In June 2018, EDF and Veolia signed a partnership to jointly develop remote-control solutions for dismantling UNGG (natural uranium graphite gas) gas-cooled reactors and for vitrifying radioactive waste in France and worldwide.
EDF is currently decommissioning six UNGG reactors in France. Veolia provides EDF with its experience in robotic remote-handling technologies with a view to designing and delivering innovative solutions for accessing the cores of the reactors and cutting up and extracting components under optimum conditions of safety and security.
EDF and Veolia are also working together to develop an industrial solution for vitrification of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste using Veolia’s GeoMelt® technology. This technology, which is very suitable for use with radioactive waste, immobilizes the waste in a stable and durable glass matrix that makes it easy to transport and store.
Both companies hope to see the industrial implementation and joint commercial operation of these remote-handling and vitrification technologies.