Studsvik to recycle Bruce Power's old steam generators

11 May 2009

Sweden's Studsvik has been awarded a contract by Canada's Bruce Power for the dismantling and metal recycling of 32 old steam generators.

Studsvik-steam generator
A steam generator for treatment at Studsvik (Image: Studsvik)

The steam generators will be treated at Studvik's facilities in Sweden between 2010 and 2018. The first 16 generators are scheduled for delivery in the spring of 2010. The steam generators weigh around 100 tonnes each. Up to 90% of the component volume is estimated to be released for regular recycling after treatment.
Studsvik said that the total order value is estimated at some SKr250 million ($32 million). The agreement is conditional upon finalizing related agreements and receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals.
Studsvik pioneered the treatment and recycling of steam generators from nuclear power plants in 2005. These components have traditionally been sent directly for final disposal or stored temporarily at nuclear power plants. With Studsvik's method, large parts of the steam generators can be freely released, dramatically reducing the amount of waste that must be deposited. Duncan Hawthorne, president and CEO of Bruce Power, commented: "Studsvik's method offers an economically attractive approach to nuclear clean-up that is also environmentally responsible."

The technology which makes it possible to treat the steam generators was developed in a project that Studsvik conducted in cooperation with Sweden's Ringhals.
Studsvik subsequently received a contract from Vattenfall in July 2008 for the dismantling and metal recycling of three more old steam generators from the Ringhals nuclear power plant in Sweden. The contract - valued at some SKr34 million ($5.7 million) - was placed under an existing memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two companies in 2006. The MoU regards the waste treatment in Studsvik's facilities of eight steam generators and two reactor pressure vessel heads from the Ringhals plant.
Studsvik has also treated four steam generators from the decommissioned Stade nuclear power plant in Germany.
Nuclear power plants replace steam generators as part of regular maintenance and when they are modernized. According to Studsvik, it is estimated that several hundred steam generators and other large components are stored temporarily at nuclear power plants around the world awaiting efficient treatment methods.