On 26 June 2018, EDF and VEOLIA entered a partnership agreement to co-develop remote control solutions for dismantling gas-cooled reactors (natural uranium graphite gas or UNGG in French) and for vitrifying radioactive waste, in France and worldwide.
EDF is currently decommissioning 6 gas-cooled reactors reactors at Bugey (Ain department in France), Chinon (Indre-et-Loire department) and Saint-Laurent-des-Eaux (Loir-et-Cher). Key milestones have already been secured on all these complex projects, and EDF confirms its objective to dismantle these nuclear facilities in the shortest timeframe possible. Veolia will thus provide EDF with its experience in remote handling technologies (robotics) with a view to designing and delivering innovative solutions to access the cores of gas-cooled reactors and to cut up and extract components under optimum safety and security conditions.
In parallel, EDF and VEOLIA will work to develop an industrial solution for the vitrification of low- and intermediate- level waste using VEOLIA’s GeoMelt® technology. This technology is ideally suited for radioactive waste, which it immobilises in a glass matrix, thus delivering a stable and durable waste form that is easy to transport and store.
The objective for the two companies is the industrial implementation and joint commercial operation of these robotics and vitrification technologies.
Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of EDF, stated: “We are proud to have signed this agreement with VEOLIA, which underscores EDF’s determination to become a key player in decommissioning and radioactive waste management. This partnership is also tangible evidence of EDF and VEOLIA’s desire to pool their know-how in the interest of developing successful industrial sectors.”
Antoine Frérot, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of VEOLIA, announced: “I am delighted with this partnership between EDF and VEOLIA, an alliance between two key players, globally recognised, with a very high level of expertise in their respective fields. Our collaboration, which is expected to grow over time, demonstrates the extent of each company’s vision and ambition with regard to processing the most environmentally sensitive waste and preserving the environment.”
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Background information on EDF
A key player in energy transition, the EDF Group is an integrated electricity company, active in all areas of the business: generation, transmission, distribution, energy supply and trading, energy services. A global leader in low-carbon energies, the Group has developed a diversified generation mix based on nuclear power, hydropower, new renewable energies and thermal energy. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to approximately 35.1 million customers, of which 26.5 million in France. The Group generated consolidated sales of €70 billion in 2017. EDF is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.
Background information on Veolia
The Veolia Group is a world leader in optimised resource management. With operations on all five continents and a workforce of 169,000, the Group designs and implements water, waste and energy management solutions that promote the sustainable development of communities and industries. By way of its three complementary business activities, Veolia works to increase access to resources, and to safeguard and replenish existing resources. In 2017, the Veolia Group supplied 96 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater services, produced close to 55 million megawatt-hours of energy and converted 47 million tons of waste. In 2017, Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) generated a consolidated turnover of 25.12 billion euros.
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