Areva Projets SAS and the Wood Group have won a contract from France's Atomic & Alternative Energies Commission to recover and encapsulate low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste at the Marcoule nuclear research site.
The contract covers 50t of waste resulting from the treatment of fuels used in former plutonium-producing reactors. It comprises magnesium cladding material from treatment operations at the natural uranium-graphite gas fuels used in the G1, G2 and G3 reactors at the Marcoule site, which has been stored in a silo for more than 50 years.
Wood will design a robotic arm to remove the waste from the silo and a manufacturing unit to encapsulate the material. Once treated, the waste packages be made ready for long-term storage in a geological disposal facility. The five-year contract covers project management, safety case, detailed design, commissioning and the first six months of operations.
Robin Watson, Wood chief executive, said: “This contract advances our strategy to grow our business in France by applying our ingenuity and expertise to solve nuclear problems for a growing range of customers."
The Marcoule reactors are currently at various stages of decontamination and dismantling. The 46MWt G1 reactor was commissioned in 1956 and operated until 1968. The 250MWt G2 operated and from 1959 to 1984 and the G3 reactor from 1958 to 1980.
Photo: Robin Watson, Wood chief executive