Danish Reactor 1 is built as the first research reactor in an empty field at Risø. On 15 August at 14:48 the reactor is started - achieves criticality - for the first time. Danish Reactor 2 and 3 will be built during the next few years.
On 6 June, Risø Nuclear Station is inaugurated with the participation of a number of prominent guests, including the royal couple and physicist Niels Bohr. According to the Atomic Energy Commission, the purpose of the research centre is to “promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy for the benefit of society”.
During the first 20-25 years, research is mainly done in areas related to the introduction of nuclear power in Denmark - reactor physics, reactor technology, physics, chemistry, health physics, electronics and metallurgy. In 1975, one reactor (DR 2) is closed down, as the larger DR 3 is better at meeting the research requirements.
The Danish Parliament decides that nuclear power should not be introduced in Denmark. At this point, research at Risø has already changed direction, and the name is changed from Nuclear Station to Research Centre. DR 1 and DR 3 are now used for fundamental physics research, teaching and production of isotopes.
Between 1964 and 1989, the six Hot Cells were used for handling radioactive materials. In 1990-94, the cells are partially decommissioned; among other things, the ventilation and electrical systems are disconnected, and the mechanical arms are sold. Afterwards the cells are encapsulated, and the surrounding area is used as office space.
In April, DR 3 is shut down due to a suspected leak. A condition report shows the onset of corrosion. In September, Risø's board of directors decides that the reactor should not be restarted, and that DR 1 must also be shut down. The shutdown of DR 1 takes place in 2001.
After several years of preparatory work, Danish Decommissioning is established as an independent state enterprise, taking over responsibility for dismantling the nuclear facilities from Research Centre Risø. In 2007, the latter merges, among others, with DTU.
DR 1 is the smallest and least complicated reactor to decommission, so this is the first facility to be addressed. The actual decommissioning begins in the autumn of 2004 and ends in 2006.
The decommissioning of DR 2 begins in the spring of 2006 and ends in 2008. At the same time, the plans for converting the hall to a radioactive waste handling facility are approved.
The first phase of the decommissioning of DR 3, where the external/peripheral systems are dismantled, is completed in 2011. The second phase focuses on the inner parts of the reactor block. In 2014, the reactor plug is removed and by the end of 2017 the inner reactor tank has been removed.
The surfaces of the six Hot Cells have been sandblasted, removing much of the paint and thus much of the radioactivity. After the initial blast cleaning, the cells will in the coming years be more thoroughly cleaned and, eventually, be demolished.
For more information, see Publications
in the category: Risø - History.