By Royal Decree of March 29, 2022, our long-time customer Franco-Belge de Fabrication de Combustible International (FBFC International) was removed from the list of the facilities in Belgium classified as Class I under the Atomic Energy Act.

In addition to nuclear reactors, Class I includes facilities that use or contain fissile material, facilities for reprocessing irradiated nuclear fuel, and facilities where radioactive waste is collected, treated, conditioned, or (temporarily or finally) stored. This means FBFC International will not be further monitored under the Atomic Energy Act.

From 1961 to 2012, nuclear fuel assemblies were manufactured at the plant in Dessel, Belgium. During the dismantling of the buildings at the site almost 48.000 tons of earth and construction debris had to be checked for contamination. The soil was first sorted to provide a homogeneous and manageable material stream. The pile was then radiologically measured and characterized using our belt conveyor free release measurement system (FREMES). The characterization was based on the results of the MCNP calculations and the gamma-ray spectrometry as well as the weight and volume determination. According to the measured specific activity of a uranium radionuclide vector, the soil was prepared for release or, if contaminated, filled into special containers. Of the 40.000 t of soil examined, 95% was cleared. Subsequently, the FREMES facility was converted to the radiological characterization of construction waste including crushed concrete, aerated concrete, bricks, and material sorted out during the measurement of the soil, such as stones. The radiological survey of 5,700 t of concrete rubble resulted in the clearance of 98% of the material. Thanks to the performed radiological characterization the amount of waste requiring complex and costly disposal methods was reduced drastically.

"The professionalism of all parties involved brought this major flagship project to a successful conclusion," said Felix Langer, project manager at NUKEM.

And for André Basset, general manager of FBFC International, "the fruitful collaboration between FBFC International and NUKEM Technologies during the three years of operation of the FREMES was a key parameter for a successful achievement of our decommissioning”.

NUKEM Technologies in Alzenau, Germany, is world-wide active in the areas of management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, decommissioning of nuclear facilities, engineering and consulting. For more than 60 years NUKEM Technologies provides high quality products, technologies and services, where Innovation, Solutions and Excellence are closely linked.

Yvonne Amend
NUKEM Technologies Engineering Services GmbH
Industriestrasse 13, 63755 Alzenau
Tel: +49 6023 91-1321,
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