EDF modifies dismantling plans for first generation units

17 June 2016

EDF has informed the French nuclear regulator that it has adopted a new strategy for decommissioning its first generation, gas-cooled reactors (CGRs). Dismantling of the six reactors will take longer than previously planned as the company wants to complete the decommissioning of one unit before working on the others.

Saint-Laurent A1 and A2 decommissioning - 460 (EDF)
The partially-dismantled Saint-Laurent A1 and A2 units (Image: EDF)

During a hearing on 29 March, EDF told the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) that it was adopting a new decommissioning strategy, significantly modifying the method and speed of decommissioning of the CGRs.

The company had originally planned to dismantle the reactors using underwater techniques, but has now decided to dismantle them in air. In addition, rather than carrying out dismantling work at all six reactors simultaneously, EDF has decided to complete the dismantling of one reactor and use experience gained through that in the subsequent dismantling of the other units. EDF told the ASN it will complete the decommissioning of the peripheral installations at all of the CGRs within the next 15 years.

"This new strategy means decommissioning of certain reactors will be pushed back by several decades with respect to the strategy announced by EDF in 2001 and updated in 2013," the ASN noted.

The ASN acknowledged receipt of EDF's new strategy and asked the company to make it public and provide a detailed justification for this change, while demonstrating compliance with the legislation concerning decommissioning all its CGRs in the shortest period possible. It also requested from EDF a detailed program of works for the coming 15 years.

Three CGR reactors operated at the Chinon site from the early 1960s. Chinon A1, A2 and A3 were shut down in 1973, 1985 and 1990, respectively. Their partial dismantling was completed in 1984, 1992 and 2007.

At the Saint-Laurent, units A1 and A2 were commissioned in 1969 and 1971 and shut down in 1990 and 1992. Defuelling of the two reactors was completed in 1992 and 1994.

A CGR was also commissioned at the Bugey site in 1972 and shut down in 1994.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News