SCK•CEN is the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre. Founded in the mid-fifties, it has accumulated experience and know-how in all fields of the nuclear power production: in the neutronics calculation, radiation protection, waste management, fuel performance and analysis, nuclear measurements, radiochemistry, reactor technology, etc. Since 1989, SCK•CEN has launched Decommissioning activities to deal with the Technical Liabilities created by 40 years of operation. The main projects started were:
• the dismantling of the BR3 PWR reactor;
• the dismantling of active laboratories and the decontamination of buildings for unrestricted reuse;
• the management of the waste arising from the refurbishment activities of the BR2, especially the management of the high active beryllium matrix.
In 1989, the BR3 reactor, a Pressurized Water Reactor, was selected by the European Commission as one of the four pilot dismantling projects in the framework of the EC five year RTD program on dismantling nuclear installations. Through this project, SCK•CEN has built up a broad know-how in dismantling and decommissioning operations. This know how concerns the decontamination for dose rate reduction and/or free release of materials, teleoperated techniques for cutting highly activated components of a reactor, concrete decontamination techniques, characterization techniques of radioactive waste or for free release of components and development of decommissioning management and recordkeeping of material streams and of nuclear material accountancy.
SCK•CEN is now actively involved in other decommissioning projects in Belgium and in expertise abroad.
After giving an overview of the main achievements and the perspectives of the decommissioning of the BR3 reactor, the paper intends to present the involvement of SCK•CEN in the other decommissioning projects and to give an overview of our activities and capacities.