NUKEM’s Role In Decommissioning Dessel Nuclear Fuel Fabrication Plant

NUKEM Technologies (ENS Corporate Member) has been awarded a contract by Franco-Belge de Fabrication du Combustible (FBFC) International to supply and operate a belt conveyor free release measurement system (FREMES) for radiological characterisation of soil and bulk material

By Royal Decree of March 29, 2022, FBFC International was removed from the list of the facilities in Belgium classified as Class I under the Atomic Energy Act.

In addition to nuclear reactors, Class I includes facilities that use or contain fissile material, facilities for reprocessing irradiated nuclear fuel, and facilities where radioactive waste is collected, treated, conditioned, or (temporarily or finally) stored. This means FBFC International will not be further monitored under the Atomic Energy Act.

From 1961 to 2012, nuclear fuel assemblies were manufactured at the plant in Dessel, Belgium. During the dismantling of the buildings at the site almost 48.000 tons of earth and construction debris had to be checked for contamination.

The soil was first sorted to provide a homogeneous and manageable material stream. The pile was then radiologically measured and characterized using our belt conveyor free release measurement system (FREMES). The characterization was based on the results of the MCNP calculations and the gamma-ray spectrometry as well as the weight and volume determination.

Thanks to the performed radiological characterization the amount of waste requiring complex and costly disposal methods was reduced drastically.

Read the full NUKEM Press Release.

NUKEM Technologies is world-wide active in the areas of management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, decommissioning of nuclear facilities, engineering and consulting.

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