Studsvik scales back US presence

12 February 2014

Sweden's Studsvik has agreed to sell most of its radioactive waste operations in the USA to nuclear commercial services company EnergySolutions for $23 million.

Under an agreement signed yesterday, Studsvik will sell its operations in Erwin and Memphis, both in Tennessee, to EnergySolutions. Wet low- and intermediate-level waste is treated in Erwin using the company's patented Thermal Organic Reduction (THOR) technology. The Memphis facility specializes in volume reduction and recycling of waste materials and large components such as steam generators, reactor heads and feed water heaters.

Studsvik will also sell its 51% stake in Semprasafe to EnergySolutions. Semprasafe is a joint venture set up between the two companies for the disposal of used ion-exchange resins from US nuclear power plants. Semprasafe utilises Studsvik's THOR technology.

In addition, Studsvik will transfer patents related to THOR in China and give EnergySolutions the right to use the patents in the commercial market in North America. Studsvik will retain patents and rights for THOR on other markets.

EnergySolutions is expected to take over the operations on 1 March.

'Challenging' market

Studsvik will maintain its US presence by continuing its engineering and consulting operations there, which employ ten people. With a focus on radioactive waste, these provide technical assistance, such as bench scale testing, life cycle cost estimates, engineering process design, and equipment design and fabrication.

It will also maintain its 50% stake in the THOR Treatment Technologies joint venture with URS Corporation, which was established in 2002 to treat nuclear and hazardous waste by thermal methods in facilities under the control of the US Department of Energy. Studsvik will also continue operation of Studsvik Scandpower Inc, which specializes in software for fuel optimization and core monitoring.

Studsvik said that it had earlier considered "winding up substantial parts" of its US operations. However, it said that EnergySolutions "is in a better position than Studsvik to develop Erwin and Memphis in close interaction with its already established disposal and waste treatment operations, while through the transaction, Studsvik is eliminating a considerable financial risk."

Studsvik president and CEO Michael Mononen said, "The sale of the American operations will improve our financial situation and reduce the exposure towards the challenging American market. All in all, the transaction means that Studsvik will be a more stable company with potential for increased margins and growth."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News