Brunsbuettel (Germany)

Map of Brunsbuettel

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770 MW BWR; constructed by KWU started operation in 1976.

Facilities in Brunsbuettel

plantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down

Once again there were found and reported latent defects in the northern-germany nuklear power plants Kruemmel und Brunsbuettel. Both plants were shut down after incidents in June. During the inspections in Brunsbuettel there were found punched membranes at the valves of the emergency shutdown system. In Kruemmel they found 14 fissures in the pipeline of the exhaustion system inside and outside of the containment.

Complete shut down for inspection

During inspections after the incident in June incorrect moorings have been found. The affected moorings are part of the retaining of the emergency cooling pipeline. Because of these and other deficiencies another inspection programm, primarily an inspection of the containment, has to follow up. Because of that Vattenfall had to shut down the reactor. At the moment both Vattenfall reactors Brunsbuettel and Krümmel are off line.

shut down, but on line again

The nuclear power plant at Brunsbüttel was shut down after a short-circuit but is back on line again. There is speculation that the problem at Brunsbüttel may have caused the fire at Krümmel due to a change in voltage in the network after Brunsbüttel was shut down.


In 2004 15 events rated INES 0 occured according to the BfS annual report.


A deficiency in the power station internal load resulted in the shut down of the reactor. This event was rated INES 1.


During testing of the poison injection system (shuts down the reactor independently of the control rods) the concentration of bor was found too low. Between 1988 and 2001 this event accured seven times and therefore deficiancies in safety culture are assumend. This event was rated INES 1.


In 2003 seven events rated INES 0 occured according to the BfS annual report.


In the case of the investigation of a hydrogen explosion, which had demolished three meters of piping in the safety area on 14 December of 2001, references to an earlier hydrogen explosion resulted, said undersecretary of state Wilfried Voigt (Green Party) of the Schleswig-Holstein Ministry of energy. That was found out through comparing photos. The explosion must have taken place ten or more years ago. The operator company KKB confirmed that a pipe of 100 millimeters radius shows an "expansion". A hydrogen reaction is obvious. The incident was reported Voigt confirmed. He claims an examination, further repairs and a better safety management.


During an inspection, which was enforced under substantial pressure by the Kieler Ministry of energy, it was detected, that an explosion of hydrogen ocurred in the reactor containment of the nuclear power station on 14 December 2001. It led to therupture of a spraying line near the reactor pressure vessel. Approximately two meters pipe had been demolished, by which cooling water is advanced to the reactor core when shutting the reactor down. Steam escaped, but no radioactivity had been measured. The plant management had classified the incident as "not safety-relevant". The supervisory authority classified this incident the so far probably most serious of its kind in Germany. In May thereupon the power station guidance resigned.


Refueling outage: 148 of the 532 fuel assemblies have been exchanged, which exceeded the plannend number;


Plant returned to service after the longest unplanned repair outage in a German reactor.
owner has paid about 100 million DM ( US$ 70 million) to remedy the defects, a catalogue of 150 items.


Plant has been down since August 1992;
Officials said that ultrasound inspections failed to detect more cracks in austenitic primary circuit materials, which were detected using NDE techniques; Examination of the piping revealed transcrystalline crack-corrosion: "the new cracks go right through the crystals and the crystals are destroyed" in addition it was discovered that 1 of 7 safety valves of the RPV would not close ( cause oxidation).


During an unplannend outage: examination of welds in 2 auxiliary systems which form part of the primary system pressure boundary confirmed the existence of 61 cracks. In austenitic piping cracks are caused by welding faults. Indications were found that the cracks might have grown through stress corrosion. It is unsure so far whether any of the cracks could have weakened primary piping enough to rupture under operating conditions , creating a LOCA.
In 1994 it is reported that two more cracks have been found in 1 of the 4 redundant trains of RHR system( one 170, the other 200 mm long).


Damage of a control cable led to failure of data feedback on the positioning of a penetration valve in the closed cooling water system. Valve had to be manually closed.


During testing the emergency diesel in one of the 2 trains of the independent emergency power system failed to start because of a defective startup valve.


Scram during restart after refueling outage, because of a failed open safety valve. When pressure fell, the valve closed. Cause: defective clutch operating device.


Inspection revealed that 65 of 184 bolts in several Brunsbuettel isolation valves were defective. Material problems were also discovered in fresh steam and FW lines. Inspection revealed a 70 mm long crack in a 400 mm fresh steam line. 3 cracks were found in FW lines. 160 m of piping have to be replaced. Similar replacement was done in 1982.


Failure of MSIVs.