EDF, VEOLIA, Sign Decommissioning, Vitrifying Contract

EDF and VEOLIA said Tuesday they had entered a partnership agreement to co-develop remote control solutions for dismantling gas-cooled reactors (natural uranium graphite gas) and for vitrifying radioactive waste, in France and other locations around the globe.

EDFEDF is currently decommissioning 6 gas-cooled reactors reactors at Bugey (Ain department in France), Chinon (Indre-et-Loire department) and Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux (Loir-et-Cher). Key milestones have already been secured on all these complex projects, and EDF confirms its objective to dismantle these nuclear facilities in the shortest timeframe possible.

Veolia is expected to provide EDF with its expertise in robotic technologies "with a view to designing and delivering innovative solutions to access the cores of gas-cooled reactors and to cut up and extract components under optimum safety and security conditions," the companies said in a joint statement.

In parallel, EDF and VEOLIA will work to develop an industrial solution for the vitrification of low- and intermediate-level waste using VEOLIA’s GeoMelt technology. This technology is optimally suited for radioactive waste, which it transmogrifies in a glass matrix, thus delivering a stable and durable waste form that is easy to transport and store.

The objective for the two companies is the industrial implementation and joint commercial operation of these robotics and vitrification technologies.

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