Veolia Environnement and the CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) have today signed a general collaboration agreement for nuclear facility cleanup and dismantling, along with a specific agreement concerning two facilities - one at the CEA centre in Marcoule, and the other at the CEA centre in Cadarache.
These agreements specify technological collaboration between Veolia Environnement and the CEA, particularly with regard to radiological mapping of facilities and associated tools. Radiological mapping of facilities is one of the main technological challenges in dismantling operations. During the initial state characterization phase in particular, it is essential to obtain and integrate nuclear measurements in order to define and optimize the dismantling scenario, as well as to improve worker and environmental protection. Characterization of the final state is used to demonstrate that a facility’s intended final state has been achieved.
Under this collaboration agreement, the CEA Nuclear Energy Directorate (DEN) contributes its expertise and experience with regard to cleanup and dismantling – illustrated, for example, in late 2012 with the success of the Passage project for dismantling the nuclear facilities at the CEA centre in Grenoble - as well as its research and development expertise in the techniques and tools required to complete these operations under optimal conditions (measurements, robotics, 3D simulation, etc). Through its dedicated subsidiary Asteralis, Veolia will contribute its expertise to propose industrial solutions for the complete characterization of facilities’ radiological states before, during or after dismantling.
The first concrete application of this agreement will involve collaboration on two pilot operations at two CEA DEN sites. This will involve complete characterization of a laboratory in Cadarache and of a series of premises at the UP1 plant, Marcoule.
“This collaboration agreement with the CEA is further evidence of Veolia's ability to come up with innovative solutions to meet the major environmental challenges of today’s world which face our partners and clients alike” says Antoine Frérot, Chief Executive Officer of Veolia Environnement. “Veolia's combined expertise in Water, Environmental Services and Energy makes us a reference company for ensuring the future safety of sensitive, especially nuclear, facilities - an environmental challenge facing many countries".
For Bernard Bigot, CEA Chairman, “this agreement with Veolia is a perfect reflection of the CEA’s positioning in the public research landscape and our strategy ranging from pure fundamental research to industrial operations. We attach the utmost importance to maintaining research at the highest level and making innovation available to French companies. The cutting edge technology developed and used by the CEA in the last few years for nuclear facility dismantling, such as remote radiological analysis techniques, simulation software or robotics, is designed to help French industrial players seeking contracts in the sector. »
Veolia Environnement (Paris Euronext: VIE and NYSE: VE) is the world leader in environmental services. The group is active across five continents with over 330,000 employees and provides tailored solutions for municipal and industrial customers in four complementary areas: water management, waste management, energy management and passenger transportation. Veolia Environnement recorded revenue of €29.6 billion(*) in 2011.
(*) Excluding Veolia Transdev revenue currently under divestment