What is the smallest nuclear reactor built

The mini nuclear reactors are coming!


Essay by Günter Keil

Germany is marching into its "energy turnaround" on its own. The nuclear renaissance continues to gain momentum worldwide. Highly efficient and safe small reactors of the third and fourth generation are in the starting blocks. The author presents the latest developments

During the past two years, Ms. Merkel's government has described nuclear power as a “bridging technology” that would only be needed for a certain transitional period. It can be assumed that it did not announce this assessment in neighboring countries, which have been working since 2000 to jointly develop seven different technology lines for the next but one generation of reactors as part of the Generation IV International Forum, to which 12 countries and EURATOM belong . She would have made a fool of herself. Germany, which was once a leader in the peaceful use of nuclear power, is now on the sidelines - hopelessly left behind even by countries like South Korea, China and India.

It is basically more sad than funny that a government refers to a high technology that is being advanced around the world and which it obviously doesn’t understand any more about as an energy technology that will soon be obsolete. A few months ago, Merkel's government significantly extended the useful life of this bridging technology - and then, after the accident in Fukushima, was the only country in the world to drop it without giving any plausible reasons. In any case, the Reactor Safety Commission did not give her a single reason related to the safety issue. This then replaced the ethics committee, which was made up of church representatives and other non-experts.

In connection with the accelerated end of the bridging technology of nuclear power in Germany, the chairman of the industrial union for mining, energy, chemistry, Michael Vassiliadis, unceremoniously sacrificed all union members and employees of the German nuclear power plants on Merkel's altar to the energy transition with a clear consent to the end of the use of nuclear power. At the same time, he made a further contribution to the original German debate with empty words and replaced the now dismantled nuclear bridge with a new or rather old bridge: power generation with coal. He actually called it “bridge technology” again - a bridge as a replacement for a bridge.

A look over the fence reveals a completely different picture: In Russia, France, the USA, China, India, South Korea and Canada, the technological advancement of nuclear technology has never stood still since then. Even the South African Republic and Argentina have advanced their own developments. Several countries are continuing German developments, in particular that of the high-temperature pebble bed reactor, the first “inherently safe” - that is, due to its physics, not capable of a core meltdown - reactor, which is now a core element of the 4th generation. While several countries are currently offering advanced 3rd generation nuclear reactors which, compared to our 2nd generation NPPs, offer an even higher level of safety - European examples are the Olkiluoto NPP in Finland and Flamanville in France - the consortium expects one object to be missing. The end of this bridge can no longer be seen; it is probably in the year 2100 - or 100 years after that.

Nuclear renaissance

In any case, the so-called nuclear renaissance has been going on for some time. Today 42 nations have construction plans for the construction of nuclear power plants (NPP) - 19 of them are for the first time - and another 7 have expressed their interest in them.

Active construction projects are (as of December 31, 2010; number of reactor blocks in brackets):
Argentina (1), Brazil (1), Bulgaria (2), China (27), Finland (1), France (1), India (5), Iran (1), Japan (2), South Korea (5), Pakistan (1), Russia (10), Slovak Republic (2), Taiwan (2), USA (1).

In addition, 102 nuclear power plant units in 20 countries are at an advanced planning stage. Some of these nuclear power plants still belong to the 2nd generation of light water reactors (LWR), but some also belong to the 3rd generation, such as the French types EPR and Kerena, the French-Japanese Atmea1, the Russian WWER-1200 and AES-92, the US-Japanese APWR, ESBWR and ABWR, the US types AP600 ("Advanced Passive") and AP1000, the Korean APR-1400, the Indian AHWR (Advanced Heavy Water Reactor) based on Canadian development, the Canadian EC6 and ACR ( Advanced Candu Reactor) and even the Chinese high-temperature reactor INET, which belongs to the 4th generation. This fourth generation will set completely new standards in terms of inherent safety, a wide range of possible applications such as chemothermal hydrogen production, the reduction of long-lived nuclear waste by incineration in fast reactors and thus also the very high level of safety with regard to the further spread of fissile material.

The renaissance of the large nuclear power plants, however, is only one aspect of a potentially much larger development: What is now also penetrating the market with power is a whole new class of nuclear reactors that have so far only led a neglected shadowy existence - by the military in the USA and Russia apart from that.

The small reactors.

While the previous nuclear power plants of the 2nd and 3rd generation typically had an electrical output of at least 600 MWel (MW = megawatt = 1000 kW; el refers to electrical energy), which often reached up to 1,600 MWel per reactor block, the mini-reactors work in the power range between 1 and 100 MWel, but their intended area of ​​application far exceeds that of the classic large nuclear power plants: Because the usual large NPPs were built far away from the cities, their waste heat, which is currently 70% of the energy obtained from the nuclear fuel, could only released into the environment. The same usually applies to coal-fired power plants. An exception was the Lubmin NPP equipped with Russian reactors, the waste heat of which was conducted into nearby Greifswald via district heating pipes. This power plant was shut down after the "fall of the wall" and is being dismantled.

The new class of mini-reactors is now aimed precisely at this field of application: They are all designed for use near cities, are usually built underground, are protected against failure of pumps by passive (not pump-driven) cooling systems and are also often inherently safe, in many cases Equipped with fuel for decades and completely maintenance-free during operation. Their manufacturers therefore speak of a mode of operation similar to that of a maintenance-free battery and the operating company does not have to provide local specialist staff. Connect and forget is the motto.

The mini-reactors should therefore primarily provide both electricity and heating for nearby communities. Small reactors with a higher operating temperature, such as some fast reactors cooled by molten salt and cooled by liquid metal (both of which work with fast neutrons - in contrast to the light water reactors that use slow, thermal neutrons) are also intended to be used for thermochemical hydrogen generation. Fast reactors also have the advantage that they not only fully utilize the natural uranium U-238 - and not just 2.2% like the light water reactors; they also burn or split the resulting long-lived actinides (especially plutonium-239 with a half-life of 24,000 years) completely and leave behind only relatively short-lived isotopes that completely decay after approx. 300–400 years. Therefore, they can be fed with processed nuclear waste from the usual light water reactors as fuel and at the same time rid him of the long-lived transurans it contains.

Small systems are intended to close supply gaps and open up new applications. Their consistently high level of security, through which their acceptance by the population can be increased, and their very often underground construction predestine these systems as energy suppliers close to cities. Furthermore, seawater desalination is a planned application in several small systems. The power supply in countries with little infrastructure and low population density could become affordable with such small systems. The favorable costs can be achieved through the complete prefabrication in the factory with its price and quality advantages. The modularity increases the overall system availability and security at the same time. Small-scale nuclear engineering, therefore, primarily provides a way for developing countries to build a nuclear industry at a fraction of the costs and risks typically associated with large conventional nuclear power plants; there are also hardly any specialists required for operation. Small nuclear plants can therefore represent the energy solution for the base load supply for many developing countries that would otherwise be dependent on fossil fuels. This is exactly what the various manufacturers cite as their most important marketing strategy. For all countries that are in temperate or colder zones, this technology can replace gas and heating oil for house heating, but also the expensive large power plants.

This development means an expansion of the application of nuclear energy to several new and important energy markets, which can hardly be underestimated. The small reactors have been around for some time: In nuclear technology, it was known from the very beginning that the construction of small reactors is not only possible without further ado, but is also much simpler and less critical. Research reactors and reactors for the production of medically usable isotopes have been around for a long time. Some small reactors were also built in considerable numbers, but mainly as a propulsion energy source in nuclear submarines and some in merchant ships and icebreakers. Others served as energy sources for remote locations in the far north.

The USSR built around 20 types with different reactor technologies; one of them - the Gamma - still works today at the Moscow Kurchatov Institute for Atomic Energy. An organization in Belarus, the Sosny Institute, developed and built from 1976 two air-cooled small high-temperature Pamir-630D reactors with an output of 300-600 kWel, which were mounted on trucks. This development, which ended in 1986, is now being continued by the N.A. Dolezal R&D institute NIKIET. Since 1976 4 small units of a graphite-moderated boiling water reactor have been working in a remote region of Siberia, delivering electricity and heating with an output of 62 MWth (thermal) and 11 MWel. Between 1962 and 1972 the USA operated small light water reactors of the type PM-3A (11 MWth and 1.5 MWel) in McMurdo Sound in Antarctica. Several successful small reactors were built after 1950 in a national program, such as the Big Rock Point BWR (boiling water reactor) with 67 MWel, which ran for 35 years until 1997.

Small nuclear reactors have also been around for a long time on ships and submarines: The Russian KLT-40S from OKBM Afrikantow is a reactor that has proven itself in icebreakers. The USSR has been using liquid metal (lead-bismuth alloy) cooled fast reactors in its submarines for 40 years. Compact SVBR reactors with 155 MWth operated in 8 submarines of the Alfa class; 70 reactor years have been achieved in terms of operational experience. Also for this extremely promising technology, which plays a major role in the 4th generation, there are now new developments of small reactors - e.g. the SVBR-10 and the SVBR-100 (see below).

It is noticeable that today several of the lines of development that are being worked on by the 4th generation working group can be found in the mini reactor zoo - and some have been in use for a long time, for example fast reactors and high-temperature reactors. With the fast reactors, the reason is obvious: They use the natural uranium U-238 about 60 times better than the LWR, which means you get extremely long operating times with just one fuel load. In addition, fast reactors burn all long-lived transuranic elements (e.g. plutonium) completely and leave only short-lived fission products in the waste. And all of these compact power plants can be built inherently safely. It is therefore to be expected that the 4th generation reactors will probably first be seen in operation in the small thermal power stations.

The following excerpt from the ongoing developments in small reactors gives, on the one hand, an impression of the astonishing technological bandwidth that is being worked with, and on the other hand, of the breadth of the targeted applications and of the previously unattainable high level of safety that is becoming the standard here - and that at For physical reasons, small reactors are much easier to implement than in large power plants.

An overview of some of the small systems under development with electrical outputs of up to 125 MWel:

1. Small light water reactors:

KLT-40S (Russia)
The Russian company OKBM Afrikantow developed the 35 MWel pressurized water reactor KLT-40S as the successor to the KLT-40 reactors that have been used in icebreakers for a long time. It is to be used as a floating power plant that can supply remote port cities with electricity and heat for 35 to 40 years. Construction began in 2007, and on June 30, 2010 the launch of the first floating nuclear power plant, Akademik Lomonossow, took place in the Baltic shipyard in St. Petersburg. The installation of the two reactors will take place in 2011 and also the first test, 2013 the final acceptance. The first mission is to take place in 2012 on the Kamchatka peninsula to supply the Viljuchinsk settlement. In the meantime, OKBM Afrikantow is developing an improved version: the RITM-200, a 55 MWel reactor with inherent safety features, which is intended to replace the two KLT-40S in floating nuclear power plants.

mPower (USA)
Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) designed a concept called mPower for a power plant consisting of modular, underground 125 MWe LWR reactor blocks. When changing fuel assemblies or during repair work, only one module has to be shut down and, if necessary, removed, while the others continue to run. One advantage of this concept is the cost-effective and qualitatively superior complete production of a module in a factory, from which it can be transported to the power plant construction site and installed. The extended safety functions of the reactors are emphasized, namely passive safety systems, no active core cooling systems, no emergency power generators, but battery supply. The first work in production is scheduled to begin in 2013.

NuScale (USA)   
NuScale develops a concept for modular LWR. A system should consist of 1 to 12 modules and deliver 540 MWel with 12 modules, with the individual module contributing 45 MWel. The individual reactor pressure vessel, which is 14 m long and 3 m in diameter, is located in a separate containment measuring 18 m in length and 4.5 m in diameter. There are also steam generators and pressurizers in the module. The safety barriers: a containment pool that surrounds the individual modules, the reinforced concrete shell of the pool, a biological shield and the reactor building itself. The reactor's emergency cooling system works passively and does not require a power supply. Furthermore, all critical components are installed underground - as protection against external influences such as plane crashes. As with the mPower concept, the modules are completely manufactured in a factory and brought to the construction site by train, truck or ship.

SMART (South Korea)
The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute KAERI has also been working on a modular small reactor concept "System-Integrated Modular Advanced Reactor (SMART)" since 1997. It is a pressurized water reactor that is to be used for power generation, seawater desalination and district heating. Its integral structure means that all primary components such as the reactor core, the steam generator, the cooling pumps and the pressurizer are housed in one container. The output is over 330 MWth or 100 MWel. In addition to a large number of safety systems, the passive dissipation of residual heat is a new feature. The design work should be completed by the end of 2011.

CAREM (Argentina)
The Carem is a modular 27 MWel pressurized water reactor with an integrated steam generator for power generation or water desalination. The primary cooling system is housed inside the pressure vessel. The cooling system is based solely on heat dissipation. The fuel is refilled annually. Development is advanced, in about 10 years a deployment in the northwestern province of Formosa is possible.

VKT-12 (Russia)
The VKT-12 is a small transportable 12 MWel boiling water reactor (BWR), which is similar to the VK-50 prototype in Dimitrovgrad. It works with a circuit and a ceramic-metal core. The fuel is changed every 10 years, the reactor vessel has an internal diameter of 2.4 m and a height of 4.9 m.

ABV (Russia)
A small pressurized water reactor under development by OKBM Afrikantow is the ABV with a power range from 45 MWth (ABV-6M) down to 18 MWth (ABV-3), thus 18–4 MWel. The ABV is produced for assembly on solid ground or on a barge.Fuel change interval is approx. 8-10 years, operating time approx. 50 years.

NHR-200 (China)
The Nuclear Heating Reactor NHR-200, developed by the Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology at Tsinghua University, is a simple 200 MWth pressurized water reactor for district heating or water desalination. In 2008 the government approved the construction of a so-called multi-effect desalination plant (MED) with the NHR-200 on the Shandong peninsula.

Holtec HI-SMUR (USA)
In February 2011, Holtec International founded a subsidiary - SMR LLC - to commercialize a 140 MWel reactor concept "Holtec Inherently Safe Modular Underground Reactor". It is an underground pressurized water reactor with an external steam generator. It has complete passive cooling both during operation and after shutdown.

The TRIGA Power System is a pressurized water reactor, the concept of which is based on General Atomic's proven research reactor design. It is a 64 MWth, 16.4 MWel system that operates at a relatively low temperature.

2. Small fast molten salt reactors

FUJI (Japan)
This largely from the Japanese scientist Dr. The reactor concept supported by Kazuo Furukawa basically belongs to the fourth generation of molten salt reactors (MSR). The FUJI is a small breeder reactor with its own fuel cycle. As a preliminary stage, a smaller version - the miniFUJI - is to be built, which is only 1.8 m in diameter and 2.1 m in height and is supposed to achieve a respectable output of 7 to 10 MWel. After testing, the FUJI is to be built, which, with a diameter of 5.4 m and a height of 4 m, could achieve an output of 100 to 300 MWel. The principle: graphite moderation, no metal parts inside the reactor, the molten salt is non-flammable and chemically inactive. The reactor is passively cooled and the fuel can be removed from the reactor at any time by gravity, i.e. without pumps etc. The fuel arrives in a discharge tank that is enclosed by a passive cooling system. A system of protective barriers should surround the FUJI. The very readily available thorium (around 10 times larger reserves than uranium) should also be used as fuel. The International Thorium Energy & Molten-Salt Technology Inc. (IThEMS) was founded in Tokyo in 2010 and aims to build the first thorium MSR miniFUJI within 5 years.

3. Small high-speed reactors cooled with liquid metal

Hyperion Power Generation Inc. in Santa Fe is building a mini reactor "Hyperion Power Module, HPM" with an output of 25 MWel and 75 MWth.
It is a lead-cooled fast reactor (LFR) with cooling by a liquid eutectic lead-bismuth mixture. This type of reactor drove for years in the Russian Alpha submarine class as a drive source, but Hyperion's HPM design has a different origin: The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) developed the concept and it is still known as the "Brain Trust" behind this development. Hyperion is a "spin-off" of the LANL to build and market the type. The small reactor - with the dimensions 1.5 m diameter, 2.5 m height - is completely manufactured in a factory and brought to the place of use by train, truck or ship and installed underground. The fuel supply contained is sufficient for 10 years of operation, after which the reactor is brought back to the factory and provided with new fuel there. The company has another application in mind: ship propulsion systems. A consortium of the Strategic Research Group of Lloyd’s Register, Hyperion Inc., the British developer BMT Nigel Gee and the Greek ship operator Enterprises Shipping and Trading SA wants to advance the HPM as a propulsion system for large ships, especially large tankers. Lloyd’s R. Sadler says: "... we will see nuclear ships on certain trade routes earlier than many currently assume."

SSTAR (Japan)
This lead-cooled fast reactor is being developed by Toshiba et al. It is operated at 566o C, has an integrated steam generator and is to be installed underground. The efficiency is 44%. After 20 years of operation without any new fuel, the entire reactor is picked up for fuel recycling. The core is 1 m high and 1.2 m in diameter (20 MWel version).

SVBR-100 (Russia)
The lead-bismuth-cooled fast reactor SVBR with 75-100 MWel and
400–495 ° C was developed by Gidropress. With its integrated design, the steam generator sits in the same container as the core. The reactor would be manufactured in the factory and then installed, 4.5 m in diameter and 7.5 m in height, in a water tank that provides passive heat dissipation and shielding. The reactor of the Alfa-class submarines (see above) was already essentially an SVBR. At the end of 2009 AKME-Engineering was founded to develop and build a pilot plant for the SVBR. The design should be completed in 2017 and the 100 MWel SVBR should go online in Dimitrovgrad in 2020. An SVBR-10 with 12 MWel is planned based on the same design principles.

4S (Japan)
Toshiba and the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEP), together with SSTAR Work and Westinghouse (a Toshiba company), are developing the Super-Safe, Small & Simple (4S) with sodium-cooled fast reactor - also known as the "nuclear battery system" referred to as. The 4S has passive safety features. Operating temperature 550oC. The unit will be built in the factory, brought to the site and installed underground. It should run continuously for three decades without a new fuel supply. A 10 MWel version (0.68 m core diameter, 2 m height) and a 50 MWel version (1.2 m core diameter, 2.5 m height) are planned. After 30 years of operation, you have to wait one year for the fuel to cool down. Task: power generation and electrolytic hydrogen generation. A first location will be Galena / Alaska. The L-4S is a lead-bismuth cooled version of the 4S design.

The "Encapsulated Nuclear Heat Source" EHNS is a 50 MWel liquid metal cooled reactor that is being developed by the University of California, Berkeley. A secondary cooling circuit supplies the heat to 8 separate, unconnected steam generators. Outside the secondary pool, the system is air-cooled. The reactor is located in a 17 m deep silo. The fuel supply should last 15–20 years. The module is then removed and replaced with a newly refilled one. The ENHS is designed for developing countries and is proliferation-proof (proliferation of nuclear material). Commercialization is still a long way off.

4. Gas-cooled high-temperature small reactors

HTR-10 (China)
China's HTR-10 is a 10 MWth high-temperature experimental gas-cooled reactor at the Institute of Nuclear & New Energy Technology (INET) at Tsinghua University north of Beijing. The model was the German HTR or AVR. He reached full power in 2003. The fuel is a "ball bed" (27,000 elements), the operating temperature is 700 ° C. In 2004 an extreme safety test was carried out in which the circulation of the helium coolant was interrupted without shutting down the reactor. Due to the physics of the fuel, the chain reaction decreased and ended after 3 hours. In doing so, an equilibrium was achieved between the core heat and the heat dissipation through the steel reactor and the temperature never exceeded a safe 1600oC. The same test had been successfully carried out twice in the HTR test reactor AVR (Jülich) much earlier.

Adams Engine (USA)
Adams Atomic Engines 10 MWel HTR concept consists of a simple Brayton cycle (gas turbine) with low pressure nitrogen as cooling and working gas as well as graphite moderation. The reactor core is a solid, ring-shaped bed with around 80,000 fuel elements. The initial temperature of the core is 800 ° C. A demo system should be completed in 2018.

MTSPNR (Russia)
The small high-temperature reactor MTSPNR is operated by the N.A. Dolezal Research and Development Institute (NIKIET). It is a modular, transportable, air-cooled HTR of low power with a closed gas turbine circuit for the heating and power supply of remote regions. A two-reactor unit delivers 2 MWel, it is intended for a period of 25 years without additional fuel. A forerunner device was the Pamir-630D built by Sosny from 1976-1986, a 300-600 kW HTR, which was mounted on trucks.

New developments for medium power reactors

Of course, there will be no gap between large conventional nuclear power plants and small reactors. Many operators want nuclear power plants with outputs between 100 and 300 MWel. With these medium-sized power plants there will be a difference to the small reactors to be used individually: They mainly rely on thermal light and heavy water reactors. However, a modular design is also preferred, which applies here not only to efficient production, but in which a larger power plant can be built by not being equipped with just one large reactor, but with several smaller reactor modules. These are manufactured in factories ready for installation and transportable in series production. The types mPower, NuScale, Holtec and SMART described above meet these requirements.

The following developments also belong to this performance class:

  • IRIS (USA): Modular 100-335 Mwel Pressurized Water Reactor; Westinghouse
  • VBER-300 (Russia): 295-325 Mwel light water reactor; OKBM; as well as the VK-300 with 150 MWel
  • AHWR (India): 284 Mwel heavy water reactor; Thorium fuel
  • HTR-PM (China): 105 Mwel high temperature reactor; Demo power plant in Shidaowan (2x105 MWel)
  • PRISM (USA / Japan): 311 MWel - fast reactor cooled with liquid metal; General Electric - Hitachi

The extensive international development work on large 3rd and 4th generation reactors cannot be reported here in detail due to lack of space. Some of these types were mentioned at the beginning.

One question remains: why not like this right away?

At the latest after the reader has fought his way to this point, the question arises: If the developers of the nuclear reactors have logically and inevitably worked their way up step by step, starting with reactors of low power, to the impressive plants of the 1000 MWel class - Why has it never played a role for energy suppliers as buyers that very large light water reactors (LWR) are in principle capable of a core meltdown accident despite their deeply graded, complex safety equipment and that small reactors are not? And where would the performance limit have been below which such an accident is physically impossible?

The answer was given by my colleague Rainer Six and me by Professor Dr.-Ing. Kurt Kugeler, the former director of the Institute for Reactor Safety and Technology at RWTH Aachen University, in a conversation in 1996: Up to a power limit of 200 MWel, the residual heat of the decaying short-lived isotopes after a light water reactor (LWR) was switched off would also be in the event of a complete failure of the cooling - including emergency cooling - safely diverted. If the melting temperature of the fuel rod cladding tubes were exceeded by approx. 1,900 ° C, the hot fuel pellets would be released. This temperature, which is necessary for a core meltdown, would no longer be reached in this smaller reactor, the reactor then cools down over the course of a few weeks. According to Prof. Kugeler, this safe performance limit could be increased further up to approx. 300 MWel by changing the core geometry - e.g. a torus instead of a cylindrical shape. The only price for this construction that would absolutely rule out a serious accident would be a tolerable cost increase per kilowatt hour. The institute of Prof. Kugeler had already proposed in 1968 to build such a reactor, which is not capable of core meltdown, and that underground, and to build a larger mound above it. These facts and this proposal were therefore well known to all experts and also to potential operators, the utility companies, before the development and construction of nuclear power plants began in Germany.

So why wasn't such nuclear reactors developed and built? Kugeler's answer was resigned: Nobody was interested in this fundamental security question. They just wanted the greatest possible performance - purely for cost reasons. So the development of medium-sized and small nuclear reactors was simply left out and the step towards very large blocks was taken - with the consequence that this carelessly ignored Achilles heel of the large LWR played an increasingly important role, especially in German politics, until finally Ms. Merkel had the opportunity to do so Used Fukushima disaster to get rid of this politically uncomfortable subject.

You can now let your imagination run wild and imagine how things would have gone on in Germany if the industry and the operators had given more thought to their responsibilities in good time, as they would have been their duty. And from the outset, only inherently safe LWRs of the medium performance class, as they have now been developed abroad, have been built. The modular construction, which was reported above, would have been the logical consequence even then for the construction of also inherently safe large-scale power plants consisting of many such units. Germany would have set standards and, at least in its own country, reactor disasters would not only have been practical, but physically impossible. Only the repository problem, which is now approaching a solution through the fast reactors, would have remained at that time.

Would there ever have been a noticeable anti-nuclear movement then? Would the Greens still be a splinter party? Would we then have a higher share of nuclear power than France today? Would the German modular nuclear power plants be an export hit today? The only conclusion that remains is that at the beginning of the development work the industry itself preprogrammed the later demise of the peaceful use of nuclear power in Germany in ignorance and short-sightedness. Foreign countries are now showing us how the development of the use of nuclear power will continue successfully - and the time would actually have come to start developing inherently safe nuclear reactors in Germany and to exit from the large reactor blocks with the entry into small and medium-sized nuclear reactors Connect thermal power stations. The Germans finally invented and built the inherently safe HTR - it worked perfectly - and then politically shut it down.

But history cannot be turned back. All other countries using nuclear power, as well as many emerging countries, will take advantage of the rational entry into the small, safe, low-maintenance 3rd and 4th generation NPPs. The benefits are too compelling. Germany, on the other hand, will probably have to pay a lot of hard work for a long time to come for the fundamental safety-related design flaws of its nuclear power plants and the resulting political consequences and will grapple with nuclear power imports, coal-fired power plants and weather-dependent wind power. A significant increase in electricity prices is due to the huge expansion of the high-voltage network for north-south wind power transport, with the further expansion of wind power and photovoltaics and their costs passed on to consumers in accordance with the EEG, with the expensive electricity imports and the loss of German nuclear power. Base load electricity rising prices on the electricity exchanges have become inevitable. How long the economy and citizens will be able to withstand this cannot be predicted. But as soon as they painfully feel the extent to which they are being burdened by the so-called energy transition, it becomes difficult for the government. Also for a red-green one. In the tradition of German energy policy, there would then be a new energy turnaround.