The French atomic energy commission, the CEA, has closed its Siloëtte experimental reactor, ending nearly 40 years of service as a teaching and training facility.
A CEA spokesman said the closure of the 100kWe reactor was part of an ongoing nuclear dismantling programme at its Grenoble site. The announcement follows the closure of the Mélusine and Siloé experimental reactors in 1989 and 1997 respectively.
Siloëtte's operating lifetime formally ended 11 July, and training activities at Grenoble will now be transferred to the Azur and Minerve experimental reactors at Cadarache and the ISIS experimental reactor at Saclay. Dismantling and decommissioning activities will begin in summer 2003. The reactor, which began operating in 1963, was used to train about 200 people per year.