Decommissioning: AREVA completes first major component decontamination in France
NUCLEAR POWER PLANT / CHOOZ A
August 29, 2013
AREVA has successfully decontaminated the major components of the Chooz A nuclear power plant located in Northern France. The first project of its kind performed by AREVA in France, the decontamination of the primary loop elements - four steam generators, the pressurizer and the primary loop lines - is a major step forward in the ongoing decommissioning of the plant.
The decontamination was carried out successfully thanks to the combination of two AREVA techniques, the CORD UV® and the AMDA®. This operation is based on the progressive introduction of chemical substances into the primary circuit which circulate in there over several days, until the end of the process. Through this process, AREVA significantly reduced the degree of the components’ radioactivity so that they could be classified as “very low level waste.” Following their decontamination, these components were transported to a National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (Andra) facility, in order to be stored there.
Compared to alternative solutions, AREVA’s decontamination technology produces a very low volume of radioactive waste, which is also managed by Andra. Once the process is completed, the used chemicals are decomposed to carbon dioxide and water, leaving behind no additional waste.
“The successful completion of this operation testifies to the effectiveness of our process. For over 35 years, this proven, efficient, and economical solution has enabled AREVA to decontaminate the components of more than 30 nuclear power plants worldwide, including in Germany, Japan, China, and the United States,” declared Philippe Samama, Executive Vice President for the Installed Base Business Unit.