Veolia takes on nuclear decommissioning

17 January 2013

Environmental services company Veolia Environnement has agreed to cooperate with France's national energy research commission, the CEA, in the dismantling and remediation of nuclear facilities.

Two cooperation agreements have been signed between the organizations. The first covers nuclear facility dismantling and remediation while the second specifically concerns CEA facilities at Marcoule and Cadarache. They specify technological cooperation between Veolia Environnement and the CEA, particularly in the area of radiological mapping of facilities.

Through its Asteralis subsidiary, Veolia Environnement will propose industrial solutions adapted to the complete characterization of the radiological state of nuclear facilities before, during and after dismantling. The CEA's nuclear energy division will provide its expertise and experience in the areas of dismantling and remediation, as well as its R&D expertise in the techniques and tools needed.

The first project concerns a laboratory at Cadarache and a series of facilities at Marcoule.

CEA chairman Bernard Bigot commented, "We attach great importance to maintaining research at the highest level and to making innovation available to French companies. The high technology developed and used by the CEA in the past few years for dismantling nuclear facilities - such as remote radiological analysis techniques, simulation software and robotics - is intended to serve the French industrial concerns interested in contracts in this field of activity."

Veolia Environnement has over 330,000 employees worldwide providing tailored solutions to meet the needs of municipal and industrial customers in four main areas: water management, waste management, energy management and passenger transportation.

The company has not previously been involved in the nuclear industry. However, Veolia and Areva co-developed a water decontamination system for treating highly-radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. The system - designed, built and commissioned in just two months - has so far treated some 18,000 tonnes of contaminated water, which has been reused to cool the damaged reactors.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News