Decommissioning & Decontamination

SCK•CEN has built a large know-how in decommissioning & decontamination (D&D), thanks to its BR3 reactor decommissioning project. Selected in 1989 as European pilot decommissioning project by the European Commission within his Framework Programme, the BR3 project has allowed testing, comparing and qualifying various techniques for the decommissioning and decontamination of nuclear facilities. Moreover, data on cost, waste production and specific radioprotection topics have been accumulated throughout the project.

Our offer

Project management, decommissioning plan, inventory and cost estimate

  • Decommissioning plan for research facilities
  • Decommissioning plan for power plants
  • Cost estimate for power plants and research facilities (DEMATO)

Licencing aspects

  • Decommissioning licence
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Contacts with the regulatory bodies

Decommissioning techniques

  • Highly activated metals
  • Teleoperation and remote operations
  • Contaminated equipments
  • Concrete
  • Asbestos removal in contaminated or radiating environment

Decontamination techniques and material management

  • Chemical pre-decom decontamination
  • Hard chemical decontamination
  • Mechanical decontamination
  • Waste minimisation
  • Management of the evacuation routes
  • Material and waste management
  • Free release of material

Fuel removal and evacuation

  • Fuel type and experimental fuels
  • Storage selection
  • Wet shipping and preparation
  • Dry storage of the spent fuel


  • Characterisation of activated components
  • Characterisation of contaminated metals
  • Characterisation of concrete
  • Characterisation and measurement of waste and materials for free release

Radioprotection optimisation

  • Dose measurements
  • Dose rate field modelisation
  • ALARA planning tool Visiplan and optimisation


Leaflet: Dismantling, Decontamination and Waste

The BR3 reactor

The BR3 plant was the first PWR plant built outside the US, with a net power output of 10 MWe. Started in 1962, it was definitely shut down in 1987.

Selected in 1989 as European pilot project, the main operations carried out involve: a full system decontamination, remote decommissioning of two sets of reactor internals, remote decommissioning of the reactor pressure vessel, decommissioning of various contaminated loops (including the primary coolant loop), thorough decontamination of the decommissioned materials, free release and melting of metallic materials, decommissioning and decontamination of concrete, in situ thorough decontamination of steam generator, telerobotic cutting of complex structures.

International recognition

Thanks to its pioneering role, the long experience built up and the European character of the project, SCK•CEN is involved in many different international committees and bodies concerned with the decommissioning of nuclear facilities: IAEA, OECD/NEA, EC, NATO, NRC, etc.


D&D general: Dadoumont Jérôme
Liability manager: Noynaert Luc