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Nuclear technology

Dismantling and disposal technology

One of the largest challenges of the energy transition is the withdrawal from nuclear power. The Kraftanlagen Group offers solutions for post-operation, dismantling and the disposal of nuclear plants.

In accordance with the federal government's nuclear withdrawal agreement from 2011, power reactors in Germany will gradually go offline and be dismantled . Furthermore, for reasons of age and availability, prototype and research reactors as well as nuclear fuel supply and disposal plants are also being shut down and dismantled. Therefore, the Kraftanlagen Group offers solutions for post-operation, dismantling and the disposal of nuclear plants.

 

We develop and build plants for the treatment of radioactive waste and operate conditioning plants. When it comes to dismantling nuclear plants, we are an established name in the industry as planners and service providers.

Our name stands for quality, meeting deadlines and efficiency.

As part of dismantling engineering, we are a reliable partner when it comes to the creation of permit application documents, concepts and studies. We are represented with our own experts at many locations in which dismantling projects are being implemented. The execution of our work is performed by our own qualified personnel in our planning offices and in our own workshops on site. We are well-versed in the nuclear technology rules and regulations and are making significant contributions to the dismantling of power reactors and research facilities. We are using proven processes for dismantling and disassembly as well as tools that we partially developed ourselves.

 

When it comes to the engineering, procurement, construction and operation of waste treatment plants, we have been a leading company for many years. This includes plants for the compaction of radioactive waste, evaporation and in-barrel drying plants, cementing plants and decontamination and incineration plants. Another of our specialities is the engineering and supply of systems for handling, sorting and filling radioactive waste materials.

Vitrification plant for highly radioactive waste in China

In 2009, a German consortium consisting of WAK, Steag and Kraftanlagen Heidelberg was tasked with the concept design, design and detailed engineering as well as the supply and installation monitoring of a vitrification plant in China (Vitrification Plant China VPC). The consortium was supported by the Institute for Nuclear Waste Disposal (INE) of the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology.

The plant is being built in Guangyuan in the Sichuan province and it features a design similar to the vitrification facility in Karlsruhe (VEK). However, it will have a throughput that is five times larger.

The construction of the plants in Guangyuan had already begun in mid-2014. Over the course of the next four years, the phased erection of the process building and the neighbouring intermediate storage facility will take place.

Following extensive testing of the individual components and the subsequent integration into the system environment, the plant is supposed to be commissioned in 2020 with comprehensive cold tests.

The centrepiece of the VPC process line – and therefore that of the entire plant – is the liquid-fed ceramic melting furnace. It features a vitrification performance of 50 litres of highly radioactive waste per hour. All components of the furnace were designed and optimised by FAH with regard to remote operability. As part of a successful factory acceptance test, a delegation from China approved the furnace before it was shipped to Guangyuan.

The transport of the furnace to China posed great logistic challenges due to a transport weight of 30 tonnes and its vibration-free transport packaging.

Project description

This project involves the vitrification of highly radioactive legacy waste of a reprocessing plant at the location of 821 Works near the city of Guangyuan, which has a population of three million. The Chinese government decided to transfer this waste to a secure form for long-term storage. Vitrification technology is globally recognised as the safest method for encapsulating highly radioactive liquids for intermediate or final storage. The Vitrification Plant China (VPC) complies with all the international standards for nuclear plants. We engineer and supply key technology and components for the vitrification process.

VPC is an earthquake-proof "Hot cell plant", in which the highly radioactive waste can be conditioned. The melting furnace cell, the cells for handling the "canisters" (stainless steel containers) and the exhaust air cell are equipped with lead glass windows, cell cranes, manual and heavy duty manipulators as well as shielding doors.

The hot cell section largely corresponds to the Karlsruhe vitrification facility (VEK) and mainly consists of the reception cell for highly active liquid waste, the vitrification cell, the exhaust gas cleaning system, the glass cylinder handling cell, the evaporator cell for medium-active liquid waste and auxiliary systems for media supply.

The vitrification takes place in a liquid-fed ceramic melting furnace that is heated electrically. While adding glass frit, the highly radioactive waste is vaporised, homogeneously bonded into a glass mass, calcined and then filled into the "canisters".

Fact sheet

Customer:
CNEIC China Nuclear Energy Industrial Corporation / SEPEC Sichuan Environment and Protection Engineering Corporation

Period of execution:
2009 to 2021

Services: 

  • Conceptual and basic design of the entire plant
  • Detailed design and supply of process components
  • On site support during installation and commissioning

Supplied components: 

  • Furnace, exhaust pipe and dosing container
  • Input and intermediate container
  • Scrubbers and condensers
  • Decontamination station including ultrasound and rinsing bath
  • remote controlled welding machine
  • special tools and connections for remote controlled operation and maintenance

Our reference projects

Your contact person

Anton Steringer


Im Breitspiel 7
69126 Heidelberg, Germany

+49 6221 94-1250

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