Crystal River Unit 3 Decommissioning Accelerated

U.S. based Orano Decommissioning Services said this week it was putting into effect two of its patents (US 9,728,287 and US 9,984,780), allowing it to to achieve a time-accelerated decommissioning at the Crystal River 3 accelerated decommissioning project.

Orano Decommissioning Service modelThe new “Optimized Segmentation” process cuts up and removes everything inside the reactor vessel (RV) and then precisely repacks the low-level radioactive waste into the RV before cutting the massive component, minus the reactor vessel closure head (RVCH), and its shielded contents into three large pieces sized for transportation and disposal.

The thick-walled, steel alloy RV is used to contain and shield the segmented Class A, B, and C low-level waste for shipment. The RVCH also ships separately as low-level waste. As is normal procedure for all decommissioning projects, the Greater-than-Class-C (GTCC) low-level waste is separately packaged and secured in onsite dry storage until a licensed repository is available.

After repacking the RV with the most dangerous waste buffered top and bottom by less dangerous waste, the component is drained, packed with gout, then segmented with only the middle section requiring a Category B packaging system, said Nuclear Engineering International.

“Our innovative Optimized Segmentation process reduces the normal 80+ low level waste shipments of reactor vessel and internals components to just three transports,” said Geoff Wilde, Orano Decommissioning Services President, “which also significantly reduces the potential impact to the community while enhancing overall safety, schedule, and cost performance.”

Crystal River Unit 3 was a 860 MWe pressurized water unit that began operations in 1977. It was permanently closed down in 2013. With the original schedule, decommissioning was expected to take 50 years and be completed in 2067.

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