Areva to remove Superphénix internals

01 December 2015

Areva has won a contract worth "tens of millions" of Euros to dismantle the vessel internals of EDF's Superphénix fast neutron reactor at Creys-Malville in France.

Superphénix (Image: Areva/D. Robcis)

The contract between Areva and EDF includes preliminary design, process qualification, manufacturing of tools and equipment dismantling, as well as waste packaging, particularly highly radioactive waste. The work will be performed by Areva's Dismantling and Services business and is expected to run until 2024.

Superphénix is the first French reactor of more than 1000 MWe capacity to be dismantled, and Areva described the job of cutting the vessel internals as "exceptional". The company will use technologies that have been specifically developed for the purpose, it said. The radiological environment of the facility means that only remotely operated tools can be used, such as intervention robots and manipulator arms, while the complexity of the work requires accurate cutting of the different components.

One of the technologies that has been developed by Areva Dismantling and Services for the project is a laser cutting arm and a trajectory monitoring system that hugs the forms of the structure, facilitating the tele-operators' work, the company said.

Superphénix was a 1250 MWe commercial prototype fast breeder reactor which was closed in 1998 after 13 years of operation and is now being decommissioned.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News