13-18 May 2018
Casino Conference Centre
Europe/Prague timezone

Towards increased cooperation and coordination of R&I activities for decommissioning

14 May 2018, 09:00
Marble Hall (Casino Conference Centre)

Marble Hall

Casino Conference Centre

Plenary Chemistry of Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Radiochemical Problems in Nuclear Waste Management Plenary 1


Dr Christine GEORGES (CEA)


CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) is both the operator of important nuclear facilities all over the nuclear cycle, in charge of major new built or D&D projects and a R&D group with dynamic policy of technology transfer. The position of CEA in D&D is unique because of the number and the wide diversity of facilities under decommissioning, with some high level of contamination.
Innovative solutions are thus being developed in 6 main axes to protect the operators, to minimize the overall costs and the volumes of waste:
• Investigations in the facilities
• Radiological measurement of waste
• Robotics, laser cutting devices, virtual reality to simulate and choose the best way to operate,
• Decontamination of soils and structures
• Waste treatment and conditioning
• Methods and Information Technology (IT)Tools for project and waste management
CEA developed tools for its own D&D projects when they didn’t exist yet on the market: robots, tele-operated equipment, cutting process and software for validation and optimization of intervention scenarios.

Concerning decommissioning and environmental remediation (D&ER), there appears to be a general consensus:
• Significant redundancy exists in current R&D programmes for D&ER being undertaken in different countries, though often no basis for industrial competition exists, e.g. on methods for treatment of exotic waste or for conditioning of intermediate and high activity waste;
• Project managers are often reluctant to use innovative technologies and need confidence from pilot operations with successful results to minimize project risks;
• Individual countries are finding it increasingly difficult to justify expenditure on developments that can require up to 10 years to complete; and
• Many possibilities exist to promote exchanges of information and lessons learnt but, beyond these, there is an urgent need to promote and organize at multinational level, the co-financing of R&D developments by actors with common objectives.

As a forerunner to the establishment of a framework for collaboration on R&D activities related to D&ER, it is proposed firstly to undertake a study to provide the following outputs:
• A mapping of the needs of D&ER projects, R&D programmes, human resources and platforms currently available;
• Identification of candidate topics for international financial collaboration, identification of actors involved with current sources of funding and rough business plans and schedules;
• Choice of financial and organizational model after benchmarking in other fields; and
• Proposal for an implementation schedule for projects that may begin immediately with varying timeframes for implementation, with the main focus being on projects taking place over the next 5-10 years.

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