News and press releases
On 31 December 2021, three of the remaining six German nuclear power reactor units will cease power operation: Brokdorf, Grohnde and Gundremmingen C. Brokdorf has been supplying electricity to the grid since December 1986, Grohnde and Gundremmingen C since the beginning of 1985 - together, these reactors have been in operation for over a hundred years. The final three units (Isar 2, Lingen and Neckarwestheim II) will be shut down on 31 December 2022.
"The Internet is on fire" – that was the message in mid-December 2021 when a security loophole in the Java framework log4j became known, making a wide range of cyber-attacks possible. The Federal Office for Information Security then raised a "red" alert, the highest warning level. Quite a number of companies around the world have turned out to be affected. On behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, GRS experts are analysing cyber-attacks and security incidents that may also be relevant for German nuclear facilities and installations in order to protect them accordingly.
GRS publishes new version of its AC² code package
What we do and why - explained in 81 seconds.
Steam generator tubes in pressurised water reactors are exposed to high stresses such as high temperatures or large pressure differences. In combination with possible corrosive effects due to deposits in the outer area of the tubes, these stresses can at worst lead to leakages, which in turn could have an influence on operational safety. A team of researchers from GRS and the Materials Testing Institute of the University of Stuttgart has therefore conducted in-depth investigations into such leakages with the support of the Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs. The scientists have now developed a flow model with which the leakage rate of the escaping medium can be determined even more precisely than previously possible.
It is unquestionable that a repository for high-level radioactive waste must be safe. This applies both to the phase during which the repository is being constructed and operated and to the phase afterwards, when the waste is enclosed and all drifts and shafts are sealed. In a joint research project, scientists from GRS and BGE Technology GmbH have investigated how these two phases are interrelated and influence each other.
To ensure the safe operation of technical installations such as nuclear power plants (NPPs), it is important to continuously identify and analyse possible risk factors. In addition to technical safety, the so-called human factor, i.e. human influence and contribution, is of crucial importance for the safe operation of installations. Human-organisational aspects are therefore an aspect of safety research that should not be underestimated. In a recent study, GRS scientists have identified organisational factors that can have a negative influence on plant safety. These are specific characteristics that affect the structure of the organisation (organisational structure), the organisation of activities and processes (process organisation), and the corporate culture.
The mineral graphite is used in some types of reactors and can be activated by neutron radiation, i.e. converted into radioactive isotopes. In order to select a suitable disposal option, the graphite must be thoroughly examined radiologically. However, many measuring methods are relatively costly and in turn produce new radioactive waste themselves. A team of researchers from GRS and the University of Cologne is therefore developing a method with which reactor graphite can be characterised quickly and reliably.
Researchers worldwide are working on small modular reactors (SMR) and microreactors (very small modular reactor, vSMR). Many of these new reactor concepts are being developed for specific applications and have special core geometries. In order to be able to simulate the neutron-physical behaviour of these cores, GRS is developing the simulation code FENNECS (Finite ElemeNt NEutroniCS).
In a repository, geotechnical barriers contribute to the safe and long-term isolation of radioactive waste in the deep underground. The "sandwich" sealing system with its alternating sequence of sealing and filter segments is currently being tested as a geotechnical barrier in a large-scale experiment. GRS has assumed the technical leadership of the project at the international Mont Terri rock laboratory.