February 5 - Following the decommissioning of a nuclear pilot reactor in J

The prototype pebble bed reactor, which was constructed in the 1960s to demonstrate the feasibility and viability of a gas-cooled, graphite-moderated high temperature reactor, was shut down in 1988. The facility is now being decommissioned by AVR.

Before decommissioning could begin, a large building (a so-called material lock) was constructed over the existing reactor building, which allowed the facility to be opened in a protected environment for the removal of the reactor vessel. 

Mammoet designed skidding and lifting equipment to move the reactor vessel, which measured 26 m high and had a diameter of 7.6 m, from its former position in the reactor building into a custom-built support frame inside the material lock.

Later this year, the 2,000-tonne reactor vessel will be lifted out of its supporting frame and moved from its current vertical position into a horizontal position, before being placed in a transport frame and loaded onto SPMTs for delivery to a purpose-built storage building, where it will rest for 40-60 days until final storage is available in Germany.

Mammoet explained that the lifting and transport operations at Jülich took years of meticulous planning and preparation, with every step of the process requiring careful calculations and scrupulous documentation.