doel 1 2) PWR BE 454 433 0 0 0 135 444 462 0 0 0 0 0 0

Doel 2 2) PWR BE 454 433 595 239 087 239 087 134 041 027 88.76 42.13 77.08 36.58 77.65 36.85

Doel 3 3) PWR BE 1056 1006 542 576 785 1 382 502 256 514 987 80.65 90.82 79.74 90.39 80.72 91.86

Doel 4 PWR BE 1084 1033 672 734 514 1 481 070 261 854 480 100.00 100.00 99.52 94.85 99.56 94.96

Tihange 1 PWR BE 1009 962 672 687 221 1 450 879 300 281 737 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 101.58 101.78

Tihange 2 2) PWR BE 1055 1008 0 0 0 254 651 930 0 0 0 0 0 0

Tihange 3 PWR BE 1089 1038 672 725 869 1 483 056 272 710 329 100.00 99.85 99.75 96.54 99.75 96.58



Plant name












Energy generated, gross


Time availability


Energy availability

[%] *) Energy utilisation

[%] *)

Month Year Since Month Year Month Year Month Year


KBR Brokdorf DWR 1480 1410 672 896 739 1 836 834 352 404 644 100.00 100.00 94.30 94.23 89.89 87.28

KKE Emsland DWR 1406 1335 672 936 652 1 972 463 348 791 432 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00 99.17 99.11

KWG Grohnde DWR 1430 1360 672 918 011 1 936 645 379 510 859 100.00 100.00 100.00 99.94 95.00 95.11

KRB C Gundremmingen SWR 1344 1288 672 902 983 1 912 453 332 854 208 100.00 100.00 99.43 99.73 99.38 99.91

KKI-2 Isar DWR 1485 1410 672 987 624 2 081 475 355 807 288 100.00 100.00 100.00 99.99 98.71 98.74

GKN-II Neckarwestheim DWR 1400 1310 672 928 600 1 953 900 331 780 734 100.00 100.00 99.93 99.97 99.03 98.88

KKP-2 Philippsburg DWR 1468 1402 672 973 507 2 054 789 368 215 944 100.00 100.00 100.00 99.96 97.20 97.35

pro­viding a valid justification. In order

to identify whether an energy source

is sustainable or not, it is important to

evaluate each one on the basis of

objective criteria and using a whole

life-cycle approach. In our opinion,

the following criteria should be considered:


Impact on CO 2 emissions


Impact on air pollution


Impact on water


Impact on raw materials (volume

of raw materials required, presence

of responsible sourcing

schemes, social responsibility and

traceability of origin in front end



Waste generation and prevention

(volume, toxicity, traceability, responsibility

in back-end treatment/



Impact on land use


Impact on habitats and biodiversity

By producing such criteria and applying

it equally, we have the chance to

achieve our CO 2 emission reduction

targets, whilst at the same time minimising

other environmental impacts.

FORATOM hopes that future discussions

on the taxonomy will remain

open and transparent, include real

­experts on the various issues and focus

on a fact-based, rather than an ideological,


| |


South Korea’s Shin-Kori-4

reaches first criticality

(nucnet) Unit 4 at South Korea’s

Shin-Kori nuclear power station in Busan

has reached first criticality with

grid connection scheduled for the end

of April, operator Korea Hydro and

Nuclear Power said.

The company, a subsidiary of stateowned

Korea Electric Power Corporation,

said commercial operation is

scheduled for September following

seven months of commissioning tests.

In February South Korea’s Nuclear

Safety and Security Commission

­approved the start of the 1,340-MW

domestic APR-1400 pressurised water

reactor, which has been under construction

since August 2009.

The unit was initially expected to

enter commercial operation in 2018.

However, construction was delayed

several times because of seismic safety

reassessments, design changes, and

the 2017 decision by the government to

suspend construction of new nuclear

plants because of a proposed phaseout

strategy. The suspension was later

overturned due to public opposition.


Net-based values

(Czech and Swiss

nuclear power

plants gross-based)












Hereof traction supply


Incl. steam supply


New nominal

capacity since

January 2016


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


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July



There are three units in commercial

operation at the Shin-Kori site.

Units 1 and 2 are 996-MW OPR-1000

PWRs, while Unit 3 is an APR-1400.

Three more units – Shin-Kori-4, -5,

and -6 – are under construction and

all of the APR-1400 design.

| |

Novovoronezh 2-2 supplies

first electricity to grid

(nucnet) Unit 2 of the Novovoronezh 2

nuclear power station in Voronezh

oblast, western Russia, has supplied

electricity to the country’s grid

for the first time, Rosenergoatom,

the operating subsidiary of state

nuclear corporation Rosatom, has


The 1,114-MW VVER-1200 plant,

construction of which began in 2009,

was brought to minimum controlled

power level on 22 March and on 1 May

reached a level of 240 MW

The unit’s power will now be

­gradually increased to 100 % with full

commissioning scheduled by the end

of 2019, Rosenergoatom said.

Construction of Novovoronezh

2-2, a Generation III+ unit, began

in July 2009. It will be the third

unit of its type to be completed

in Russia. The others were its sister

unit, Novovoronezh 2-1, which began

commercial operation in February

2017, and Leningrad 2-1, which began

commercial operation in October


| |

Science & Research

IAEA launches project to help

countries fight food fraud

(iaea) The International Atomic

Energy Agency (IAEA) has launched a

five-year research project with experts

from 16 countries to refine methods to

apply nuclear-derived techniques to

test for accuracy in food labels.

The outcome of the project, carried

out in cooperation with the Food and

Agriculture Organization of the United

Nations (FAO), will assist countries in

combatting fraud in high-value food

products, such as premium honey,

coffee and speciality rice varieties.

“Numerous foods are sold at

­premium prices because of specific

production methods, or geographical

origins,” said project coordinator and

IAEA food safety specialist Simon

Kelly. “In order to protect consumers

from fraud, and potential unintended

food safety issues, we need standardized

methods to confirm that the

product has the characteristics that

are claimed on the label.”

The project will help countries

apply stable isotope techniques to

protect and promote foods with

added- value, such as organic food or

products with specific geographical

origins like Jamaican Blue Mountain

coffee. The method works by looking

at the ratio of stable isotopes in

­elements – such as hydrogen, oxygen

and carbon – and the concentration of

elements in a sample of the product.

These can provide a unique fingerprint

that links a crop to the place

where it is cultivated.

The research project started with

a kick-off meeting last week and

will run for five years. Participating

countries include China, Costa Rica,

Denmark, India, Indonesia, Italy,

Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Morocco,

Myanmar, New Zealand, Slovenia,

Spain, Thailand and Uruguay.

| |


| | Editorial Advisory Board

Frank Apel

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Dr. Anton Kastenmüller

Prof. Dr. Marco K. Koch

Ulf Kutscher

Herbert Lenz

Jan-Christan Lewitz

Andreas Loeb

Dr. Thomas Mull

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Dr. Andreas Schaffrath

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Norbert Schröder

Prof. Dr. Jörg Starflinger

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Dr. Walter Tromm

Dr. Hans-Georg Willschütz

Dr. Hannes Wimmer

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ISSN 1431-5254


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July

German-French workshop:

How will Europe maintain

its pole position in neutron


(frm) The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz

Zentrum (MLZ) and the French

Neutron Scattering Federation (2DFN)

organized a German-French workshop

on the research campus in Garching

from the 14th until the 16 May 2019.

As two national neutron sources in

Germany and France will be decommissioned

at the end of 2019, the

European neutron landscape will

change. Therefore, the workshop

served to discuss the opportunity of

an enhanced French-German cooperation

among European neutron scientists.

Scientists of the MLZ and the

2DFN (La Fédération Française de la

Diffusion Neutronique) discussed the

opportunities of an enhanced cooperation

among German and French

neutron scientists during the workshop

at the research campus in

Garching. Europe is leading neutron

science due to the Institute Laue-

Langevin (ILL), the future European

Spallation Source (ESS), and a network

of powerful national sources like

the MLZ. However, the closure of the

two national neutron sources (Orphée

in France and BER II in Germany)

together with the increasing competition

from Asia will lead to a change

in the European neutron landscape.

Neutrons for science

Neutron research is indispensable

when it comes to competition to

solve the major challenges of today’s

industrial societies. Neutrons guide us

to more efficient energy storage,

­low-loss circuits of high fluxes and

voltages, sustainable mobility, lightweight

and long-lived motors as well

as better data storage. Finally, neutron

sources are the backbone for generating

radioisotopes that are used for


The role of the MLZ

The MLZ is a cooperation between

the Technical University of Munich

(TUM), the Forschungszentrum

Jülich, and the Helmholtz-Zentrum

Geestracht for Materials and Coastal

Research (HZG), the Max Planck

Society, and nine university groups.

The MLZ offers the scientific use of the

Research Neutron Source Heinz

Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) to 1000

national and international research

groups per year. Considering its 30

cutting-edge instruments as well as its

high neutron flux, the FRM II is

Europe’s most modern research reactor.

Already, the demand for beamtime

at the MLZ is twice as high as the

available capacity. The decommissioning

of Orphée and BER II in 2019

as well as of several smaller European

research reactors in the upcoming

years will increase the future demand

at the MLZ drastically. Enhanced

cooperation among the national neutron

centers is the silver bullet to

­capacity expansion and, thus,

strengthens European neutron science.

“As of 2020, the MLZ will be the

German center for neutron science.

Towards the end of the decade, it

will provide the greatest research

capacity with neutrons in Europe”,

says the director of the MLZ,

Prof. Dr. Peter Müller-Buschbaum,

“The MLZ also fulfils a European

­service as 55 ­percent of our users are


German-French co-operation –

now and then

The German-French neutron community

can already look back on a

joint success story. It started with the

foundation of the ILL, which was

followed by the membership in

the League of Advanced European

Neutron Science (LENS), numerous

shared publications, the corporate

construction of four instruments at

the ESS in Lund, and the high numbers

of French users at the MLZ.

However, the changing neutron landscape

demands for an even stronger

German-French cooperation, which

was extensively discussed at the workshop.

The MLZ hopes for assistance to

provide more sophisticated and innovative

instrumentation and is looking

forward to exploring new fields of

neutron science. The 2DFN hopes

for support regarding the education

of France’s prospective neutron

scientists. “Until now, young scientists

were trained at our national source,

­Orphée”, explains Virginie Simonet,

the director of the 2DFN, “With the

closure of this research reactor, we

lose our education program and risk

losing knowledge in neutron science.”

The MLZ for its part supports over

200 PhD students per year, offers

practical courses and lectures at the

TUM and at its partner universities,

and promotes the establishment of an

international doctoral program. In

particular, young French neutron

­scientists would profit from a cooperation

with the MLZ; especially until

the full operation of the ESS. Simonet

and Müller-Buschbaum agreed that

research reactors like FRM II or ILL

will not lose their importance beyond

the commissioning of the ESS. On the

contrary: the two directors emphasized

that although the ESS would

provide new measuring qualities, it

will not contribute much to the measuring

capacity. So, there will be a high

competition for access to the ESS. The

national sources will enable scientists

to remain competitive. “We should not

feel constrained by new neutron

sources like the ESS. We should see

them as an impulse for new ideas!”,

Müller-Buschbaum concludes the


| |

Company News

Switzerland: Framatome

awarded contract for

modernization of reactor

protection system at Gösgen

Nuclear Power Plant

(framatome) Framatome was awarded

a contract to modernize the reactor

protection system (RPS) of the Gösgen

Nuclear Power Plant (NPP)* operated

by the Swiss utility Kernkraftwerk

Gösgen-Däniken AG. The RPS powers

down reactors safely in case of any


“This contract marks another

important milestone in the longlasting

cooperation between Gösgen

NPP and Framatome,” said Frédéric

Lelièvre, Framatome’s senior executive

vice president in charge of Sales,

Regional Platforms and the Instrumentation

and Control Business Unit.

“It is yet another example showing

how, over the years, we have managed

the transformation from analog to

digital technology successfully together.”

The scope of the contract includes

modernization of the entire RPS using

Framatome‘s proven digital instrumentation

and control (I&C) platform,

TELEPERM XS. In addition,

important functions will be realized

with a diverse hardwired back-up

system. Installation and commissioning

of the new RPS are scheduled

for the plant’s 2022 outage. The

modernization project enhances plant

safety, supports long-term operation

and protects investments into the


The signing of the contract was

preceded by the successful modernization

of the plant’s four emergency

diesel generators, including the upgrade

of the entire I&C and electrical

systems with Framatome’s digital




atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July



technology. In 2014, Framatome

completed the digital modernization

of the plant’s reactor control and


* The Gösgen pressurized water

reactor was connected to the grid in

1979 and has a net electric output of

1,010 megawatts.

| |

NUKEM wins decommissioning

project in Sweden

(nukem) The Uniper Anlagenservice

led consortium with NUKEM Technologies

has been awarded a contract

for the dismantling of two reactor

pressure vessels at Oskarshamn

and two reactor pressure vessels at


The consolidation of all four units

under the Cover Agreement will allow

to achieve synergy effects under the


The dismantling of the Barsebäck

reactor pressure vessels is scheduled

to begin in early 2020 after receiving

a dismantling license. The entire project

is expected to be completed at

Oskarshamn in 2024. The Nuclear

Decommissioning Programme comprises

several work packages including

fragmentation and removal of

the reactor pressure vessels and the

removal of turbine and generator

parts. The dismantling will be performed

consecutively, starting in

Barsebäck and then moving on to

Oskarshamn so as to ensure a “lead

and learn” approach. The synergy

gains arising from common planning

and investments will be used to

achieve higher efficiency within

the Programme. Transferring the

­expertise from the first unit to the

subsequent ones will contribute to the

project safety.

This contract marks an important

milestone since it is the first dismantling

contract covering the reactor

pressure vessels at both Oskarshamn

and Barsebäck. It is the result of a long

and intensive procurement work, says

Billy Slättengren, Project Manager

Decommissioning at Oskarshamn.

Åsa Carlson, CEO Barsebäck Kraft,

thanked Oskarshamns Kraftgrupp

(OKG), Barsebäck Kraft (BKAB),

Uniper Anlagenservice and NUKEM

Technologies for the good cooperation:

“For over a year, this fantastic team

has worked so hard and intensively

and made it possible for us to stand

here today and sign the contract. Now

we are up and running and we know

what we have to do!”

| |

| | Urenco makes significant investment in new UK facility for sustainable energy

Urenco makes significant

investment in new UK facility

for sustainable energy

(urenco) Urenco announces the completed

construction of a new multimillion

pound Tails Management

Facility (TMF) in Capenhurst near

Chester, UK, as part of a long standing

commitment to help provide reliable,

cost effective and sustainable power


The TMF was officially opened at a

ceremony attended by senior representatives

from Government, industry

and the local community.

Urenco’s core business is enriching

uranium to provide sustainable

energy for the world. Enriched

uranium is an integral component in

civil nuclear power generation. The

responsible management of the

by-product of the enrichment process,

known as tails, is crucial to Urenco’s

commitment to sustainability. Tails

are converted to uranium oxide,

which is stable and allows long-term

storage prior to either further enrichment

or safe disposal of the residual

uranium. To enable the conversion,

Urenco invested in the TMF, which is

operated by a subsidiary company

Urenco ChemPlants.

Boris Schucht, Chief Executive

­Officer, Urenco, said:

“The TMF is a key element in

Urenco’s commitment to sustainable

energy generation. It is a further

tangible demonstration of our responsible

management of nuclear materials.

“We are very proud of our safety

record during the construction of the

TMF. We achieved more than seven

million hours of safe working, making

the TMF one of the safest construction

sites in the UK and a credit to the

whole workforce.

“Urenco makes an important contribution

to the UK and globally – in

terms of supplier spend, salaries,

workforce and new infrastructure

and we are proud to have made this

signi­ficant addition to our organisation

and the UK economy.”

| |

Market data

(All information is supplied without


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)].



Uranium: 35.00–39.75


Conversion: 6.25–9.50


Separative work: 58.00–92.00



Uranium: 18.75–35.25


Conversion: 5.50–6.75


Separative work: 47.00–62.00



Uranium: 19.25–26.50


Conversion: 4.50–6.75


Separative work: 39.00–50.00


January to June 2018


Uranium: 21.75–24.00


Conversion: 6.00–9.50


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July


Prize range: Spot market [USD*/lb(US) U 3 O 8 ]


) 1

Uranium prize range: Spot market [USD*/lb(US) U 3 O 8 ]













Yearly average prices in real USD, base: US prices (1982 to1984) *









Sources: Energy Intelligence, Nukem; Bild/Figure: atw 2019


* Actual nominal USD prices, not real prices referring to a base year. Year

) 1 ) 1

real prices * Actual nominal USD prices, not referring to a base year. Sources: Energy Intelligence, Nukem; Bild/Figure: atw 2019

| | Uranium spot market prices from 1980 to 2019 and from 2008 to 2019. The price range is shown.

In years with U.S. trade restrictions the unrestricted uranium spot market price is shown.

Separative work: Spot market price range [USD*/kg UTA]

Conversion: Spot conversion price range [USD*/kgU]








) 1 Sources: Energy Intelligence, Nukem; Bild/Figure: atw 2019








Jan. 2008

Jan. 2009

Jan. 2010

Jan. 2011

Jan. 2012

Jan. 2013

Jan. 2014

Jan. 2015

Jan. 2016

Jan. 2017

Jan. 2018

Jan. 2019

Jan. 2020














Jan. 2008

Jan. 2009

Jan. 2010

Jan. 2011

Jan. 2012

Jan. 2013

* Actual nominal USD prices, not real prices referring to a base year. Year

Jan. 2014

Jan. 2015

Jan. 2016

Jan. 2017

Jan. 2018

Jan. 2019

Jan. 2020

Sources: Energy Intelligence, Nukem; Bild/Figure: atw 2019

Jan. 2008

Jan. 2009

Jan. 2010

Jan. 2011

Jan. 2012

Jan. 2013

* Actual nominal USD prices, not real prices referring to a base year. Year

Jan. 2014

Jan. 2015

Jan. 2016

Jan. 2017

Jan. 2018

Jan. 2019

Jan. 2020

| | Separative work and conversion market price ranges from 2008 to 2019. The price range is shown.


In December 2009 Energy Intelligence changed the method of calculation for spot market prices. The change results in virtual price leaps.


Separative work: 35.00–42.00

February 2018


Uranium: 21.25–22.50


Conversion: 6.25–7.25


Separative work: 37.00–40.00

March 2018


Uranium: 20.50–22.25


Conversion: 6.50–7.50


Separative work: 36.00–39.00

April 2018


Uranium: 20.00–21.75


Conversion: 7.50–8.50


Separative work: 36.00–39.00

May 2018


Uranium: 21.75–22.80


Conversion: 8.00–8.75


Separative work: 36.00–39.00

June 2018


Uranium: 22.50–23.75


Conversion: 8.50–9.50


Separative work: 35.00–38.00

July 2018


Uranium: 23.00–25.90


Conversion: 9.00–10.50


Separative work: 34.00–38.00

August 2018


Uranium: 25.50–26.50


Conversion: 11.00–14.00


Separative work: 34.00–38.00

September 2018


Uranium: 26.50–27.50


Conversion: 12.00–13.00


Separative work: 38.00–40.00

October 2018


Uranium: 27.30–29.00


Conversion: 12.00–15.00


Separative work: 37.00–40.00

November 2018


Uranium: 28.00–29.25


Conversion: 13.50–14.50


Separative work: 39.00–40.00

December 2018


Uranium: 28.50–29.20


Conversion: 13.50–14.50


Separative work: 40.00–41.00


January 2019


Uranium: 28.70–29.10


Conversion: 13.50–14.50


Separative work: 41.00–44.00

February 2019


Uranium: 27.50–29.25


Conversion: 13.50–14.50


Separative work: 42.00–45.00

March 2019


Uranium: 24.85–28.25


Conversion: 13.50–14.50


Separative work: 43.00–46.00

April 2019


Uranium: 25.50–25.88


Conversion: 15.00–17.00


Separative work: 44.00–46.00

| | Source: Energy Intelligence

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):

2014: 72.94, 30,591,663

2015: 67.90; 28,919,230

2016: 67.07; 29,787,178

2017: 91.28, 25,739,010


I. quarter: 89.88; 5,838,003

II. quarter: 88.25; 4,341,359

III. quarter: 100.79; 5,135,198

IV. quarter: 100.91; 6,814,244

| | Source: BAFA, some data provisional


atw Vol. 64 (2019) | Issue 6/7 ı June/July



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.


Natural History

Museum letter –


European Energy

Agency report –


EV Revolution Could be Running on Empty

Without Nuclear

Hardly a day goes by when we don’t hear about another model of electric car being launched. Fully electric and

hybrid vehicles are all the craze.

There is a frantic race – encouraged by governments

around the world – to put the most electric vehicles (EVs)

onto the roads. The aim is noble enough: to make every

effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions and scrap the petrol

and diesel-guzzling internal combustion engines.

TV adverts and slick promotional videos show these

‘green’ EVs darting around cities with solar panels on every

building’s rooftop and running silently through the

country­side, where windmills are more prolific than trees.

But there is a big problem looming for this EV utopia…

where is the electricity going to come from to keep

recharging the vehicles’ batteries? And don’t forget the

grid-scale battery energy storage systems that countries

are also encouraging to be installed at a rapid pace. Solar

and wind alone, on the scale that we currently know it, will

not nearly be enough to keep these battery systems topped

up and ready to be utilised at a moment’s notice.

All this, perhaps unsurprisingly for readers of this

journal, brings me to nuclear energy. The electric revolution

in mobility is an incredible opportunity for nuclear

and policymakers and politicians need to be made aware of


In a recent announcement, experts warned that

producing a new generation of electric vehicles and

supplying the electricity to keep their batteries charged

would add up to “huge implications” for the world’s natural


The UK alone would need just under twice the current

annual world cobalt production to meet its EV targets for

2050, according to a letter to government climate change

advisers co-authored by the head of earth sciences at the

UK’s Natural History Museum, Prof Richard Herrington.

In the letter, to the Committee on Climate Change,

Herrington said the world must face up to the “raw

­material cost of going green” – which he explained would

require supplies of some metals to “increase dramatically”

to fuel the desire for the “revolution in the way we travel”.

In the UK, petrol and diesel cars make up the biggest

share of the UK’s climate pollution, with an estimated

31.5 million cars currently on UK roads, covering

252.5 ­billion miles per year.

To replace all these with EVs today, “assuming they use

the most resource-frugal next-generation batteries”, the

letter said it would require: 207,900 tonnes of cobalt (just

under twice the annual global production), 264,600 tonnes

of lithium carbonate (three quarters the world’s production),

at least 7,200 tonnes of neodymium and dysprosium

(nearly the entire world production of neodymium) and

2,362,500 tonnes of copper (more than half the world’s

production in 2018).

On a global basis, for the expected 2bn cars on the

world’s roads by 2050 to be electric, the letter said experts

had calculated that the “annual production of neodymium

and dysprosium would have to increase by 70%, copper

output would need to more than double and cobalt output

would need to increase at least three and a half times

for the entire period from now until 2050 to satisfy the


Switching to EVs for the UK fleet “comes with an energy

cost too”, the letter said. “Energy costs for cobalt production

are estimated at 7,000-8,000 kilowatt-hours

(kWh) for every tonne of metal produced and for copper

9,000 kWh/t. The rare-earth energy costs are at least

3,350 kWh/t, so for the target of all 31.5 million cars, that

requires 22.5 terawatt hours of power to produce the new

metals, amounting to 6% of the UK’s current annual

electrical usage.”

There are also challenges of using ‘green energy’ to

power electric cars, the letter said. “If wind farms are

chosen to generate the power for the projected two billion

cars, at UK average usage, this requires the equivalent of a

further years’ worth of total global copper supply and 10

years’ worth of global neodymium and dysprosium production

to build the wind farms.”

Solar power is also “problematic and resource hungry”,

according to Herrington’s letter. “All the photovoltaic

systems currently on the market are reliant on one or

more raw materials classed as critical or near critical by

the EU and/or the US Department of Energy.”

Meanwhile, a new report from the European Environment

Agency has warned that all parts of Europe’s energy

system, from availability of energy sources to energy consumption,

are potentially vulnerable to climate change and

extreme weather events. The report said Europe’s energy

system needs to adapt and become more climate resilient

to secure reliable supplies of clean energy.

Crucially, the Agency’s assessment warns that the most

important changes “include increases in mean and ­extreme

air and water temperatures, and changes in water availability,

extreme climate‐related events, and coastal and

marine hazards”. These changes will affect the availability

of primary energy sources – especially renewable energy

sources – as well as the transformation, transmission,

distribution and storage of energy, and energy demand,

the Agency said.

The facts I present here not only speak for themselves,

but they speak volumes for why nuclear energy must

remain part of the global energy equation. In terms of the

raw material on which nuclear power generation depends,

the world’s supply of uranium is more than adequate to

meet projected requirements for the foreseeable future,

according to the latest edition of the ‘Red Book’.

The evidence is clear and must be increasingly so, even

to nuclear’s critics and naysayers. Nuclear has been at the

forefront of the green, electricity-generating revolution for

decades and is a reliable and necessary technology partner

for the future.

Nuclear should not be treated as the ‘Cinderella’ of the

energy family – left working to keep the lights on and

industry running without recognition. If the EV revolution

is to prosper it needs nuclear to shine and prosper too.


John Shepherd

Nuclear Today

EV Revolution Could be Running on Empty Without Nuclear ı John Shepherd

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