Contract awarded for Vandellós 1 engineering support

22 February 2018

Westinghouse and EDF will provide engineering services for the dismantling of unit 1 of the Vandellós nuclear power plant under a contract awarded by Spanish decommissioning and waste management firm Enresa.

Vandellos 1 - 460 (Foro Nuclear)
Vandellós 1, following completion of Stage 2 dismantling (Image: Foro Nuclear)

The contract - which was put out to tender by Enresa in May 2017 - covers a four-year period of engineering support for the "latency phase" of the unit's decommissioning. It also includes the preparation of technical and licensing documentation.

Unit 1 of Vandellós, a French-supplied 480 MWe gas-graphite reactor, operated between 1972 and 1989.

Yves Brachet, Westinghouse's vice president for global decommissioning, decontamination, remediation and waste management, said: "This contract is an opportunity to work together with EDF, who is facing similar challenges in France. It also highlights our expertise and our ability to come up with innovative decommissioning solutions."

EDF's director of decommissioning and waste management projects Sylvain Granger said: "With nine dismantling projects under way in France, six of which involve gas-cooled reactors, EDF possesses unique expertise in this field and is aspiring to become a leader on the emerging dismantling market. We are proud to be working with Westinghouse on the Vandellós project and to be providing Enresa with the best practices developed during our dismantling projects."

Enresa began dismantling and decommissioning Vandellós 1 in 1994. Stage 2 dismantling - consisting of the removal of all buildings, systems and equipment outside the reactor pressure vessel - was successfully completed in 2003.

The pressure vessel, without nuclear fuel, has been sealed and will remain so for a period of 25 years. During this dormancy period, the radioactivity of the internal structures will decay naturally. Around 2028, the pressure vessel and all the internal structures will be removed. The site will then be released completely.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News