Reclamation of the fuel pool

​​Status: Ongoing 
Period: 2000-2021

During the plant operation period, the fuel pool was used to temporarily store and cool fuel elements coming from the reactor. 

The pool, having a total surface of about 210 square metres, consists of three basins: emergency basin, extinction basin and central basin, connected through a tunnel. During the operation period, the extinction basin hosted the spent fuel elements from the reactor, while the emergency basin, which has never been used, was intended to store the fuel elements within the reactor in case of emergency. 

These two basins (extinction and emergency) have already been emptied and a scarification process have been implemented to decontaminate the walls and bottom parts. 

During the operation period, the cut of magnesium external cooling flaps” of fuel elements was implemented in the central basin before the fuel was shipped to the UK for reprocessing. The reclamation of this basin and its connection tunnel involves three stages. 

The first stage, implemented between 2014 and 2015, was carried out after the restoration of handling and cutting systems and it allowed removing the large internal components that are now stored in specific tanks in the interim storage facility of the site. 

The second stage, started in May 2018, involves removing radioactive sludges and small metallic components collected on the bottom part. The sludges will be later sent to the LECO treatment and conditioning facility, while the small components, packed in special shielding casks, will be stored in the temporary repository of the site. This stage should be completed by 2019.

Finally, the third stage, to be implemented between 2020 and 2021, will involve final reclamation, removal of metallic facilities and scarification of the basin (walls and bottom part) and the tunnel.