Nuclear decommissioning

Tutkimusreaktorin sydän

Nuclear decommissioning is a quickly growing industry, with new opportunities, also for companies with no previous nuclear background. VTT can provide technical and business development support to companies interested in decommissioning projects.

Key facts

The decommissioning of research reactors improves practical understanding on nuclear decommissioning

The first large nuclear power reactors are coming to the end of their technical lives

The nuclear decommissioning industry is growing fast 

As the first large nuclear power reactors are coming to the end of their technical lifetimes, the industry of nuclear decommissioning is growing. The key requirements in decommissioning are to complete the project in a short time, at low costs, and in a safe and sustainable manner.  

Companies outside the nuclear industry, e.g. logistics, waste handling, sensing or digital services can also operate as suppliers of products and services for nuclear decommissioning projects. In order to develop new business opportunities VTT is coordinating a business ecosystem on nuclear decommissioning. The project is co-funded by Business Finland. The aim is to identify business opportunities and development needs together, and to launch development projects.  

Most work in a nuclear decommissioning project is non-nuclear, providing opportunities also for companies outside the nuclear industry.

VTT is carrying out the decommissioning of its research reactor FiR1 as well as the laboratory for irradiated materials. This has improved understanding of the nuclear decommissioning industry as a whole and the decommissioning process in practice. VTT has developed and demonstrated its capabilities in inventory analysis both computationally and by measurements. A key computational tool is Serpent, a Monte-Carlo particle transport code. As to measurements, VTT Centre for Nuclear Safety has a variety of services related to elemental and isotopic analysis, including difficult-to-measure isotopes.

Based on our experiences in the FiR1 decommissioning project and by using competences within VTT and in the ecosystem, we are developing new ways to carry out decommissioning in less time and at lower costs, and in a safe and sustainable manner. Digital technologies such as virtual and augmented reality and robotics can play a big role in planning, optimization, training and implementation. 

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