Belt Conveyor Free Release Measurement System for Radiological Characterization of Soil at Dessel


Franco-Belge de Fabrication du Combustible (FBFC) International awarded NUKEM a contract to supply and operate a belt conveyor free release measurement system for radiological characterisation of soil.


The nuclear fuel fabrication plant in Dessel, Belgium, was in operation from 1961 until 2012. As the plant buildings are currently being dismantled, approximately 30,000 tons of soil have to be checked for radiological contamination. To this end, preliminary batchwise crushing helps achieve a homogenous and manageable stream of bulk material subject to radiological measurements and characterisation. This is based on MCNP calculations, gamma spectrometry as well as determination of weight and volume. Depending on the measured specific activity of U-nuclide vector, the soil will be either consigned for clearance procedure or, if contaminated, loaded into a relevant container. NUKEM will supply the belt conveyor free release measurement system and basic and detail engineering for electrical power, instrumentation and control. NUKEM is fully responsible for the physical layout and basic design of the equipment which will be then manufactured by specialist companies. Furthermore, NUKEM is supposed to provide licensing support to the customer.

The project at Dessel is scheduled to be completed within the period between October 2017 and the end of 2020.


The services to be provided by NUKEM are as follows:

  • Basic and Detail Design
  • Licensing support
  • Procurement
  • Commissioning
  • Operation
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