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A complex field with major industrial, technical and financial stakes, nuclear plant decommissioning operations will amount to some €200 billion in revenue over the decades to come throughout the world, with three-fourths coming from Europe. In France, some thirty facilities are in the process of being dismantled or are pending dismantling.
Orano conducts numerous design and feasibility studies that can last several years in order to draw up decommissioning and nuclear waste management scenarios, and carry out radiological investigations and characterisations of the premises and equipment
to be dismantled. The preliminary design thus details the resources that need to be deployed, the process development steps and the need for specific tooling. Based on investigations and radiological characterisations of the premises and equipment
to be dismantled, the detailed preliminary design assesses the necessary resources and develops the appropriate processes, in particular specific tooling. Each phase of the project is defined, quantified and planned out. Waste treatment processes
are detailed and approved by the safety authorities.
Orano recovers and disposes of much of the radioactive material found at its nuclear facilities. Complex techniques, often controlled remotely, are deployed to scrape the walls at buildings, rinse pipes, etc.
To carry out this complex stage, which includes cutting pipes, cables, nuclear equipment, etc., as well as possible deconstruction of buildings and civil engineering structures, Orano uses both qualified operators and remote operation or robotics activities. The waste is then conditioned before being evacuated to the appropriate storage centres.
After a final clean-up phase, the facilities are decommissioned. The preserved buildings, including for example former administrative buildings, as well as land, can accommodate new projects, in particular in the form of industrial activities.