Germany - Fresh Steam for the Karlstein Technical Center where AREVA inaugurates a new high-pressure boiler


Just one and a half years after the 50th anniversary of the Karlstein site, AREVA officially put into operation its new high-pressure boiler in Karlstein. The Benson boiler, which was delivered by ThyssenKrupp Xervon Energy (TKXE) in September, was inaugurated at Karlstein’s Innovations-Park today.

Installation of the high-pressure boiler in Karlstein, Germany. September 2011.The ceremony was attended by more than 120 guests including officials, German and international customers as well as suppliers and staff.

The high-pressure boiler is part of the Technical Center and has supplied AREVA’s test stands with steam since November 15 during the test operations. The Integral Test Stand of Karlstein (INKA) provides the latest knowledge about the behavior of the passive safety systems of AREVA’s boiling water reactor KERENA. Other test stands are used by AREVA’s experts to study nuclear power plant components. From the largest valve test facilities in the world, they provide, for instance, important measurement results for their customers across the world.

On November 23, the German Trade Supervisory Authority approved the commissioning of the new boiler. After less than one year required for contracting, planning and manufacturing, the new boiler replaces today its predecessor which was damaged after a deflagration event in December 2010.

In his welcome address Ulrich Gräber, spokesperson of the AREVA management in Germany, said: "Karlstein represents more than 50 years of expertise in reactor research, and with its Technical Center, it provides an important infrastructure for tests and laboratory examinations in nuclear engineering." He further explained, "Customers around the world appreciate our know-how because we have here unique options for developing the safety of nuclear power plants further to the highest level." "We will keep investing in the Technical Center in the future to be prepared for every new development in nuclear engineering", said Gräber.

Claude Jaouen, AREVA’s Senior Executive Vice-President of the Reactors & Services Business Group, was also present at the event and gave to the audience an outlook of the worldwide perspectives for nuclear power. Wolfgang Däuwel, Vice President of AREVA’s Technical Center, delivered a technical presentation.From right to left: Wolfgang Daeuwel, Vice President Technical Center of AREVA; Claude Jaouen, Senior Executive Vice President of the Reactors&Services Business Group; Ulrich Graeber, Technical Managing Director and Management Spokesperson of AREVA NP GmbH and Michael Wich, Manager Components Qualification Karlstein, AREVA.

After the First Mayor of the Karlstein municipality, Winfried Bruder, officially put the new high-pressure boiler into operation by turning a symbolic valve, the guests went on a technical tour of the Innovations-Park, and visited the manufacturing halls and the test stands. The customers and suppliers as well as the local authorities and politicians could get an overview of how special components are made on the Karlstein site for pressurized and boiling water reactors. AREVA staff also explained how diagnostic systems and large-scale test equipment for component qualification work.

The AREVA test stands at Karlstein’s Technical Center belong to the most prestigious and largest test stands of the kind worldwide. AREVA performs the tests for international customers and operates sites of the Technical Center in Germany, France and the USA. Internationally renowned research institutes are also involved in the experiments. The Technical Center, at the top of nuclear progress with important developments and state-of-the-art technologies, maintains numerous partnerships with universities to enable a close exchange between practice and science.

High-pressure boiler data
High-pressure boiler data
  • Length: 4 meters
  • Height: 7.5 meters
  • Width: 3 meters
  • Weight: 60 tonnes
  • Material: steel
  • System pressure: 187bar
  • System temperature: 520°C
  • Steam capacity: max. 25 t/h