AREVA logo

AREVA wins new contract for Würgassen Decommissioning Project

News brief


May 03, 2006

AREVA, through its subsidiary, AREVA NP, has been awarded a contract by the German Nuclear Power Plant operator, E.ON Kernkraft, to provide services for the decommissioning program currently underway at Germany's Würgassen Nuclear Power Station. This contract covers the dismantling and downsizing of the reactor vessel internals.

The choice of AREVA NP was based on its innovative solution that offers a much shorter overall project completion time. It is also further recognition of the company's highly specialized skills in all areas of nuclear reactor technology.

Based on the technical competencies it has proven in numerous projects, the method implemented by AREVA NP will reduce the volume of the secondary waste to a minimum, as well as optimize radiation protection for the workers in situ. The components to be size-reduced comprise around 55 tons of radioactive materials. The reactor vessel internals will be downsized to fit into 200-liter waste drums, then dried and packaged in the waste conditioning system at Würgassen.

The various activities - to be executed in two phases - will start soon and are scheduled for completion in October 2008. In the first phase, certain components will be removed from the reactor vessel and sectioned underwater in the flooded reactor cavity. In the second phase, the remaining internals will be sectioned while still inside the reactor vessel after the reactor cavity water level has been lowered to height of the vessel flange.

In decommissioning the 670-MW Würgassen nuclear power plant, AREVA NP will be setting a new milestone, as this is to date the first solely commercial nuclear power plant in Germany to be returned to green field status. Würgassen - which started operation in 1971 and was slated for decommissioning in 1995 - generated a total of 72.9 billion kilowatt-hours of electric power during its lifetime. Decommissioning has been in progress at Würgassen since 1997 and is scheduled for completion in 2014.

* AREVA NP is an AREVA (66%) and Siemens (34%) company.