Dismantling the reactor building

Status: in progress
Duration: 2021 - 2030 

Most of the radioactivity in the nuclear power plant's systems and components is concentrated in the reactor building. The latter, in fact, made it possible to produce energy from nuclear sources during operation: the reactor pressure container (vessel), with the two fuel ponds, the suppression pond and all the systems and components attached to them.

The transfer of irradiated fuel outside the reactor building is an essential prerequisite for dismantling the systems and components in the building. After extracting the fuel elements from the vessel and placing them in the adjacent pond, removal operations were carried out between 2007 and 2010 for transfer to the reprocessing plant in La Hague (France).

The dismantling project of the reactor building first requires the progressive dismantling of systems and components in various areas, followed by the dismantling of vessels and internals, and is divided into three main phases.

  1. Preparatory and preliminary activities for the opening of the vessel including structural inspections of the ponds and recharge plan; adjustments to the cooling and water filtration systems; opening of the primary vessel and remediation of the heat shield.
  2. Opening the vessel and dismantling under water the removable internals, with their subsequent storage in the fuel pond.
  3. Dismantling operations inside the vessel, with the removal of the internals and their subsequent cutting and packaging.
The total planned duration of the activities is 10 years (2021-2030). The contract for the dismantling of building systems and components was formalised in 2021 and the executive design was completed. Approval of the Operational Plan by the Regulatory Body was also obtained in August 2023.

The activities were preceded by some preparatory works, which were carried out starting from 2018, such as the modification of the electrical system and cooling systems and the construction of a waste-route connecting the reactor building, turbine building and auxiliary building, which will allow the transfer of dismantling materials to the Waste Treatment Station and the Materials Management Station.

The site for dismantling reactor building systems and components is scheduled to open in February 2024, to be followed by the necessary preparatory and implementation activities (2024-2030). Dismantling operations of the internals and the vessel are scheduled to be completed between 2026 and 2030.