February 04, 2019

NMU grants permission for the resumption of fuel element production

Following the laboratory fire on December 6, 2018, the Lower Saxony Ministry for the Environment, Energy, Construction and Climate Protection (NMU) has granted the fuel element production of Advanced Nuclear Fuels GmbH (ANF) in Lingen permission to resume production.

Corresponding information can be retrieved from the NMU homepage.

Preceding the permission, ANF conducted a so-called transferability test together with external experts appointed by the NMU. For this purpose, the surrounding space of heating elements and heated plant constituents whose surface temperature can exceed 150°C in production plants and technical rooms were examined for fire loads and their ignition possibility. According to the results of the finalized investigation, various measures and recommendations must be realized. These include subsequent technical and functional examinations of safety-relevant facilities as well as the precautionary replacement of materials.

Andreas Hoff, plant manager of ANF in Lingen, emphasizes: “The fire was a drastic incident that enforced us to carry out further improvements in both technology and organization.The safety of people and the environment is our top priority. We are aware that the reliable operation of our plant is of great importance to all of us.”

On December 6, 2018 a fire occurred in the ANF laboratory in Lingen due to an invisible electrical error at the terminals of two heating cassettes of the heating plate of the laboratory evaporator.

Nobody was injured by the fire. Subsequent official measurements proved that no radioactive substances were released into the environment.

ANF in Lingen

Advanced Nuclear Fuels GmbH (ANF), based in Lingen, Germany, is a subsidiary of Framatome GmbH. ANF is part of the world's leading nuclear technology company Framatome SAS, Paris, a subsidiary of the EDF Group. ANF manufactures fuel assemblies, intermediate products and fuel assembly components for nuclear power plants on behalf of Framatome for the European and worldwide market to supply nuclear power plants with nuclear fuel.

With 309 employees, fuel assemblies for pressurized and boiling water reactors as well as special powder and tablet products are manufactured at the Lingen plant. Recently, the site has also received orders for the conversion and dismantling of fuel assemblies not yet in use, thus helping to keep shutdown German nuclear power plants free of nuclear fuel. Special competencies in the development and construction of manufacturing technologies are another cornerstone of the company and ensure high manufacturing quality and thus safety in nuclear power plants outside Germany as well. ANF offers initial and advanced training for experts in radiation protection and additional nuclear-specialist personnel.