KKL Kernkraftwerk Leibstadt

The Leibstadt nuclear power plant (KKL in German) with a General Electric BWR6 boiling water reactor that has an electrical output of 1220 MW, is located in Leibstadt (Canton of Aargau, Switzerland) at the Rhine near the mouth of the Aare River and the German border at Waldshut-Tiengen.

Once again, VOLLMERT was allowed to support the Leibstadt nuclear power plant with our air cushion technology and special equipment such as fully electric, self-propelled SFT40 transport gear, a synchronous lifting system with hydraulic rams developed especially for the project, and much more!

The starting signal for this project was already given in February 2019 in Zurich. At that time, the customer presented the project for the first time. We quickly developed solutions based on the customer’s ideas, which were planned for June 2020.

The task for VOLLMERT was to support the customer during a planned reactor shutdown with manpower and equipment for the renewal of the condenser – the heart of the reactor’s cooling system. For this purpose, after the condenser had been “gutted” from the inside, we had to retract 24 new devices and position them in said condenser. After positioning, each “package”, which was moved on specially designed lifting/rotating and traversing equipment with air cushions, was individually calibrated. Only then many hard-working welders can begin to weld the approximately 50,000 titanium tubes into these fixtures.

Unfortunately the covid-19 pandemic happened and we had to postpone the project from April 2020 to June/July 2021. However, to be allowed to work in such a dangerous zone of a nuclear power plant, we’ve had to go through numerous required administrative procedures in advance. The occupational health examination of the employees was the smallest challenge of these. We had to find an external radiation protection officer which is truly not an easy assignment in Germany. On top of that, it was also required to obtain a “permit to work in third-party plants or facilities according to the §25 StrlSchG”. That was absolutely new for us, but we are happy we took the extra mile and prepared for future projects of this sort!