EDF has set itself the goal of finalizing decommissioning of 6 gas-cooled reactors in France in Bugey (Ain department), Chinon (Indre-et-Loire department) and Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux (Loir-et-Cher) in the shortest possible time.
Under the agreement signed today, Veolia will provide EDF with its experience in remote handling technologies (robotics) 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.
EDF and Veolia will work together to develop an industrial solution for the vitrification of low- and intermediate-level waste using Veolia’s GeoMelt® technology. This technology immobilises radioactive waste in a stable and durable glass matrix that makes it 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.
Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of EDF, stated: “We are proud to have signed this agreement with Veolia which underscores EDF’s determination to become a key player in decommissioning and radioactive waste management. This partnership is also tangible evidence of EDF and Veolia’s desire to pool their know-how in the interest of developing successful industrial sectors.”
Antoine Frérot, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Veolia, announced: “I am delighted with this partnership between EDF and Veolia, an alliance between two key players, globally recognised, with a very high level of expertise in their respective fields. Our collaboration, which is expected to grow over time, demonstrates the extent of each company’s vision and ambition with regard to processing the most environmentally sensitive waste and preserving the environment.”
Veolia’s expertise in plant sanitation and radioactive waste treatment
The Group’s solutions range from the characterization of contaminated environments to the stabilization of radioactive waste, using robotic solutions for remote intervention.
This globally unique expertise is now being employed in France on the CEA sites, in Fukushima in Japan, in Sellafield and Dounreay in Great Britain, and in Canada and the United States. Veolia’s GeoMelt® vitrification technology, is also unique and treating waste and the immobilizing radionuclides and heavy metals in ultra-stable glass. To date, more than 26,000 tonnes of radioactive and hazardous waste has been treated using this technology.