VAK dismantling project approaching completion
- Removal of the outer shell of the reactor building
End of June, RWE NUKEM, the general contractor responsible for dismantling the decommissioned Kahl Nuclear Power Test Plant (VAK), will begin step-by-step dismantling and removal of the concrete shell of the VAK reactor building. This operation represents the final phase in the process of dismantling the VAK down to the greenfield. As demolition work progresses, the characteristic yellow outer shell of the reactor dome will disappear. Work on the dome will expose the black bituminous layer that covers the steel shell of the reactor building beneath the concrete shell - giving the building a new colour look. The first perceptible change on the grounds of the power plant will be the appearance of a demolition crane (500 t lifting capacity) that will be visible for miles. With the aid of the crane, the concrete shell will be broken down into segments, each weighing roughly 50 tonnes and measuring approximately 4 x 6 metres, for subsequent removal from the reactor building. The dismantled concrete blocks can then be broken down further for conventional recycling. The material will remain at the reactor building on the grounds of the VAK until demolition work has been completed. The first electricity generated by nuclear energy for introduction into the German power grid was produced at the VAK in 1961. The nuclear power test plant was decommissioned in 1985. RWE NUKEM assumed responsibility for plant dismantling as project manager and general contractor in 2001.