Karlsruhe‘s Alliance against the New Generation of Nuclear Power Plants

Concise overview:
The topic of nuclear energy seems to be done to most people in Germany, even to those interested in politics. Everyone feels assured since taking the power plants off the grid in 2022 has been stipulated.
So everything is just fine? Unfortunately no!

German research facilities participate in research on new types of nuclear power plants. In addition, nuclear fuel elements are still being produced in Germany. Those elements are used in power plants close to the German border [1]. The French nuclear corporate group AREVA (now called Framatom and Orano) has an in-service training facility on the campus of Karlsruher Institut für Technologie Nord (KIT), which was formerly known as a dedicated nuclear research facility called Kernforschungszentrums Karlsruhe [2].
Research on new nuclear power plants has been accumulated in Karlsruhe. Research institutes such as KIT [3], and especially the Joint Research Center (JRC-Dir G) of the European Union [4] are working on 4th generation nuclear power plants [5].

  1. What is Karlsruhe’s Alliance all about?

Research and development of 4th generation nuclear power plants contradicts the German nuclear phaseout. The concept of the 4th generation which is preferred in Karlsruhe also bears a lot of risks which did not exist for the 1st to 3rd generation:

  • Using thorium as an addition to nuclear fuels creates the uranium isotope 233 which can be used in nuclear weapons. This isotope can be separated effortlessly [6].
  • This facilitates the construction of nuclear weapons. Today, creating the uranium isotope 235 is still a highly complex process when it is enriched from natural uranium. This technological obstacle could be completely omitted [7].
  • 4th generation reactors will be built as container-sized, modular reactors and will be sold on a worldwide market [8].
  • As a consequence, the proliferation of nuclear weapons would increase in extreme measures.

2. What does Karlsruhe’s Alliance want to reach?

The Alliance is part of a movement concerned with a comprehensive nuclear phaseout, including both civil and military nuclear energy use. Karlsruhe’s Alliance is occupied with research and development of 4th generation nuclear power plants and has therefore the following aims:

  • The activities regarding the construction of 4th generation nuclear reactors and the connected dangers of proliferation have to be made known to a wider public. Also the involvement of research facilities should be recognized. Based on that a wider resistance can develop in our society.
  • The federal and regional support of research on new reactors (e.g. through EURATOM) must be stopped. This has to be effective both on the financial and legal level.
  • The financial means which will be available as a consequence should be used for research on Renewable Energies and Energy Storage for example.
  • KIT and JRC must give up on their research on 4th generation nuclear power plants.

3. Who does the Alliance work with?

‘Karlsruhe‘s Alliance against the New Generation of Nuclear Power Plant’ was founded after the 3rd Nuclear Days of Karlsruhe in 2017 (www.karlsruheratomtage.de). The Alliance is comprised of individual people as well as the following groups:
Anti-Atom-Initiative Karlsruhe (www.anti-atom-ini-ka.de)
attac – Karlsruhe (http://www.attac-netzwerk.de/index.php?id=77099 )
BI Müll und Umwelt Karlsruhe (http://www.muellundumwelt-bi-ka.de)
BUND Mittler Oberrhein und Karlsruhe (http://karlsruhe.bund.net)
Bürgeraktion Umweltschutz Zentrales Oberrheingebiet (https://buzo-ka.de)
DIE LINKE KV Karlsruhe (http://www.dielinke-fuer-karlsruhe.de)
IPPNW Deutschland: International Councillor Dr. Helmut Lohrer
Initiative gegen Militärforschung an Universitäten
Initiativkreis Energie Kraichgau e.V. (www.energie-kraichgau.de)
Die Grünen KV Karlsruhe
Sylvia Kotting-Uhl MdB BÜNDNIS 90/Die Grünen (https://kotting-uhl.de)

We welcome anyone who is interested!
Contact by e-mail: gegengeneration4@anti-atom-ka.de

[1] Advanced Nuclear Fuels GmbH, Lingen, Germany, is a 100% subsidiary of the AREVA-Group for more than 40 years. For more than 40 years, the Lingen location in Lower Saxony has been nuclear fuel rods for nuclear reactors.
AREVA: Fuel Assemblies from Lingen, Brochure, 8 pages, Nov. 2014 (download Sept. 2018: http://de.areva.com)
The enrichment of uranium for these fuel rods also takes place in Lower Saxony: URENCO Deutschland GmbH, Gronau, as part of the international URENCO Group, supplies enriched uranium for civil applications.
URENCO Deutschland GmbH: Information to the public according to the Radiation Protection Ordinance and the Major Accidents Ordinance, 5th edition, 6 pages, 2017. (download Sept. 2018: www.urenco.com )
[2] Integrated into the Institute for Nuclear and Energy Technology (IKET) of the KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe) is the ‚Framatom Professional School (FPS)‘, http://www.iket.kit.edu/138.php and http://www.fps.kit.edu/
This form of institutionalised training and research cooperation between the KIT and the nuclear industry has existed since 2009, as Framatom’s predecessor AREVA NP initiated the AREVA Nuclear Professional School at KIT. KIT Press Release 015/2009 (20.2.2009), https://www.kit.edu/kit/pi_2009_139.php
[3] The following institutes and institutions work on nuclear energy at KIT:
Institute for Nuclear and Energy Technologies (IKET) incl. FPS, see [2]
Institute for Neutron Physics and Reactor Technology (INR)
Institute for Fusion and Reactor Technology (IFRT)
Institute for Nuclear Waste Disposal (INE)
Investigations in the field of nuclear power has also been conducted by:
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
In particular, the KIT and the JRC (see [4]) participate in the development of the fast liquid salt reactors within the framework of the EU Horizon 2020 Euratom project SAMOFAR (Safety Assessment of the Molten Salt Fast Reactor). www.samofar.eu
[4] The European Union operates and finances research centres for various Topics. The JRC Karlsruhe (JRC –Dir G), former name JRC-ITU (ITU = Institute for Transuranium Elements) is located on the premises of the KIT, Campus North and officially works on the safety of nuclear reactors. (https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/about/jrc-site/karlsruhe ). De facto it also works on fuels for new generations of nuclear power plants (see e.g. JRC lectures in:
Proc. Int. Conf. on Fast Reactors and Related Fuel Cycles: Next Generation Nuclear Systems for Sustainable Development (FR17), June 2017, Yekaterinburg (Russia).
[5] The work at the JRC Karlsruhe on nuclear fuels for nuclear power plants of the 4th generation takes place especially in the FMR laboratory (Fuels and Materials Research). (https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/research-facility/open-access/calls/relevance/2018-1-RD-ActUsLab-FMR )
[6] Thomas Partmann: Vortrag „Atomwaffen aus Thorium?“, 3. Karlsruher Atomtage, 15.9.2017, (http://www.atomtage.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ThomasPartmann-Neuartige-Thoriumreaktoren-und-deren-Risiken-Zusammenfassung.pdf)
[7] https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uran-Anreicherung
[8] Dagmar Röhrich: Schöne neue Reaktorwelt, Deutschlandfunk, 16.7.2017, 12 Seiten www.deutschlandfunk.de/kleine-akws-vom-fliessband-schoene-neue-reaktorwelt download 29.12.2017