Orano pulls together the specific expertise, know-how and technology required for reliable dismantling projects while also keeping costs and risks under control.
For more than 40 years, Orano has been involved in some 160 D&D (Decommissioning and Dismantling) projects including 64 nuclear power plants worldwide. By exporting its experience, the group aims to work with its customers as they deal with the major industrial challenge of dismantling nuclear reactors and rehabilitating sites worldwide, including Germany, the United States, United Kingdom and Japan.
Since 2009, five to ten Orano experts have been working at the Sellafield site in north-western England. They work with the Sellafield Ltd teams who need to continue and speed up the transformation of their business from production to facility dismantling.
This is a major challenge for Europe’s largest nuclear site, as it has almost one thousands facilities including seven nuclear reactors – all of which are in the process of being decommissioned – three reprocessing plants of which two are still in operation, a MOX fuel production plant – shutdown since 2011 – as well as the many nuclear waste storage silos and pools, which are among the oldest in the world.
The relationship of trust built up over the past few years with Sellafield, which consumes more than 60% of the decommissioning budget in United Kingdom, has led to Orano being recognised as a partner by all British stakeholders and decision makers, including the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which is in charge of all decommissioning programs, and of course the British government.
These latter two successes were achieved in 2017 following international competitions, thanks to the work conducted over the past few years by Orano’s Research and Development Department. The use of remote-controlled equipment and semi-automated processes has led to us acquiring a leading position on this extremely competitive market.
In July 2017, Orano signed a contract with NorthStar, which specialises in decontamination and deconstruction of nuclear facilities in United States. This contract involves cutting up and packaging the vessel and vessel internals of the Vermont Yankee, Vermont, boiling water reactor. Orano will also transport the final waste component packages to a designated storage site.