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Decommissioning & Dismantling

Site of the former Yankee Rowe nuclear energy facility. Image: Yankee Rowe

Experienced. Efficient. Engaged.

As a leading nuclear fuel cycle service provider, Orano's experienced teams support customers from preparation to completion with cost-effective execution of their decommissioning and dismantling projects.

Safe and efficient decommissioning is essential in managing nuclear facilities’ end of lifecycle stage.

Orano provides expertise throughout the entire decommissioning process for U.S. facilities: planning, program and project management, fuel handling, decontamination, dismantling, waste packaging and transport, and site restoration.

What to expect:

  • Robust execution programs built on extensive experience gained during realization of numerous D&D projects worldwide
  • Application of cost-efficient and highly productive processes, optimized through consequent implementation of state-of-the-art productivity improvement methods such as value stream management (VSM)
  • Mitigation of collective dose burden following implementation of optimized disassembly procedures
  • Reduced radwaste generation and consequently less packaging expenses

Expertise in All Five Stages of D&D

1. Planning

Development of appropriate dismantling strategies and scenarios are foundational to achieve safe and cost-effective decontamination and decommissioning completion.

Activities include:

  • Adjustment of plant organization and staff to post-operation requirements (deregulation)
  • Licensing procedure
  • Radiological evaluation and control
  • Dismantling operations
  • Utilization of auxiliary facilities, tools and equipment

2. Decontamination

Protection of people and environment against radiation come first in each phase of the lifecycle of nuclear power plants. Therefore, decontamination of the facility and equipment is important; not only during operation, but also in preparation for decommissioning.

Effective decontamination ensures reduced personnel dose well within regulatory guidelines and reduced generation of radioactive waste.

With more than 30 years’ experience in decontamination of operating and decommissioned nuclear power facilities, Orano offers Full System Decontamination (FSD), an effective process for decontaminating all the components comprising the primary circuit and the critical auxiliary systems. Orano’s FSD technology also successfully decontaminates all systems of the fuel cycle facilities. Reducing the sources of radiation mitigates collective doses received from dismantling activities, enhances safety and, in turn, allows for the most cost-effective application of resources.

Activities include:

  • Plant defueling
  • Detailed radiological characterization, including sampling
  • Decontamination of systems and facilities
  • Procurement and installation of auxiliary systems and equipment, including temporary, mobile operating systems and waste treatment plants

3. Dismantling & Decommissioning

With more than 20 years’ experience in decommissioning and dismantling, Orano developed and successfully applies proven dismantling methods and processes to treat and package the remaining material for disposal.

One approach used for segmentation of the reactor vessel internals is performed by abrasive water jet and mechanical cutting. Watch the videos to see these processes and others in action.

The resulting waste from this phase will be thoroughly conditioned before being placed in disposal storage.

Activities include:

  • Disassembly of plant and equipment, including cutting away piping systems, deconstructing heavy reactor components and demolishing buildings
  • Decontamination of plant and equipment
  • Treatment, conditioning, packaging and transport of radioactive waste to storage

4. Used Nuclear Fuel and Waste Transportation and Storage

Safe used fuel management is not just about purchasing a storage system … It is about a coordinated team of construction specialists, engineers, and trained and practiced “industry best” used fuel loading teams. Orano's safe used fuel management program features state-of-the-art storage systems, aging management technologies and services, and a reliable and safe transport system to move the fuel offsite.

Orano TN provides superior quality dry storage systems, including dry shielded canisters that are built of durable stainless steel at our American fabricator, Columbiana Hi Tech, or at one of our QA-qualified fabricators around the world. Our concrete overpacks are called Horizontal Storage Modules (NUHOMS®), and are either cast on site or built at our American manufacturer and shipped to the site for installation.

Our robust NUHOMS® storage systems are in place at more than 30 U.S. nuclear energy facilities, where more than 1,000 Orano TN canisters safely store the sites’ used nuclear fuel.

With these capabilities and custom design, Orano offers all services needed to manage used nuclear fuel safely and efficiently from start to finish.

Activities include:

  • Pool-to-pad transfer of used nuclear fuel from wet storage in the used fuel pool to secure dry storage onsite
  • Dry storage site construction and module installation
  • Recording, monitoring, surveillance and inspections of stored used fuel canisters
  • Used fuel and waste transportation

5. Site Restoration

Restoring sites to “green field” status completes the lifecycle of nuclear energy facilities.

Like any industrial activity, a nuclear energy site has a finite life span. Following its restoration, a former nuclear energy site can be used to host new businesses and economic activity.

Orano has built expertise and successfully applied state-of-the-art technology to meet the challenges involved with nuclear site clean-up and restoration.


An abrasive water jet is often used for segmentation of reactor internal structures.

A sampling of our major decommissioning projects:

Segmentation and packaging


  • USA: Hanford, Savannah River Site
  • France: Cadarache, La Hague, Marcoule

Used fuel and waste management

Project management support

  • France: Superphénix
  • Great Britain: Sellafield
Contact Us

Fred Bailly
T: 301-841-1653

1155 F Street, N.W.
Suite 800
Washington, D.C.

Vermont Yankee decommissioning