Neckarwestheim (Germany)

Map of Neckarwestheim

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2 PWR units: capacity 800 MW and 1300 MW constructed by KWU, in operation since 1976 and 1989 respectively.

Facilities in Neckarwestheim

plantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down

In 2004 in Neckar-1 5 events rated INES 0 occured according to the BfS annual report.


In 2004 in Neckar-2 4 events rated INES 0 occured according to the BfS annual report.


Radioactive contamination in the secondary circuit system was found. A defect non-return flap valve in the decontamination system was found responsible. When the steam generator was emptied during revision the assumed clean water was released into the Neckar. Not until after the release an activity von 2 MBq was measured. Other contaminated waste could be found before it was also released into the environment.
The responsible valve has been faulty since the construction of the decontamination system. This event was rated INES 1.


In 2003 in Neckarwestheim-1 and 2 five events rated INES 0 each occured according to the BfS annual report.


A leakage in the central heating device of the nuclear waste evaporator was caused by an unnoticed insertion of sulfuric acid into the evaporator resulting in corrosion. This event was rated INES 1.


The nuclear power station Neckarwestheim (GKN) uses fuel elements from Russian production. The current stock is 48 of alltogether 170 rods. The next delivery is expected in spring 2003.
The fuel rods are manufactured with licenses of the French-German enterprise Framatome, in which Siemens is involved, and under monitoring of the German TUEV in the city Elektrostal, 50 kilometers east of Moscow.
This deal is a bargain for both sides. The western operators get rid of a part of their radiating waste, which is converted into new fuel elements in Elektrostal. That saves storage costs. The Russians obtain foreign exchange and can modernize their production plants. Above all however they get rid of a part of the highly enriched uranium, which comes from the reactors of Russian warships. The material does not come from disarmed nuclear warheads.


At a safety-relevant important ventilation system the so-called rupture disk had been installed the wrong way. The installation error had been noticed rather coincidentally during a yearly revision of the nuclear power plant Philippsburg, thereupon also the installation in the nuclear power plant Neckarwestheim was examined.


A primary neutron source, which is stored since 1988 in the fuel element storage pool of the power station, was displaced uncorrectly. Several parts of the neutron source broke off, which could be saved however in the meantime. On the seven-level international evaluation scale INES (international nuclear event scale) this event had been rated first on stage 0. Since it came out now however that probably coworkers offended against operational prescripts, the operator company EnBW rated the events more highly subsequently.


A leakage arose at an emergency diesel generator (EDG) Cooling water withdrew suddenly from a welding seam. Kind and cause of this defective weld are not clarified. The function of the EDG is however "not directly affected". This message is classified as a normal.


Three containers of spent fuel rods are likely to leave the Neckarwestheim plant next week for reprocessing at Sellafield.


High voltage impulses were fed into a plant power supply line to find an accidental ground. current excited part ofthe I&C, caused a contropl room error in 1 of the 4 redundant RPS -> automatic power reduction to 80% for 30 min. Management has abandoned the practice of locating grounds by using high voltage current.


Failure of a converter caused partial power loss during operation: some of the penetretian valves on the containment were not functioning. Redundant valves inside containment were not affected.


PRZ relief valve by mistake during examination. Safety equipment automatically closed the valve after 16 sec - before RPS would have been acivted by pressure sensors. Reactor power was not affected.