Garching (Germany)

Map of Garching

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Research Reactor, started operation in 2004

Facilities in Garching

plantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down
Garching FRM-2Research

The research reactor in Garching got the last license and is now starting operation. This license includes the restraint that until 2010 FRM-II has to be converted to non-weapongrade fuel. But the Technical University Munich only is willing to use 50%--enriched uranium which is still weapon-grade.


In response to pressure from opponents of the planned FRM-2 research reactor to be built by Siemens AG, German government officials will offer to convert the reactor core to use high-enriched uranium (HEU) enriched to less than weapons grade, Bonn officials said on January 15.
In the background, the US DOE, in support of the Reduced Enrichment for Research & Test Reactor (RERTR) program at Argonne National Laboratory, and which has made known its opposition to construction of a new reactor fueled with weapon-grade HEU, has offered to help Germany convert the reactor core to use low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. Until now, however, proponents at the Technical University of Munich have refused to build a reactor which operates on less than bomb-grade HEU.
The Federal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF) would float a plan to reduce the enrichment level of the FRM-2 fuel from 93% to 70% U-235. This level of enrichment would require construction of a slightly more powerful reactor, but with a thermal power rating not more than 10% greater than under current plans. Given opposition to the reactor by Greens and Social Democrats in the state of Bavaria, restarting licensing would severely damage chances that the project would ever be completed.


Contract for building the FRM-2 research reactor worth 720 million DM ( 490 million US$). - future operator: Technical University of Munich; Bavarian & Ferderal government provide all the funding;
Siemens got the contract without a formal bidding process; French vendor Technicatome was not allowed to participate in the bidding on FRM-2.