GDES France is awarded its first dismantling contract

GDES France has been awarded a contract for electromechanical decommissioning of hot cell facility (Cellule MEC) at the Bugey 1 Nuclear Power Plant. The contract, awarded by EDF, was secured through a joint venture with D&S. The project was launched on 29 June and the dismantling operations are scheduled to run from the last quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019.

It is GDES’ first dismantling contract in France. The operation consists of the electromechanical decommissioning of a hot cell similar to the cell that GDES dismantled at the Vandellós 1 Nuclear Power Plant (1999-2002, Spain).

The decommissioning of Vandellós 1 set an international benchmark: it was the first decommissioning of a Spanish nuclear power plant and one of the first in Europe.

GDES’ bid was bolstered by more than 40 years’ experience in the nuclear industry. GDES not only participated in the construction of the major Spanish nuclear power plants at the end of the 1970s, but also in their maintenance and now in their decommissioning. It is in this field, decommissioning, that GDES is a European leader: it is involved in various projects, not only in Spain but also in Italy, the United Kingdom and now, France. GDES currently provides mechanical and chemical cleaning services for the moisture separator reheaters (MSRs) at the Bugey Nuclear Power Plant. The Bugey NPP has 4 operational units and one decommissioned unit (Bugey 1). Unit 1 (INB45) is a UNGG (Uranium Naturel Graphite Gaz) reactor. Built between 1965 and 1971, in the definitive shutdown situation since 1994.

The electromechanical decommissioning project includes the removal of all the unit equipment – remote manipulator arms, lifting units, aspirators, reinforced door, etc. – and the equipment located in the adjoining parts: electrical panel, control command, pilot station, etc.

In parallel, GDES France will undertake other tasks, including radiological control, waste classification and management. The final phase of the works will be the application of paint by GDES Erba, a French division of GDES that specialises in surface treatment, to fix the residual contamination after decontamination of the room.