Flexible laser cutting solution for nuclear decommissioning
The decommissioning of a power reactor can take up to several decades after it ceases its operation. As a result, the EU supports innovations that improve existing technologies for dismantling, risk characterisation and assessment, on-site waste management and environmental remediation.
Existing conventional cutting techniques result in limited effectiveness. During the last decade, laser cutting technology emerged as a promising alternative for the segmentation of the reactor pressure vessel and internals. The EU-funded LD-SAFE project will confirm the laser cutting technology for the dismantling of the most critical components of nuclear reactors. It will demonstrate the capabilities of a flexible laser cutting solution that meets the key technical challenges in dismantling, assessing its environmental and safety impacts and proving the economic advantages of its use.
The aim of NFRP-2019-2020-09 call is to capitalise existing technologies for characterisation and risk assessment, dismantling, on-site waste management and environmental remediation in order to gain needed efficiencies in the decommissioning of nuclear power reactors.
In this context, the laser cutting technology for nuclear dismantling, an adaptation from the manufacturing industry developed by over a decade of R&D efforts, is identified in Europe and elsewhere in the world as a promising alternative.
The objective of the LD-SAFE project is to validate the laser cutting technology for the dismantling of the most challenging components of power nuclear reactors in air and underwater.
LD-SAFE project will remove the last barriers to enable the replacement of conventional cutting techniques and prove by 4 specific objectives that the technology is mature (TRL7):
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