Decommissioning a nuclear power plant (NPP) is a very complex process involving extensive and very good planning in the long term. Many considerations and factors have to be taken into account. A decommissioning plan is very dependent on the context: is the site to be reused for other purpose? What is the availability of resources? Were the reactor(s) shutdown and closed under regular conditions in a planned manner or under extreme conditions like in the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents? What is the technology of the reactors? What are the waste routes? etc.

Decommissioning waste

We shall then consider the details of the current plan, analyze its philosophy, study the involved approaches, techniques and resources and their timeline, study and examine the motivations of the choices made, compare with approaches taken in other countries for other reactor types, etc.

Nuclear Power Plants under Decommissioning

The approaches implemented to decommission nuclear power plants vary depending of the different countries, with their available techniques and resources, their timeline. Choices made are motivated by studies and examinations of the motivations, the types of reactors, etc. Mühleberg

Mühleberg site (Switzerland) started decommissioning in January 2019. Fuel elements are currently being discharged from the reactor and placed in a pool on site for 4 few years. In 2024 all fuel elements will have been transported to the interim storage facility in Würenlingen. In 2030 the area will be free of any radioactive material. The decommissioning will take about 15 years in total, ending in 2034. At this time the area of the installation will be available for conventional or industrial use or landscaped to a state close to nature.

Mühleberg nuclear power plant ceases operations:
Decommissioning KKM


Bradwell site (UK) started decommissioning on March 2002. All spent nuclear fuel was removed from the site by 2005, the turbine hall was demolished in 2011. Underground waste storage vaults had been emptied and decontaminated, a phase finished in 2016. Demolition of all buildings except the ponds and the twin reactor buildings was completed in 2019. Now the site in in a long Care and Maintenance phase, where the reactors will be under scrutiny, to let radioactivity decay. Demolition of the reactor buildings and final site clearance is planned for 2083 to 2093. Magnox completes decontamination at Bradwell
Mühleberg nuclear power plant ceases operations:
Decommissioning Bradwell Before
Bradwell site before decommissioning began

Decommissioning Bradwell Now
Bradwell site after the turbine hall was demolished.