Belgoprocess started the industrial decommissioning of the main process building of the former Eurochemic reprocessing plant in 1990, after completion of a pilot project. Two small storage buildings for final products from reprocessing were dismantled to verify the assumptions made in a previous paper study on decommissioning, to demonstrate and develop dismantling techniques and to train personnel. Both buildings were emptied and decontaminated to background levels. They were demolished and the remaining concrete debris was disposed of as industrial waste and green field conditions restored.
Currently, the decommissioning operations carried out at the main building have made substantial progress. They are executed on an industrial scale and will continue till the end of 2005. In view of the final demolition of the building, a clearance methodology has to be proposed. Application of the methodology applied for the storage buildings of the pilot project is complicated for several reasons. Although this methodology is not rejected as such, an alternative has been studied thoroughly. It considers at least one complete measurement of all concrete structures and the removal of all detected residual radioactivity. This monitoring sequence is followed by a controlled demolition of the concrete structures and crushing of the resulting concrete parts to smaller particles. During the crashing operations, metal parts are separated from the concrete and representative concrete samples are taken. The frequency of sampling meets the prevailing standards. In a further step, the concrete samples are milled, homogenised, and a smaller fraction is sent to the laboratory for analyses. The paper describes the developed concrete crushing and sampling methodology.