Press Release 13/2007

Bundled Forces in Nuclear Engineering

The Association for Research and Lecturing in Nuclear Engineering in Southwest Germany Has Been Founded
The institutions of the partners offer unique research and training opportunities.

Dr. Elisabeth Zuber-Knost
Press Officer

Kaiserstraße 12
76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Phone: +49 721/608-2089
Fax: +49 721/608-3658

More research and lecturing in the field of nuclear engineering – this is the objective of the Association for Research and Lecturing in Nuclear Engineering in Southwest Germany that was founded today, October 22, in Karlsruhe. Together, the partners intend to enhance research and lecturing in nuclear engineering and to bundle their capacities. Founding members of the Association are the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, the Institute for Transuranium Elements of the European Commission, the Ruprecht-Karls University of Heidelberg, the Universität Karlsruhe (TH), the Universität Stuttgart as well as the universities of Furtwangen and Ulm.

For details, please contact:

Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe
Public Relations Staff Unit
Inge Arnold

Postfach 3640
76021 Karlsruhe, Germany
Phone:+49 7247 82-2861
Fax: +49 7247 82-5080

The main idea of the cooperation is to maintain and enhance technical competence in the field of nuclear engineering in Germany.

For this purpose, the partners will coordinate their existing and planned facilities, the scope of lectures offered, and other training events (summer schools, internships) and mutually acknowledge examination results. The Association will be an active partner in the international research community and, in this way, promote the exchange of knowledge. Activities will focus on reactor technology and development, neutron physics, fusion technology, actinide chemistry and radiochemistry, final disposal, radiation research, and decommissioning techniques.

New Professors of Nuclear Engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

It is one of the defined objectives of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology to become the leading European energy research center. Hence, appointment of the head of the planned Institute for Neutron Physics and Reactor Technology of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe together with that of a professor of fusion technology and reactor technology at the Universität Karlsruhe represents another important step in the KIT. This Institute of Fusion Technology and Reactor Technology to be founded will bundle all chairs in the field of nuclear engineering. In addition to the already existing four chairs, the KIT will establish another two: A “Chair for the Dynamics of Nuclear Systems“ endowed by the EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG at the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe and a “Chair for Innovative Reactor Systems” of the state of Baden-Württemberg at the Universität Karlsruhe.

The unique training opportunities at the laboratories, nuclear test facilities, and training reactors of the partners improve the already good professional perspectives of the graduates. According to surveys made by the “Kompetenzverbund Kernenergie” (Alliance for Competence in Nuclear Technology), the spokesman of which is Dr. Peter Fritz, member of the Executive Board of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, about 6250 engineers and natural scientists will be needed for the operation and dismantling of nuclear power plants in Germany until 2010. Staff is also required by the supervisory authorities and inspectorates as well as in general by international organizations like the OECD and IAEA. The Association now founded will counteract this lack of German experts.

With the Association for Research and Lecturing in Nuclear Engineering in Southwest Germany, the state of Baden-Württemberg will assert its leading position in nuclear research and remain an indispensable and reliable partner of European energy research.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) represents the merger of the Universität Karlsruhe with the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe. Altogether, it has 8000 employees and an annual budget of 600 million Euros. In the KIT, both partners are bundling their scientific competences and capacities, establishing optimum research structures, and developing joint strategies and visions.

The KIT will be an institution of internationally excellent research and lecturing in natural and engineering sciences. KIT shall attract the best experts from all over the world, set new standards in lecturing and promotion of young scientists, and establish the leading European center in the field of energy research. KIT will assume a leading role in nanosciences worldwide. It is the objective of KIT to be one of the most important cooperation partners of industry.

Thomas Windmann, Monika Landgraf, October 22, 2007


Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Research, and Young Scientists Today

Baden-Württemberg is a high-technology state without any major fossil energy resources. Nearly 60% of its gross electricity production are based on nuclear energy. Due to population growth in the state of Baden-Württemberg, electricity consumption is expected to increase by 0.7% per year (corresponding to 70 MW annually). In the coming years, however, power plants (conventional and nuclear) will be shut down, as a result of which the power generated will be reduced from 10800 MW in 2002 to 8000 MW in 2010 and further to 3400 MW in 2020.

The situation all over Germany is the same in principle. According to current legislation, all nuclear power plants producing a total of 21000 MW will be closed down by the year 2021. From today’s point of view, the resulting gaps in supply cannot be brought in line with the objectives of a safe, autonomous, economically efficient, and climate-compatible energy supply in Germany. For this reason, an extension of the operation of nuclear power plants should be considered – with maximum safety being the prerequisite. In this transition phase, new low-emission and renewable energy production techniques may be investigated, developed, and introduced.

To ensure maximum safety of German nuclear power plants, constant research is required. The dialog of German researchers with the leading nations in the field of nuclear engineering is a basic prerequisite of international competitiveness. Active participation of German scientists in all relevant international development projects – in particular under EURATOM and the IAEA – is essential. In agreement with the high-tech strategy of the federal government, the following goals are of particular interest: Improved safety aspects, increased economic efficiency, reduction of the highly radioactive waste volume, and radioactive waste management and disposal.

Successful nuclear energy research is based on attractive studies and training offered by excellent lecturers. Utility companies, research institutions, and licensing authorities are already offering promising jobs. The need for staff is increasing, as nuclear energy in Europe is gaining importance and German companies are active all over the world.

October 22, 2007


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Contact for this press release:

Inge Arnold
Presse, Kommunikation und Marketing (PKM)
Phone: +49 721 608-22861
Fax: +49 721 608-25080
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