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Krazychic

Nuclear reactor to shut down amid Germany's atomic phase-out

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One of the reactors at the Grundremmingen plant has been switched off as part of Germany's plan to scale back nuclear power. The power station was the site of Germany's first fatal nuclear power plant accident.

 

Spoiler

The Gundremmingen plant, located 120 kilometers (74.6 miles) northwest of Munich in the state of Bavaria, is the last double-reactor plant operating in Germany.

 

Once the plant's Unit B reactor shuts down, only seven nuclear reactors will remain online in the country, including Gundremmingen's remaining one.

 

Unit B's closure has been planned for some time as part of Germany's plan to phase out nuclear power following the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. The last reactor in Germany is due to be turned off in 2022.

 

Plant is 'ticking time bomb'

 

The remaining reactor at Gundremmingen, Unit C, will run until 2021, although it also went online at the same time as its companion Unit B in 1984.

 

Activists planned to protest Unit C's continuation outside the front gates of the plant in the afternoon on Sunday.

 

Germany's Green party and nuclear power opponents have raised concerns about the age of Unit C and the fact that it is the last boiling-water reactor to remain online in Germany.

 

"We are glad that by year's end at least one unit will be shut down in Gundremmingen with Reactor B," the Green party's energy spokesman for Bavaria, Martin Stümpfig, said in a statement in mid-December.

 

"Nevertheless, this nuclear power plant remains a ticking time bomb due to several technical defects — only now with half the explosive power," he said.

 

Atomic power critics note that the Grundremmingen reactors are the same type as those involved in the Fukushima disaster.

 

The Grundremmingen plant is also the site of Germany's first fatal accident at a nuclear power plant. In 1975, two workers were killed by steam that escaped from a pipe that was being repaired in the plant's Unit A reactor.

 

Source

 

*Image courtesy of (SBB) Storm's friend

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Rumors are carried by haters
Spread by fools
and
Accepted by idiots

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Thank you for posting this. I want to further elaborate the situation, as every news source I've come to about the plant generally says the same thing over and over again, both in english and german. We're just not known for having the most transparent journalism in the world, to which in this image showing someone making a typo and every other news outlet not even attempting to correct it"Oberserviert" does not exist as a word. Heck, the article I've posted is also a plant. "Grundremmingen" is also a typo and should've been "Gundremmingen". Same thing has happened with a bunch of other news outlets.

 

I've worked inside the Gundremmingen plant many many times, as the company I work for is responsible for inspecting, controlling and reengineering powerplants across the continent (also non-EU) and produce the various parts inside them. To confirm my bias, yes, I believe nuclear power is the future. It’s safe if built correctly, nuclear is one of the cheapest energy sources, it’s reliable, and it hardly pollutes CO2 emissions. Yes, there is a problem with storing nuclear waste, but in the future, we will find a better way to store it.

 

I understand the anti-nuclear sentiment, the fear of another disaster or meltdown like Chernobyl and Fukushima. The disasters of Chernobyl and Fukushima happened due to faults in the design. It should have never happened in the first place. If a nuclear disaster does ever happen again in the future, the consequences can be catastrophic, however, as I wrote earlier, nuclear power plants are safe if built and maintained correctly. For every nuclear power plants that are built today, the better, safer and more innovative the next one and future generations will be. Except in Belgium. My God are their safety scores horrible.

 

Germany wants to promote and use renewable energy, but at the same time they shut down nuclear power reactors. To fill in the gap, we must use other energy sources such as coal which pollutes CO2 heavily. In 2017, hard coal and ignite made up 37% in electricity production. Germany is also one of the world’s largest producer in ignite. I understand that the process of energiewende is slow, however, they shouldn’t be replacing nuclear power plants with coal production especially if they are promoting clean energy.

 

If they do intend on removing nuclear power plants, they should have gotten rid of coal production first and then moved onto removing nuclear power (even if it'll lose my job). It would have saved us billions of euros in the long run. This money could have been spent on further expanding our energy revolution. It would also have made meeting our 2020 target to cut carbon emission 40% from 1990 levels achievable.

 

Moreover, I find it hard to believe using just renewable energy will be sustainable and reliable. What happens if there is ever a long period of time where there is no sunshine or wind? There must be a backup source that provides energy to keep the system running in the long run and that backup system is nuclear power. You do not have to build 100 nuclear power plants.

 

Ultimately at the end of the day, I do not share the same vision as the politicians. The vision of a utopian world where energy is sourced only from renewable energy. I admire our efforts to reduce its carbon emissions and promote renewable energy which in turn, lead other countries in doing the same, however, we must understand that energiewende without nuclear power is not sustainable. There must be a balance.

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

11 hours ago, Krazychic said:

Germany's Green party and nuclear power opponents have raised concerns about the age of Unit C and the fact that it is the last boiling-water reactor to remain online in Germany

As for the plant in question, it's actually 33 years old. The oldest plant shut down in 2011 is now 42 years old. Safe operation is possible up to 60 or even 80 years if certain components are replaced on a regular schedule (which we do).

 

11 hours ago, Krazychic said:

"Nevertheless, this nuclear power plant remains a ticking time bomb due to several technical defects — only now with half the explosive power," he said.

With the exception of passively safe reactors, most safety systems have been retrofitted, so I have no clue where they'd find that claim from.

 

11 hours ago, Krazychic said:

The Grundremmingen plant is also the site of Germany's first fatal accident at a nuclear power plant. In 1975, two workers were killed by steam that escaped from a pipe that was being repaired in the plant's Unit A reactor.

So just an industrial accident that could happen literally anywhere. Unit A was ten years away from starting to operate when the workers were killed 43 years ago in 1975. Their deaths have literally zero to do with the decision to shut down this aging reactor.

Unit A ran from 1966 to 1977, when a catastrophic series of failures rendered the reactor unrepairable and contaminated the facility. It was this unit that killed the workers in 1975. It took around 30 years to do the bulk of dismantling and decontamination, and work is still ongoing (not my work though).

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Excellent clarification, Storm. Thank you very much for posting it, this coming from a fellow pro-nuclear energy supporter. My only bone is where you state the events at Chernobyl and Fukashima were brought about by design faults, granted both designs by today's standards are archaic, but I'd say operator error and lethargy was the far more prevalent culprit in both events, but that's me. 

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9 hours ago, Weps said:

 My only bone is where you state the events at Chernobyl and Fukashima were brought about by design faults, granted both designs by today's standards are archaic, but I'd say operator error and lethargy was the far more prevalent culprit in both events, but that's me. 

I guess in case for Chernobyl, it really did come down to many things, but holy crap did Fukushima get some lose screws out of this. They were supposed to upgrade their 4m wall on the coast to 12m, but kept on delaying it for no reason. And then that tsunami came, okay, we're trained for this and this complex was built thoroughly! Oh no! Why did we build our emergency diesel generators as near to the coast as possible! I was on holidays in Malta when that happened and when I saw the events on TV, I couldn't bear to hear what's gonna happen at home in response to it but I accidentally switched to German TV, cuz that's apparently available in the mediterranean.

 

People have some beef with Japan over anime and other stupid reasons, but good lord, I was afraid to lose my job :P

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On 4.1.2018 at 6:32 PM, (SBB) Storm said:

Yes, there is a problem with storing nuclear waste, but in the future, we will find a better way to store it.

 

Well, that's a rather optimistic, if not naive, way to see the problem of nuclear waste and not a formulated solution at all.

IIRC the past and present solution for such waste is to just store it for hundreds to millions of years. Good luck with that!

 

On 4.1.2018 at 6:32 PM, (SBB) Storm said:

I understand the anti-nuclear sentiment, the fear of another disaster or meltdown like Chernobyl and Fukushima. The disasters of Chernobyl and Fukushima happened due to faults in the design. It should have never happened in the first place. If a nuclear disaster does ever happen again in the future, the consequences can be catastrophic, however, as I wrote earlier, nuclear power plants are safe if built and maintained correctly. For every nuclear power plants that are built today, the better, safer and more innovative the next one and future generations will be. Except in Belgium. My God are their safety scores horrible.

 

No matter how well engineered and good controlled, accidents never happen planned.
And these possible risks are better not taken under any circumstance in densely populated areas (such as Germany).

 

On 4.1.2018 at 6:32 PM, (SBB) Storm said:

Germany wants to promote and use renewable energy, but at the same time they shut down nuclear power reactors. To fill in the gap, we must use other energy sources such as coal which pollutes CO2 heavily. In 2017, hard coal and ignite made up 37% in electricity production. Germany is also one of the world’s largest producer in ignite. I understand that the process of energiewende is slow, however, they shouldn’t be replacing nuclear power plants with coal production especially if they are promoting clean energy.

[...]

 

I can see the attractiveness of nuclear energy with its high calorific value but at the same time I simply can not ignore those immense risk of losing vast areas in a worst-case scenario ('beyond-DBA'/ dt. 's-GAU') or the steadily increasing risks of the accumulating waste.

The short-term solution is probably finding a balance of nuclear- , fossil- and renewable energy but in the long-term, and as goal for the future, those two first mentioned energy sources should be reduced to a minimum if not eliminated at all by a lower risk alternative.

 

On 4.1.2018 at 6:32 PM, (SBB) Storm said:

There must be a balance.

+1

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