The site of a plant for the production of ceramic powders of low concentration uranium dioxide has become the first nuclear facility in Russia to be returned to a greenfield site.

On 29 June, representatives of Russian nuclear fuel producer TVEL and state nuclear company Rosatom's technical committee signed a document to mark the completion of decommissioning of the facility at JSC Chemical and Metallurgical Plant in Krasnoyarsk, in the far east of Russia.

In a statement, TVEL said that the completion of decommissioning of the plant marks the first time that the site of an industrial-scale nuclear facility has been totally demolished and decontaminated. It said that the site now poses no hazard and can now be used for another industrial or social use.

The cost of the project to decommission the site totalled some 656 million roubles ($21 million), which was provided by Rosatom and the federal budget.

Since 2006, when an agreement was signed between Rosatom and the municipality of Krasnoyarsk Kraj on the decommissioning of the uranium dioxide plant, the production equipment has been dismantled, buildings demolished and some of the soil at the site replaced. The complexity of decommissioning the site was made even more difficult by the fact that the plant was located within the city, which posed additional restrictions and raised the level of safety requirements.

Commenting on the completion of the project, Evgeny Kudryavtsev, head of Rosatom's project for used fuel management and decommissioning, said: "We have full confidence that all the work has been conducted successfully. The experience gained will be used in the nuclear industry in the future. The site is now ready for use without restriction."

Sergei Svinarenko, TVEL's executive director of nuclear, radiological, industrial and environmental safety, said that the decommissioning documents will soon be sent to the Federal Service for Ecological Technological and Nuclear Supervision (Rostekhnadzor) to resolve the issue of removing the site from regulatory oversight.

Source: Researched and written by World Nuclear News