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backfitting

Greifswald Nuclear Power Plant

The Nuclear power station Greifswald (abrv. KGR in German), also known as nuclear power station Lubmin, was the largest nuclear power station in East Germany before closure shortly after the German reunification. The plants were of the VVER-440/V-230 type, which was the first generation of Soviet Union designed plants. The site is located in Greifswald in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Closure

In the late 1989 nuclear regulatory bodies of countries operating VVER plants did a safety analysis and produced numerous requirements for backfitting old safety systems, which were stated to have been necessary in almost all areas. All reactors were closed soon after the reunification, with restart conditional on conforming to stricter and very different West Germany safety standards. There was a public discussion about the safety of the power station.

Convinced that backfitting to the new safety standards was not economically feasible, the new unified German government decided in early 1991 to decommission the four units, close Unit 5, which was undergoing testing at the time, and halt construction of the rest of the units there plus two VVER-1000s at the Stendal Nuclear Power Plant.

The district heating from the plant was made up by oil imports and in 1995 by a new natural gas plant. Decommissioning of units 1 through 5 began in 1995, making Greifswald one of the first nuclear power stations in Germany to go through the process.

The plant came into focus again in 1996 when it was decided to move 235 unspent fuel assemblies to the Hungarian Paks Nuclear Power Plant, which could be done since it is of the same design.

At the peak of the plants operation, about 10,000 people were employed full time there. Currently, there are still about 1,000 working on decommissioning and other activities at the site.

Incidents

  • December 7, 1975 - An electrician wanted to show his apprentice how to bridge electrical circuits. He decided to do a short-circuit on the primary winding one of the Unit 1 pumps by developing an arc following the edge of a wiring loom. The fire in the main trough destroyed the current supply and the control lines of 5 main coolant pumps (a single unit has 6 pumps). The fire was brought under control fast by the fire-brigade and the pumps could be temporarily repaired since the proper actions were taken immediately. After this near disaster, fire protection within the power station was substantially strengthened and separate electrical lines for each pump were introduced. The case was only released to the public in 1989. A few hours after the incident the IAEA was already informed by Soviet authorities, which classified the accident under INES 4.

Reactor summary

Unit Type Net Power Total Power Start of
construction
Finish
construction
Commercial
operation
Shut down
Greifswald - 1 (KGR 1) WWER-440/230 408 MW 440 MW 01.03.1970 17.12.1973 12.07.1974 14.02.1990
Greifswald - 2 (KGR 2) WWER-440/230 408 MW 440 MW 01.03.1970 23.12.1974 16.04.1975 14.02.1990
Greifswald - 3 (KGR 3) WWER-440/230 408 MW 440 MW 01.04.1972 24.10.1977 01.05.1978 28.02.1990
Greifswald - 4 (KGR 4) WWER-440/230 408 MW 440 MW 01.04.1972 03.09.1979 01.11.1979 22.07.1990
Greifswald - 5 (KGR 5) WWER-440/213 408 MW 440 MW 01.12.1976 24.04.1989 01.11.1989 24.11.1989
Greifswald - 6 (KGR 6) WWER-440/213 408 MW 440 MW Finished, never operated - -
Greifswald - 7 (KGR 7) WWER-440/213 408 MW 440 MW Canceled - -
Greifswald - 8 (KGR 8) WWER-440/213 408 MW 440 MW Canceled - -

References

See also

Nuclear plants built in the former East Germany

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