Graphitech and EDF sign a four-year contract with Lithuania’s State Enterprise Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant for reactor dismantling design services.
Through a consortium with EDF, Graphitech will provide the best engineering solution for the dismantling of the two Ignalina RBMK reactors. The consortium combines both EDF’s nuclear industry expertise and decommissioning know-how, and Graphitech’s capabilities in the design of specialised machinery, such as the deployment of remotely operated tools and long-distance intervention platforms for the dismantling of graphite reactors.
Graphitech is already designing the tools and equipment for dismantling the Chinon A2 nuclear power plant in France, which is due to start by 2030, as part of a “first” in the Uranium Natural Graphite Gas (UNGG) dismantling programme. Technological development is carried out in the EDF Graphite Reactor Decommissioning Demonstrator, using full-scale mock-ups and digital simulations which are fully representative of the graphite reactor fleet. The Graphitech team is committed to developing cutting edge technologies and processes in decommissioning project management and technical coordination that could benefit other graphite reactor dismantling projects across the world, such as the Ignalina RBMK reactors.
Stéphane Béguin, Managing Director of Graphitech, said:
“Our teams are proud and ready to tackle the challenge ahead. They have extensive know-how and technical expertise in graphite reactor dismantling and our ambition is to provide Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant with the best technologies for this first RBMK reactor dismantling project in the world.”
EDF has over 25 years of nuclear decommissioning experience, with expertise in all aspects of decommissioning and waste management. The Decommissioning and Waste Management Division of EDF is responsible for dismantling the current French fleet of first-generation reactors which includes, amongst other reactor technologies, six graphite-moderated units.
Myriam Colacicco, Deputy Director of EDF’s Decommissioning and Waste Management Division and Head of Graphite Reactor Decommissioning said:
“Our consortium brings unique skills in the design of tooling and methodologies for graphite reactor dismantling, including multi-criteria scenario analysis and costing as well as overall effective waste management. We look forward to supporting INPP in the development of the reactor core dismantling methodology.”
The project is funded by the European Union Ignalina Programme.
Graphitech is the joint venture created by EDF and Veolia through their respective subsidiaries Cyclife and Veolia Nuclear Solutions, in response to the challenges of dismantling graphite reactors. Graphitech is responsible for developing remote-operated tools and robotic solutions to break up complex, large-scale concrete, and metal structures, as well as tools to extract irradiated graphite bricks and piles.
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