Berlin, 17.06.2021

First grid feed-in from the Kahl experimental nuclear power plant on 17 June 1961 - 60 years of electricity from nuclear energy in Germany

On 17 June 1961, the Kahl experimental nuclear power plant (VAK) fed electricity into the German grid for the first time. This was also the first time that electricity from nuclear energy was fed into and utilised in Germany. Construction of the boiling water reactor with a thermal reactor capacity of 60 MW and a gross electrical capacity of 16 MW began on 1 July 1958, and first criticality was achieved on 13 November 1960. 

The first German nuclear power plant was operated by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk AG and Bayernwerk AG and built as a commercial project by AEG AG with numerous industrial partners, above all General Electric. The plant was operated until 25 November 1985 and was later one of the first nuclear decommissioning projects in Germany. Since September 2010, the plant has been completely dismantled and transferred to so-called greenfield status.

During its 25 years of operation, the VAK Kahl was an important materials testing facility for the nuclear industry and research, in particular as a test facility for fuel elements.

Below you can download a 42-page dossier on the planning and construction of the VAK Kahl from the magazine "Atomwirtschaft", January 1961 issue. 

Dossier on the nuclear industry VAK Kahl January 1961 (PDF, 5.19 MB)

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