French nuclear regulator ASN has ruled that EDF’s latest plans to decommission the pioneering gas-cooled Monts d’Arrée (Brennilis) nuclear power plant shut down in 1985 is ‘inadmissable’.
The plans relied on a waste storage building, the activated waste conditioning and storage unit (ICEDA), to accept wastes generated by the decommissioning of the plant.
But construction of the ICEDA building has stopped because its construction permit was cancelled (the decision was confirmed by the Lyon administrative court in June 2012.
The Brennilis decommissioning project was originally granted approval by the government in 2006.
The Council of State annulled this decision in 2007 on the grounds that the project’s environmental impact study had not been made public. A further blow to the project was dealt in March 2010, when a commission of public enquiry issued a generally negative review of the decommissioning plans. ASN then told EDF that it could only proceed with those aspects of the plan that received a positive review, and would have to redo the rest.
In 2011, EDF began partial decommissioning of heat exchangers in the walls of the reactor and the former effluent treatment station.
At the end of the year, EDF filed a new application. The regulator did state that it felt that EDF had justified its choice of immediate dismantling strategy. But it told EDF that it must resolve the issue of waste storage before proceeding with the next step, another public enquiry.