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Dismantling of nuclear facilities

Orano offers its customers innovative and efficient services and solutions for decontaminating and decommissioning (A&D) of nuclear facilities. Its technical know-how and exacting project management skills have been gained through numerous and complex successfully-run projects : fuel cycle plants and laboratories, test reactors and power reactors.
Activities of services for EDF support for the operation of the nuclear power plant of Paluel.
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A leader nuclear facility remediation and decommissioning

3
nuclear operator clients in France (CEA, EDF and Orano)
€400 M
in annual activities, including Orano’s revenues and end-of-lifecycle provisions for decommissioning at its facilities
200
engineers and technical workers at the Design Division
2000
specially appointed employees in France
50
years of experience
Site of tricastin Dismantling of the Sphere of Pierrelatte Dismantling of the Sphere of Pierrelatte, site of Tricastin. © Orano

Nuclear decommissioning, a very high-potential market

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.

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Excellence in a highly-specialised long-cycle process

Assessing operations

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.

 

Les études préalables définissent les moyens techniques, humains et budgétaires Preliminary studies define the required technical, human and budgetary resources © Orano

Nuclear facility remediation

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.

Nuclear facility decommissioning or dismantling

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.

 

Dive in the entrails of Eurodif's old plant
Exceptional visit inside an enrichment plant using a drone © Cyril Crespeau

Site recovery following decommissioning

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.

The volume of radioactive waste is proportional to its intensity. For instance, where 90% of waste are radioactive = radioactivity is equal to 0.02%.
Schéma de la vie des déchets
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Innovation at the heart of decommissioning activities

Priority targets on safety and performance

Safety and security of operations are an absolute priority for Orano, which works around the clock to lower the radiological exposure of its operators and improve servicing conditions.

Today, the D&S teams carry out numerous investigations before dismantling, in order to collect as much information as possible and to better prepare field operations. The investigations are done using 3D scanning, 3D reconstruction of the environment (MANUELA), sampling.
Investigations in a highly radioactive environnement © Orano

The group is also increasing productivity on construction sites by industrializing dismantling processes.

 

Pragmatic innovation, the solutions of the future

Orano is constantly innovating and developing patent-protected technologies. Combined with Orano Group, the engineers in “Dismantling and Services” work to put together the technical solutions of the future.

These are aimed at facilitating and securing all of its decommissioning and remediation operations and refine / optimise operational performance in the activity, as well as offer new services, breaking with traditional approaches.

  • Robots, drones, 3D scanners, portable radiological and topographic mapping apparatus
  • Virtual and augmented reality simulators
  • IT interfaces, digitisation of work processes, etc.
Radiological mapping tool in real time
Manuela is a portable device developed by Orano Dismantling and Services to perform radiological and topographic measurements at nuclear sites. © Orano
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