Waste Technology Section
International Decommissioning Network (IDN)
CEA (France) – Video Demonstrations
Dismantling Nuclear Facilities: The AT1 at La Hague Site was a pilot facility built to address the treatment of nuclear waste. Its objective was to reprocess spent fuel elements from fast breeder reactors. After ten years of operation and reprocessing of spent fuel the facility was shut down in June 1979. Though some of the operations were carried out in the traditional method using direct manual work, many of the assignments required the use of new techniques due to the high irradiation levels which were found. One of the problems faced during the dismantling process concerned how to deal with the "blind cells" where manual intervention was needed. Not only a pilot unit for reprocessing, AT1 is also considered to be a pilot unit in dismantling as well. Although a variety of problems were encountered, the dismantling of AT1 was a success. Video or Download the Technical Report
Dismantling RM2 (Radio-Metallurgy Laboratory): This facility was built in the late 60's to carry out destructive examinations of samples of irradiated fuel, very rich in plutonium and was in operation from 1967 to 1983. The aim was to extract the fuel from its protective covering, cut it into strips and put them through various tests. The decommissioning objective was to reduce the installation to its initial state. A world first! The operation was carried out in two stages: first, from 1990 to 1996, it was cleaned and radioactivity removed and then dismantled. In the video these two procedures can be seen in detail. Decision has been taken to demolish the civil works of all the concrete cells, this work will start in 2008. Video
Dismantling The Oris Cells 22, 23 and 24 : These cells were the prototypes for industrial production of sources. They were built in the mid 60`s and remained in use until 1972. They produced Cesium 137 and Strontium 90 sources. One of the challenges shown in this tape is that these cells covered a surface area of some 150m2 on an active production site. They were shut down in 1973 and taken permanently out of service in 1987 and remained in disuse until 1987 when a cleaning campaign was launched to dismantle the effluent storage tanks located under the cells. The team encountered various problems such as finding a high level of radioactivity inside the enclosures which restricted the dismantling operators' access. Another issue addressed in the tape is that the work area, located inside the production site, could not interfere with the work of the staff located nearby, during the evacuation of the waste and decontamination of the inside of the enclosures. The dismantling was completed in 1994.
Credits: These video demonstrations were produced by the French Atomic Energy Commission, Nuclear Energy Directorate, Clean-up Directorate and made available by the CEA to the IAEA for information purposes. Many thanks to Jean-Guy Nokhamzon of the CEA for locating these very useful videos!