Innovation: AREVA Inaugurates the La Hague Site’s Cold Crucible
June 17, 2010
June 17, 2010
Today at the AREVA La Hague recycling facility, Anne Lauvergeon, AREVA's Chief Executive Officer, inaugurated the cold crucible, a world first for vitrification(1) of high-level radioactive waste.
In the presence of regional and CEA representatives, Anne Lauvergeon paid tribute to “the industrial and technological prowess represented by the cold crucible, made possible by the knowledge and competence of the AREVA teams.”
Cold crucible technology(2) makes it possible to reach temperatures above 1,200°C, thereby enabling vitrification of a wider variety of radioactive waste and a higher production rate. In addition, wall cooling increases equipment lifetime. The entry into operation of the cold crucible is the end result of close collaboration between the CEA (Atomic Energy Commission) and AREVA for more than 25 years.
Anne Lauvergeon emphasized that “the cold crucible is an illustration of AREVA's intention to continue and reinforce its research and development policy in order to continue to make innovation available to its customers.”
(1) Vitrification allows safe and stable long-term conditioning of high-level radioactive waste.
(2) The principle of the cold crucible is to induce electric currents directly in the glass to raise its temperature without heating the crucible.