EDF subsidiary Cyclife Sweden AB has signed a long-term contract with German nuclear operator PreussenElektra for the transport and processing of 16 steam generators. These large metal components will be transported from the Unterweser, Grafenrheinfeld, Grohnde and Brokdorf nuclear power plants in Germany to Cyclife's industrial site in Nyköping, Sweden, for processing.

Unterweser (Image: PreussenElektra)

Cyclife said this contract follows a previous agreement, formalised in November 2020 by PreussenElektra, for the dismantling of the same 16 steam generators. Cyclife, together with its partner Framatome GmbH, will dismantle and remove the large components from the reactor buildings for shipment and processing in Sweden. Cyclife Engineering, a Cyclife subsidiary created in 2019, will be in charge of the detailed design studies.

The study phase of decommissioning operations has already started for the first nuclear power plant - Unterweser. The first shipment of steam generators to Sweden is scheduled for the second quarter of 2023.

The steam generators - which are around 20 metres high and weigh almost 400 tonnes each - will first be lifted out of the controlled area as a whole and then be shipped away by barge. They will subsequently be dismantled and prepared for disposal. This procedure was used at PreussenElektra's Stade nuclear power plant in 2007. The company said this method "offers both time and considerable safety benefits compared to the alternative of dismantling the steam generators on site."

Steam generators are the heat exchangers in pressurised water reactors (PWRs), producing the steam that turns the turbines to generate the electrical energy in the generator. PreussenElektra said the dismantling and disposal of the steam generators is one of the key major projects in the dismantling of its PWRs and will take more than a decade. "Ensuring the safe and timely implementation of this project will be crucial for rapid dismantling progress," it said.

"This is why we have deliberately chosen to award this contract for the whole fleet," said PreussenElektra CEO Guido Knott. "It allows us to maximise the knowledge we gain and make the best possible use of synergies."

Cyclife Sweden will be responsible for the return transport to Germany of secondary waste resulting from the processing of the components, ensuring full compliance with applicable local rules and regulations.

Cyclife said the treatment of steam generators is the core business of Cyclife Sweden, which has "developed a unique expertise and process, continuously improved over the years."

To date, Cyclife Sweden has successfully processed a total of 13 steam generators and 15 large heat exchangers from Swedish, German and UK nuclear power plants.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Thursday, 20 May 2021
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Cyclife-to-dispose-of-16-German-steam-generators