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VTT, partners developing Nuke plant decommissioning into business

Published : 22 Feb 2020, 23:58

Updated : 23 Feb 2020, 00:01

  DF Report

Press Release Photo by VTT.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has launched dECOmm project (Finnish Ecosystem for New International Decommissioning Services) brings together Finnish expertise that will prove useful in the forthcoming effort to decommission nuclear power plants both in Finland and abroad, said a press release.

The world's nuclear power plants are quickly approaching retirement.

"Over the next 20 years, around 10–15 reactors will be decommissioned worldwide each year", said dECOmm project manager Tapani Ryynänen from VTT.

This is a multi-billion euro business, as the dismantling and after-care of a single nuclear power plant will take more than 10 years, and the total cost may be up to one billion euros.

The Chernobyl-type graphite moderated reactors are the most expensive to dismantle, as they contain vast amounts of radioactive material that is challenging to handle.

Finland's Nuclear Waste Management Fund currently holds approximately EUR 2 billion, which should cover the disassembly work and waste management of the current Finnish reactor fleet, but any development activities to make it more economic and timely while maintaining safety are most welcome.

VTT is responsible for the research side of the dECOmm project, and there are currently seven business partners involved. Fortum, Sweco and Delete Finland have also started their own product development projects to turn their expertise into commercial products and services. Delete Finland, for example, is developing a demolition robot for nuclear power plant decommissioning worksites in a parallel company-project that is also partially funded by Business Finland.