Dessel decommissioning contract awarded

25 March 2009

Belgium Belgoprocess LLC and SCK•CEN, the Belgian nuclear research centre, have been awarded a €10 million ($13.6 million) contract to decommission Belgonucleaire’s MOX fuel fabrication plant in Dessel.

The two companies have created a new joint venture which will provide two teams of operators to dismantle the gloveboxes, a well as a team of engineers to manage the decommissioning activities. It will also provide expert advice in waste management, dismantling, radiation protection and environmental impact over the duration of the five-year contract.

In addition, Belgoprocess will be responsible for processing all radioactive waste produced during the decommissioning activities.

Belgonucleaire started industrial production of MOX fuel in 1986 and produced 660t of MOX in its 20 years of operation. The last fabrication campaign was completed on 15 August 2006 and in 2008, the Belgian government granted Belgonucleaire a licence to to dismantle the MOX plant.

Earlier this month Studsvik won a contract to consult in the decommissioning of the Dessel facility.

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