After five years of works, the project to completely dismantle the experimental nuclear reactor Ulysse has been completed on schedule by teams from France’s Orano jointly with the French Atomic & Alternative Energies Commission (CEA), Orano announced.
The 100kW Ulysse reactor, operated by CEA teams at Saclay from 1961 to 2007, was mainly used for teaching and continuing education purposes by the French National Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology (INSTN).
The project mobilised teams from Orano DS, which specialises in dismantling, radioactive waste management and services to nuclear operators.
The dismantling was completed in line with the schedule set in 2014 by the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) and now paves the way for the administrative decommissioning of the facility, Orano said.
"The scope of the works covered the entire structure, from the civil engineering and connected systems through to the reactor core."
The deconstruction generated 512 metric tonnes of conventional waste and 226 tonnes of very low-level waste, to be shipped to approved storage facilities.
"The timely completion of this project underscores both the determination of the teams on the ground to meet the commitments undertaken and the good coordination with CEA," said Alain Vandercruyssen, senior executive vice president in charge of Orano’s Dismantling and Services activities.
Photo: Ulysse after dismantling (Photo Credit: Orano)