Bilfinger dismantles large components of former nuclear power plant

March 08, 2019

  • Bilfinger commences dismantling and removal of large components in RWE’s Mülheim-Kärlich nuclear power plant
  • New disassembly concept enables cost-efficient decommissioning

Industrial services provider Bilfinger has taken on the task of dismantling and removing two steam generators in RWE’s former nuclear power plant in Mülheim-Kärlich. Bilfinger subsidiary Bilfinger Noell proposed a unique dismantling concept and thus was able to prevail in the tendering process. The contracts are on the books of the Technologies division.

The steel steam generators weigh 450 tons each. Using special machinery, they are completely dismantled on site. Bilfinger deploys dismantling technology developed specifically for this purpose. This allows the steam generators to be dismantled in situ as installed components of the plant. This new technology is being deployed for the first time in decommissioning a nuclear power plant.

Bilfinger CEO Tom Blades: “Bilfinger is part of the German Energiewende. This includes decommissioning nuclear power plants based on intelligent concepts and using special tools. Our technology enhances the efficiency of the dismantling process and saves costs.”

In Bilfinger, RWE has found a partner who provides the decommissioning services as a single-source vendor. RWE benefits from the innovative process – the company does not need to perform expensive conversion measures or incur expensive and specialist transport of the steam generators to an offsite location for dismantling. In the past, decommissioning procedures required the preparation of suitable transport routes and the enlargement of the equipment hatch. The new technology allows Bilfinger to perform the work directly in the controlled area. The enterprise will take two years to dismantle the two heavyweight steam generators; they are around 25 meters high and have a diameter of around four meters.

A year ago, Bilfinger prepared the requisite application documents for the project, working together with RWE. The Environmental Ministry of the Rhineland-Palatinate had granted the necessary permit.


Bilfinger Nuclear power plant demolition Mühlheim-Kärlich - RWE