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Decommissioning of gas-cooled reactors

Stilllegung von gasgekühlten Reaktoren
H. Sterner, M. T. Cross and A. Rodriguez
From the journal Kerntechnik

Abstract

Gas-cooled reactors represent an important part of the world's nuclear programme. A wide spectrum of designs has been developed and tested. The majority of these test reactors and 1st generation of power reactors has been shut down and is now in different stages of decommissioning. This is also the case for the pilot power reactors of the types High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) and Heavy Water Gas-cooled Reactor types (HWGCR). Gas-cooled reactors show major generic design characteristics different from Light Water Reactors (LWR), hence influencing the choice of decommissioning strategy, waste/material management and also to a certain extent the decommissioning techniques and procedures applied. The most important issue influencing the decommissioning is the presence of large amounts of graphite in most of these reactors. The majority of the shut-down reactors is located in the UK and in France and major decommissioning programmes are under way in these countries. Interesting decommissioning work has also been carried out in Germany and in the USA. Most reactors are in a stage of safe enclosure. However, decisions have been taken recently to perform direct complete dismantling, notably in France, Italy and, to a certain extent, in Germany.

Kurzfassung

Gasgekühlte Reaktoren stellen einen wichtigen Anteil am weltweiten Nuklearprogramm dar. Eine große Vielfalt an Konstruktionen ist entwickelt und getestet worden. Der Großteil dieser Testreaktoren und die erste Generation der Kernkraftwerke sind außer Betrieb und befinden sich in unterschiedlichen Phasen der Stilllegung. Dies ist ebenso der Fall für die Pilotkernkraftwerke des Typs HTR und HWGCR. Gasgekühlte Reaktoren unterscheiden sich in der Auslegung grundsätzlich von den Leichtwasserreaktoren (LWR) und beeinflussen hierdurch die Wahl der Stilllegungsstrategie, des Abfall-/Materialmanagements und auch bis zu einem gewissen Grad die Techniken und Prozesse, die damit verbunden sind. Das wichtigste Merkmal, welches die Stilllegung der Reaktoren beeinflusst, ist das Vorhandensein von großen Mengen Graphit in den meisten diese Anlagen. Der Hauptteil der abgeschalteten Reaktoren befindet sich in Großbritannien und in Frankreich und beide Länder betreiben größere Stillegungsprogramme. Interessante Stilllegungsarbeit ist auch bereits in Deutschland und den USA geleistet worden. Die meisten Reaktoren befinden sich in der Phase “Sicherer Einschluss”. Indes wurden jüngst Entscheidungen getroffen, den direkten vollständigen Abbau in Angriff zu nehmen, besonders in Frankreich, in Italien und in einem bestimmten Umfang auch in Deutschland.

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Received: 2004-10-4
Published Online: 2013-05-02
Published in Print: 2005-02-01

© 2005, Carl Hanser Verlag, München