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Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag

20.09.2017 | Publication

Load-following capability of German nuclear power plants

The TAB background paper no. 21 discusses the key question how flexibly nuclear power plants can be operated and if their operation complies with a high share of fluctuating electricity feed from renewable energies – English summary now available.

Nuclear power plants are predominantly operated in continuous mode at full load to cover the so-called base load. In contrast, the feed from photovoltaics and wind power is subject to strong daily and seasonal fluctuations. A large share of the fluctuating electricity feed from renewable energies imposes stringent requirements on the remaining conventional power plant fleet that have to be met in order to ensure a stable and reliable supply.

Beyond technical and operational questions, there are also some significant economic aspects and potential ramifications with respect to reactor safety to be considered with regard to an operating mode meeting these requirements.

The TAB background paper no. 21 deals with this subject with the aim of reviewing and concisely summarising the status of scientific knowledge and the current debate. The summary of this report is now available in English.

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