TN International and ITS operational feedback regarding the decommissioning of obsolete casks dedicated to the transport and/or storage of nuclear raw materials, fuel and used fuel


Within the AREVA group, TN International is a major actor regarding the design of casks and transportation for the nuclear cycle. In the early 2005, TN International has started the project of decommissioning some of its own equipment and was hence the first company ever in the AREVA Group to implement this new approach. In order to do so, TN International has based this project by taking into account the AREVA Sustainable Development Charter, the French regulatory framework, the ANDRA (Agence Nationale pour la Gestion des Dechets Radioactifs – National Agency for the radioactive waste management) requirements and has deployed a step by step methodology such as radiological characterization following a logical route. The aim was to define a standardized process with optimized solutions regarding the diversity of the cask’s fleet. As a general matter, decommissioning of nuclear casks is a brand new field as the nuclear field is more familiar with the dismantling of nuclear facilities and/or nuclear power plant. Nevertheless existing workshops, maintenance facilities, measurements equipments and techniques have been exploited and adapted by TN International in order to turn an ambitious project into a permanent and cost-effective activity. The decommissioning of the nuclear casks implemented by TNmore » International regarding its own needs and the French regulatory framework is formalized by several processes and is materialized for instance by the final disposal of casks as they are or in ISO container packed with cut-off casks and big bags filled with crushed internal cask equipments, etc. The first part of this paper aims to describe the history of the project that started with a specific environmental analysis which took into account the values of AREVA as regards the Sustainable Development principles that were at the time and are still a topic of current concern in the world. The second part will deal with the definition, the design and the implementation of the decommissioning processes and the applied techniques. The third part will present a two years operational feedback. The last part will introduce new processes which are currently under investigation and will put into light that decommissioning of nuclear casks is a continuous activity that is in perpetual mutation.