French regulators turn to Auld Alliance for decommissioning help

French regulators turn to Auld Alliance for decommissioning help

Four experts from the Autorité de Sureté Nucleaire, the French nuclear safety inspectorate, spent a day at Dounreay discussing the decommissioning of alkali metal cooled fast reactors.

The visit was hosted by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate as part of international collaboration over nuclear health and safety matters.

The visitors toured DFR and PFR to see the progress with fast reactor decommissioning in the UK, focusing primarily on alkali metal disposal.

They were particularly interested in learning about PFR’s sodium disposal plant that set a world record by destroying 1,500 tonnes of sodium, as a similar plant is being built in France.

DSRL’s Tim Curtis and Neil McLean, who were involved in commissioning and running the plant, were able to share valuable information with their French colleagues on the plant’s performance.

The NII and ASN are assisting the exchange of information which will benefit both countries’ nuclear decommissioning programmes.

Reactors manager Mike Brown explained: “ASN shared their experience with Super Phenix decommissioning and learned about our experiences operating SDP and NDP at Dounreay.

“The French and UK fast reactor decommissioning programmes are taking similar paths and international collaboration is helping to streamline the learning curves and ensure a safe and efficient decommissioning programme.”