Major components such as steam generators or reactor pressure vessels are not always disassembled on-site, they may be removed whole and transported for further processing or for placement in decay storage.

For example, after initial decontamination, the steam generators from Stade nuclear power plant (KKS) were shipped to Sweden for further processing. There, they were dismantled, further decontaminated and melted down piece by piece. Most of the radioactive substances remained in the slag, so a good part of the steel could be reused. The residual radioactive waste, which was only a small proportion of the total mass, was returned to Germany.