Philippsburg nuclear power plant

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Philippsburg nuclear power plant
Aerial view of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant (2006).  Both cooling towers were blown up in 2020.
Aerial view of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant (2006). Both cooling towers were blown up in 2020.
Philippsburg nuclear power plant (Baden-Württemberg)
Philippsburg nuclear power plant
Coordinates 49 ° 15 '10 "  N , 8 ° 26' 11"  E Coordinates: 49 ° 15 '10 "  N , 8 ° 26' 11"  E
height 153  m
Country: Germany
Owner: EnBW Kernkraft GmbH
Operator: EnBW Kernkraft GmbH
Project start: 1970
Commercial operation: March 26, 1980
Shutdown: Block 1 (2011)
Block 2 (2019)

Decommissioned reactors (gross):

2 (Block 1: 926 MW
Block 2: 1468 MW)
Energy fed in in 2018: 11,000 GWh
Energy fed in since commissioning: 570,000 GWh
Website: Page at EnBW
Was standing: December 31, 2019
The data source of the respective entries can be found in the documentation .

The decommissioned Philippsburg nuclear power plant ( KKP ) is located in the municipality of Philippsburg in the district of Karlsruhe , Baden-Württemberg . Karlsruhe is 25 km south, Heidelberg 26 km northeast, Mannheim 28 km north and Landau 25 km west (all information as the crow flies). Since December 31, 2019, it has been completely shut down as planned in accordance with the Atomic Energy Act . Block 1 has been demolished since 2017 and Block 2 since 2020.

History of the plant

The cooling water intake structure
The cooling water drain

In 1969 the then Kernkraftwerk-Baden-Württemberg-Planungsgesellschaft mbH (KBWP) planned the construction of four structurally identical boiling water reactor blocks of the construction line 69 on the boundary of the neighboring municipality of Oberhausen-Rheinhausen . After these plans were rejected there, it was decided to build the power plant on the Rheinschanzinsel in the municipality of Philippsburg. In 1971 the Kernkraftwerk Philippsburg GmbH (KKP) emerged from the KBWP. The plans were then revised and the number of blocks was reduced from four to two. In 1977 it was decided to build Unit 2 as a pressurized water reactor .

Construction of the first block (KKP 1), a boiling water reactor , began in 1970. It went online on May 7, 1979. He was almost identical with the three other German boiling water reactors of the construction line 69 (namely, the Krümmel nuclear power plant , the nuclear power plant Brunsbüttel (both in Schleswig-Holstein) and the Unit 1 nuclear power plant Isar ) and the nuclear power plant Zwentendorf (Austria), which after a referendum not went into operation.

Unit 2 had a third generation pressurized water reactor ( pre-convoy system) and went into operation on December 17, 1984. The nominal electrical net output of KKP 1 was 890  MW , that of KKP 2 1402  MW . The KKP was operated by EnBW Kernkraft GmbH .

In 2001, the then Federal Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin had the KKP 2 disconnected from the network at the beginning of October in the course of the evaluation of the reportable events 06/2001 and 07/2001 and questioned the reliability of the operator. After personnel consequences and technical and organizational changes, the plant went back into operation in December 2001 with Trittin's approval and subject to conditions.

Due to the reportable events 06/2001 and 07/2001, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety also called in the IAEA . After several weeks of investigation, experts from the IAEA judged that the KKP 2 was a very good system compared to international standards. They praised the motivation and teamwork skills of the staff, the safety culture, the maintenance and aging management as well as order and cleanliness in the facility. Potential for improvement was identified in the international exchange of experience, in the use of performance indicators and in the frequency of plant inspections by managers. A follow-up examination in 2006 confirmed the initial examination. According to the IAEA, 70 percent of the recommendations were implemented.

According to the decision to phase out nuclear power in 2002 , the final shutdown of KKP 1 was planned for 2011/2012, and that of KKP 2 for 2016/2017. After the renewed amendment of the Atomic Energy Act 2010 (“ extension of the term ”), the final shutdown of KKP 1 for 2026 and KKP 2 for 2032 was planned.

KKP 1 was shut down on the morning of March 17, 2011 for the three-month nuclear moratorium decided by the Federal Government ( Merkel II cabinet ) . At the end of May 2011, the federal and state environment ministers decided to shut down the seven oldest nuclear reactors (including Philippsburg 1) and the Krümmel nuclear power plant for good. On June 30, 2011, the Bundestag passed the energy turnaround (see also nuclear phase-out ): According to the Atomic Energy Act, KKP 2 was allowed to remain in operation until December 31, 2019 at the latest (according to the agreed residual electricity volume ). On that day, the system was actually shut down at around 6:55 p.m.

At the beginning of May 2017, the demolition of Block I began. The demolition of Block II began immediately after its closure in January 2020.The two striking cooling towers were blown up on May 14, 2020 at 6:05 a.m. Due to the contact restrictions and to avoid the spread of the coronavirus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany , this should be done without an audience. Therefore, the exact date was not announced, but only a time window of 48 hours between May 14th and 15th, 2020.

The current demolition has a mass of 398,000 tons. Even after the end of electricity production, fuel elements from the nuclear power plant will continue to be cooled in the facility's storage pool for a few years. Only then can they be reloaded into Castor containers and brought to temporary storage within the facility's premises. Cooled fuel elements from the nuclear power plant are stored there for years to come.

It remains unclear where the highly radioactive waste is to be disposed of. The German Bundestag set up the Commission for the Storage of Highly Radioactive Waste Materials in 2014 to find a final disposal site. Their proposals and recommendations for action were incorporated into the “Law for the Further Development of the Site Selection Act” that came into force in May 2017. According to information from the Federal Government in 2019, the aim of the law is: an "open, science-based and transparent search for a repository site based on the 'white map' principle". No region would be “excluded from the start”. This process should be completed on schedule by 2031 and from 2050 the highly radioactive waste should be disposed of at its final location.


left KKP 1 with machine house, right KKP 2


The boiling water reactor in Unit 1 contained 592 fuel elements with 96 fuel rods each (this corresponds to 102 tons of uranium) and 145 control rods, each 3.64 meters long. These bars had a break-in time of 120 seconds and a rapid break-in time of 2.6 seconds. Under full load, the reactor generated a thermal output of 2575 megawatts, resulting in a net electrical output of 890 megawatts (net efficiency 34.5 percent). In the reactor pressure vessel nine forced-circulation pumps (LEP) circulated by a maximum of 51,480 cubic meters of water per hour, exiting as a steam-water mixture from the core. The high pressure part of the steam turbine was fed with 4982 tons of saturated steam (temperature 287 degrees Celsius, pressure 69 bar) per hour. The steam leaving the high-pressure part of the turbine at 10.3 bar and 185 degrees Celsius, was two water passed in intermediate superheaters means of 400 tons per hour bled steam in the counter-current principle dried and around 50 degrees Celsius overheated . The steam then fed two low-pressure turbines before it was precipitated in a condenser each by cooling with Rhine water and returned to the circuit as condensate . The plant had a natural draft wet cooling tower 152 meters high, which could be used in drainage mode or in recooling mode. (see cooling through drying and evaporation )


The building application for KKP 1 was made in October 1969; Construction began just one year later, after the first partial construction permit was granted on October 9, 1970. After completion in 1979, the system ran for almost a year in trial operation and was taken over on February 18, 1980 at 100 percent capacity. In 2011, KKP 1 was finally shut down after 32 years of operation as part of the moratorium on the nuclear phase-out by the Merkel II Federal Cabinet . Dismantling was approved in April 2017 .


KKP 2 cooling tower (blown up in May 2020)
A low-pressure turbine from KKP 2, used in 1984, expanded in 1995, exhibited in the Technik-Museum Speyer


The pressurized water reactor in Unit 2 contained 193 fuel elements (this corresponds to around 103 tons of uranium) and 61 control rods (length 3.72 meters, run-in time 375 seconds, quick shutdown time 1.7 seconds). In the primary circuit of the reactor, four coolant pumps circulated around 68,000 tons of water per hour. The water entered four steam generators at a temperature of 326 degrees Celsius and a pressure of 158 bar, where the feed steam for the secondary circuit was generated in 4000 U-tubes. The feed steam drove the turbine with a nominal output of 1468 megawatts at around 65 bar; after deducting internal consumption, the net electrical output was 1402 megawatts (net efficiency 35.3 percent; thermal reactor output of 3950 megawatts). The system was equipped with a natural draft wet cooling tower (height 153.5 meters) that could be used in drainage mode or in recooling mode. The base diameter of the cooling tower was 123.5 meters and the water throughput in the cooling tower could reach up to 140,500 cubic meters per hour under full load. The system fed the generated electricity at the 380 kV high voltage level into the power grid of the transmission system operator Transnet BW .


The building application for KKP 2 was submitted to the then Ministry of Economics, Medium-Sized Enterprises and Transport in Stuttgart in June 1975, construction began on July 20, 1977. For political reasons, the block was not used as a boiling water reactor as originally intended, but as a pressurized water reactor of the pre-convoy Generation executed. After completion of the shell at the end of 1981, the technical components were installed by the end of 1983. The warm test operation with fuel elements began in October 1984; The reactor was started up for the first time on December 13, 1984. On December 17, 1984 the generator was synchronized with the grid for the first time; on February 6, 1985, KKP ran under full load for the first time. The four-week trial run at full capacity provided for in the contract ended on April 13, 1985; on April 17, 1985 the plant was handed over from the manufacturer to the operator.

Since the construction of the Wyhl nuclear power plant was interrupted in the meantime (and later stopped entirely), the large components already ordered and produced for Wyhl-1 (including the reactor pressure vessel and steam generator) were used for KKP 2. This was possible without any problems, as this block was almost identical to the drawing and construction of the planned Block 1 in Wyhl. KKP 2 was brought up to the state of the art in terms of safety at the time.

KKP 2 was successfully switched off and taken off the grid on December 31, 2019 at 6:55 p.m. EnBW thus fulfilled a requirement of the Atomic Energy Act on time.

At the time of shutdown, the block covered 13 percent of Baden-Württemberg's electricity needs. According to Environment Minister Franz Untersteller , the gap will be covered by electricity imports, generation from renewable energies and grid expansion.

Breakdowns and incidents

Reportable event 06/2001: Insufficient boric acid concentration in the flood tanks

On August 25, 2001, one of the four containers in the emergency and after-cooling system of the pressurized water reactor, which was restarted on August 12, 2001 after the annual overhaul, was found to have fallen below the prescribed concentration of boric acid . Although one could have assumed that the boric acid concentration in the other three tanks was insufficient, these were not checked. It was not until Monday, August 27, when the incident was reported to the nuclear regulatory authority , that it was found that the boric acid concentration in two other tanks was also below the prescribed 2200  ppm . In this case, the operating manual of the system contained an instruction to shut down the system if more than 3 safety sub-devices are disturbed, but in the meantime one container was borne up again, so the operator did not take the system off the grid. If the underboration had been found on August 25, the system would have had to be disconnected from the network immediately. After the incident was reported to the supervisory authority, the power plant block was taken off the grid "until the cause of this safety-related error was clarified" at the urging of the then Environment Minister Trittin . The operator treated the event as level 0 on the INES scale . It was later rated as INES 2 by the INES officer. In order to prevent such safety-related errors, which could be traced back to human error, in the future, extensive improvements were made, among other things the operating manual was made more precise and a safety management system was introduced. Extensive inspections showed that the event did not pose a risk to the public because sufficient emergency cooling was possible even with the lower boron content, even if two subsystems had failed. However, this was not known at the time of the event.

Reportable event 07/2001: Too low fill levels in the flood tanks

As part of the tests for event 06/2001, it was found that for years after revisions and other shutdowns the reactor had run subcritically hot without all flood tanks of the emergency and aftercooling system having the necessary fill level, so that none during startup in the subcritical state The emergency cooling according to the operating manual was provided. This represents a gross violation of the safety regulations, which was already common practice in the revisions of previous years and also in practice in other plants. As a result of the investigations, the operating manual had to be refined. As with the event in June 2001, this event was also reported by the operator with level N (normal report). This report as a level N event was illegal. Level S (immediate report) would have been correct. An INES officer rated the event as Level 2. This discrepancy resulted in a parliamentary committee of inquiry. Extensive inspections showed that the event did not pose a risk to the public because sufficient emergency cooling was possible even with the lower level, even if two subsystems had failed. However, this was not known at the time of the event.

More incidents

  • In Unit 1, leaks in around twenty fuel assemblies on July 1, 1983 led to increased radioactivity in the cooling water. Radioactive 131 iodine was also released into the environment.
  • On September 24, 2002 there was a contamination within the surveillance area (KKP 1).
  • On April 25, 2004, contaminated water was released into the environment (KKP 1).
  • On December 28, 2005 there was a TUSA (turbine shutdown) in KKP 2 due to the overfilling of the generator primary water tank.
  • In March 2006, a bunch of keys, including keys to the security redundancies in Block 1, disappeared without a trace, whereupon the public prosecutor was called in. Several hundred lock cylinders in question were replaced. It has not yet been possible to determine whether the keys were stolen or misplaced. The state government did not consider the incident to be notifiable within the meaning of the Nuclear Regulatory Notification Ordinance ( AtSMV ), but according to the opinion of the state parliament opposition , the corresponding amendment would be necessary.
  • From November 18 to 22, 2006, Unit 2 had to be shut down due to a leak in the primary water collecting pipe (part of the generator cooling).
  • On May 7, 2007, there was another reportable event in Block 1 : The closing of two small valves on the security locker lock was forgotten when starting up and nitrogen escaped during inerting. This event has been assigned to Category E (Breaking News) INES  1.
  • There was a water loss of 280,000 liters from the fuel pool (fuel pool) on June 17, 2010; only six centimeters were missing before a strand of the BE pool cooling system would have failed. This was not reported to the supervisory authority in accordance with AtSMV. The fact was announced by an insider on March 15, 2011. A reporting obligation according to AtSMV is still controversial today.
  • On November 12, 2011, Philippsburg 2 was shut down for repair work on a defective seal.
  • In April 2016 it became known that the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment, EnBW, prohibited the restart of Philippsburg II after the annual revision. The reason for this arrangement was to simulate eight tests on an incident monitor.
Key ring for visitors to a factory tour (March 2000)


On the site there is an interim storage facility for spent nuclear fuel elements with a heavy metal mass of 1,600 tons. It has 152 parking spaces for castors and went into operation in 2007. In 2019, five additional castor containers with radioactive waste from La Hague should be stored in the interim storage facility . As of April 2019, 62 castor containers have already been deposited there. The Philippsburg nuclear power plant is in partnership with the Tomari nuclear power plants in Japan, Uljin in South Korea and Khmelnyzkyj in the Ukraine.

Next to the switchgear is a 120-meter-high radio tower designed as a free-standing steel framework construction for EnBW's internal radio relay.

On February 23, 2000, forty Greenpeace activists climbed one of the cooling towers and unfolded banners at a height of around 150 meters after they had entered the outer power station area at around 6 a.m. without being noticed.

Data of the reactor blocks

The Philippsburg nuclear power plant had a total of two blocks :

Reactor block Reactor type Construction line Net power Gross output start of building Network synchronization Commercial operation Shutdown
Philippsburg-1 (KKP 1) Boiling water reactor AEG building line '69 890 MW 926 MW 1st October 1970 May 5th 1979 March 26, 1980 March 17, 2011
Philippsburg-2 (KKP 2) Pressurized water reactor KWU building line-'3 (pre-convoy) 1,402 MW 1,468 MW 7th July 1977 17th December 1984 April 18, 1985 December 31, 2019

See also

Web links

Commons : Philippsburg nuclear power plant  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Telebasel: Deutsches AKW Philippsburg 2 from the network from December 31, 2019, accessed on February 22, 2020
  2. Will radiation be released when the nuclear power plant in Philippsburg is dismantled? In: Baden's latest news. October 16, 2019, accessed on May 16, 2020 (German).
  3. Philippsburg: The second block in the Philippsburg nuclear power plant has also been switched off (update). Retrieved May 16, 2020 .
  4. 25 years Kernkraftwerk Philippsburg GmbH, page 4/5. Publisher: Kernkraftwerk Philippsburg GmbH, Philippsburg 1996.
  5. 25 years of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant. Publisher: Kernkraftwerk Philippsburg GmbH, Philippsburg 1996.
  6. Nuclear power - service life extension despite safety deficits. In: ARD magazine contrasts , July 15, 2010.
  7. Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety: "Federal Environment Ministry investigates reportable event in the Philippsburg nuclear power plant"
  8. Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety: "Federal Environment Ministry is investigating another reportable event in the Philippsburg nuclear power plant" ( Memento from April 15, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  9. Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety: "Federal Ministry for the Environment raises no objections to the restart of Philippsburg II" ( Memento from April 15, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  10. IAEA: OSART mission to the Philippsburg-2 NPP Germany. (PDF; 901 kB).
  11. EnBW : "OSART mission in the Philippsburg nuclear power plant ends with a very good result"
  12. When will it finally be switched off - The remaining service life of the 17 German nuclear power plants ( Memento from October 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  13. WNA - Nuclear Power in Germany (English)
  14. ^ Neckarwestheim 1 and Philippsburg 1 from the network ( Memento from March 21, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  15. ^ Badische Zeitung: Countries want the end of 7 nuclear power plants.
  16. see also printed matter 17/6246, p. 6 (PDF).
  17. ^ BNN: Loud rumbling in the morning: Cooling towers of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant blown up in the early morning BNN. Retrieved May 14, 2020 .
  18. ^ Badische Zeitung: The cooling towers in Philippsburg are blown up - spectators are not allowed - Südwest - Badische Zeitung. Retrieved May 5, 2020 .
  19. Markus Balser, Michael Bauchmüller: What to do with the scrap? In: Süddeutsche Zeitung . March 21, 2015, p. 25 .
  21. Publisher: EnBW Kernkraft GmbH Philippsburg nuclear power plant. 2007, pages 14-15
  23. Publisher: EnBW Kernkraft GmbH Philippsburg nuclear power plant. Editor: Michael Maurer. Printing: Kraft Druck und Verlag GmbH, Ettlingen-Oberweier. 2007 pages 16–17
  24. Federal Network Agency power plant list (nationwide; all network and transformer levels) as of July 2nd, 2012. ( MS Excel ; 1.6 MB) Archived from the original on July 22, 2012 ; Retrieved July 21, 2012 .
  25. Jahresesende-Minister-versichert-Stromversorgung-in-Baden-Wuerttemberg,energieversorgung-bw-laut-ministerium- gesichert -100.html
  26. a b Final report of the Stuttgart supervisory authority, 2003 ( Memento from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF).
  27. Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety , Jürgen Trittin: "Temporary shutdown of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant necessary decision by EnBW" ( Memento of March 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  28. a b Final report of the Ministry for the Environment and Transport ( Memento of September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF) on the reportable events 06/2001, 07/2001, and 08/2001 in the Philippsburg nuclear power plant, block 2.
  29. Errors of the nuclear supervision in Baden-Württemberg in connection with the reportable events and the misconduct in the Philippsburg nuclear power plant Plant 2 and the consequences to be drawn from it ( Memento of March 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  30. Greenpeace magazine : "Death sentence in installments"
  31. a b Reportable events with activity charges without exceeding limit values ( Memento from February 26, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  32. nuclear energy in Germany; Annual report 2005 - publisher: Deutsches Atomforum e. VS 36/37 Philippsburg 2 nuclear power plant; Information Circle KernEnergie; Printing: UbiaDruckKöln; ISSN  1611-9592 .
  33. Philippsburg: Key for nuclear power station disappeared. In: Der Spiegel .
  34. Landtag printed matter 13/5223 ( Memento of October 25, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 104 kB).
  35. nuclear energy in Germany; Annual report 2006 - publisher: Deutsches Atomforum e. VS 30/31 nuclear power plant Philippsburg 1; Information Circle KernEnergie; Printing: UbiaDruckKöln; ISSN  1611-9592 .
  36. Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment: Leakage of the containment through a pressure equalization line in the personnel lock ( memento of January 5, 2013 in the web archive ).
  37. Frontal 21 (PDF).
  38. defects seal: Akw Phillipsburg II initially by the network. In: November 12, 2011, accessed April 14, 2016 .
  39. baden-tv: Environment Minister wants to ban the operation of Block II in Philippsburg until further notice ( memento of April 14, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) of April 13, 2016, accessed on April 14, 2016.
  40. EnBW: Employees only faked controls in the nuclear power plant. In: . April 14, 2016, accessed April 14, 2016 .
  41. ^ German Atomic Forum e. V .: Nuclear Energy - Current 2007 , Chapter Intermediate Storage / Transport . Berlin, September 2007.
  42. Stefan Jehle: Philippsburg: The end of the cooling towers approaches with a bang. Die Rheinpfalz , April 19, 2019, accessed on April 20, 2019 .
  43. Greenpeace activists occupied cooling tower .
  44. Power Reactor Information System of the IAEA: "Germany, Federal Republic of: Nuclear Power Reactors" (English)