Nuclear waste partnership signed for Hanford continued decommissioning, US

Nuclear energy company Areva has partnered with nuclear and hazardous waste management company Kurion for the decommissioning and remediation of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) complex. As part of the agreement, the two companies will start work on the clean-up and closure of the DOE’s Hanford site in Washington state. The Hanford site produced plutonium for over 40 years during the Cold War-era for the US’ defence programme before being deactivated and decommissioned. Ongoing clean-up work of the site is estimated to involve 11,000 employees and cost $2 billion per year with the work expected to take decades. At the end of last year a report published by the DOE’s Savannah River National Laboratory investigated workers’ reported complaints of smelling vapors and becoming ill after working around some of the 177 underground nuclear waste storage tanks at the site. The report said “evidence strongly suggests a causal link between chemical vapour releases and subsequent health effects, particularly upper respiratory irritation, experienced by tank farm workers.” The Areva partnership will use Kurion’s proprietary technologies for the separation and stabilisation of nuclear waste at Hanford and the “expanding market” for decommissioning in the US. Gary Mignogna, CEO of AREVA, said: “Through this partnership, we will strengthen our offering in the growing U.S. decommissioning market.” ### Read more Radioactive waste analysis contract awarded to Amec Foster Wheeler for Sellafield decommissioning 6.4 million euro funding for autonomous nuclear waste sorting robot ESG secures ten year nuclear waste analysis contract in UK