Skip navigation

Tag Archives: History of Nuclear Technology

To understand why the Germany became the first develop country to take action and start shouting down the nuclear program they have, we have to take a look on the history of nuclear in Germany. We all know until 1989 there was two Germanys the east and the west.

West Germany:

The nuclear program start at 1950s, however the first reactor opened in 1960 in Kohl am Main and it was an experimental nuclear power station. All of the German nuclear power plants that opened between 1960 and 1970 had a power output of less than 1,000 MW and have now all closed down. The first commercial nuclear power plant started operating in 1969. Obrigheim, the first grid station, operated until 2005. (Neckarwestheim). A closed nuclear fuel cycle was planned, starting with mining processes in the Saarland and the Schwarzwald; uranium ore concentration, fuel rod filling production in Hanau; and reprocessing of the spent fuel in the never-built nuclear fuel reprocessing plant at Wackersdorf. The radioactive waste was intended to be stored in a deep geological repository, as part of the Gorleben long-term storage project.

East Germany:

The first nuclear power plant in East Germany was Rheinsberg Nuclear Power Plant and they shutdown in 1990. The second to be commissioned, the Greifswald Nuclear Power Plant, was planned to house eight of the Russian 440 MW VVER-440 reactors. The first four went online between 1973 and 1979. The other four were cancelled during different stages of their build-up. In 1990, during the German reunification, all nuclear power plants were closed due to the differences in safety standards. The Stendal Nuclear Power Plant, which was under construction at the time, was cancelled.

Also Germany had three accidents. The first was in 7/12/1975 the locution was Greifswald, East Germany. Electrical error causes fire in the main trough that destroys control lines and five main coolant pumps, almost inducing meltdown. The second was in 4/5/1986 in Hamm-Uentrop. Operator actions to dislodge damaged fuel rod at Experimental High Temperature Gas Reactor release excessive radiation to 4 km2 (1.5 sq mi) surrounding the facility. The third was in 17/12/1987 in Hesse. Stop valve fails at Biblis Nuclear Power Plant and contaminates local area.

In 8/3/2011 the Germany government shutdown 8 nuclear plant in plan to take the nuclear power aout of the picture completely in 2022.Befor they shut down the plants the nuclear power was accounted for 23% of national electricity consumption. The announcement of the plan  was first made by Norbert Röttgen, head of the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, after late-night talks.






Nuclear science and technology has been growing slowly but ostensibly for over a century, embedding its depth in our society. The very first thing which comes to anyone’s mind upon hearing or coming across the word “nuclear” will have to be the incident of the United States dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which resulted Japan to surrender for our benediction. Undeniably, the success of Manhattan Project in developing the very first transportable atomic bombs triggered an alarming sense towards the expansion of the technology. Of course, the aftermath left scars. However, it was a breakthrough in the history of nuclear power and an eye-opener of what nuclear fission is capable off. The advantages of nuclear power are inevitable despite the various feedbacks from different organizations or countries regarding the matter and oppositions due to that. With our current theme of promoting a greener environment for all of us, nuclear technology will be an added compliment to it. It is indeed an emission-free energy as it does not contribute to global warming. Besides being a reliable energy by cutting down the dependencies on factors such as weather, foreign supplies or unpredictable costs, it can promote land and habitat preservation. The first ever nuclear power plant became operational in Obninsk, Moscow (1954) , providing a steady platform for other countries such as China and India to invest extensively. Moving from earlier decades to date, many safety features have been designed for implementation which contains improvements based on operational experience. The recent nuclear accident which happened in Japan’s Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and other nuclear facilities raised questions among commentators over the future of the renaissance. Clearly, the incident casted doubts on the credibility of the energy, giving way to renewable energy the winning strike. Owing to that, Siemens, an engineering giant withdrew completely from the industry. Fukushima nuclear disaster has set the benchmark low, this time, till a safer solution is obtained and if at all, the trust can be regained once more. However, reassessment of the aspects of nuclear plant safety was highlighted and more safety factors are to be reviewed, thus employed in the upcoming safety designs of nuclear power plant. Yes, Fukushima’s nuclear incident is definitely a wake-up call to us but it does not have to question the validity of the energy. It was an obstacle where to find the solution is a mandatory act but leading the nuclear industry to an abolishment is simply irresponsible. Quoting from Dr.Yaron Danon, a professor of nuclear engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute , “I don’t see a reason why we should eliminate this technology, when someone dies in a car accident we don’t stop using cars. We work to make them safer.” this technology must survive for the betterment of us.