Westinghouse to help decommission Norwegian research reactors

18 July 2022

Westinghouse Electric Company has been awarded an engineering contract by Norwegian Nuclear Decommissioning (NND) to plan the decommissioning of the country's two nuclear research reactors, located in Halden and Kjeller. The three-year agreement includes options up to six years and is valued up to NOK1 billion (USD99 million).

The Halden reactor hall (Image: Westinghouse)

Norway's two research reactors - the nuclear fuel and materials testing reactor at Halden and the JEEP-II neutron scattering facility at Kjeller - were declared permanently shut down in June 2018 and April 2019, respectively. Their ownership and responsibility for them will move to NND from the Institute for Energy Technology.

"The decommissioning of the nuclear facilities in Norway is a complicated assignment and NND welcomes the international decommissioning experience that Westinghouse brings to this project," said NND Chief Technology Officer Nils Bøhmer. "We greatly value the in-depth expertise that Westinghouse has in engineering design, including extensive experience in licensing and safety assessments. They will be a strong partner for NND in the coming years."

"We are pleased to bring our global expertise and technical innovation in decommissioning and waste management to this important work for NDD to remove and dispose of the Halden and Kjeller research reactors," said Sam Shakir, president of Westinghouse Environmental Services. "We will reimagine the sites as safe, thriving, and sustainable and ensure the decommissioning projects are completed efficiently and in a manner that returns them to green fields."

The contract between NND and Westinghouse follows shortly after the signing of a framework agreement between NND and a joint venture between Jacobs UK Limited and Multiconsult Norge AS to plan the decommissioning of Norway's nuclear facilities. That agreement includes a wide range of disciplines in the line of work required during the decommissioning phase. The initial focus will be on Halden and JEEP-II. The scope includes engineering concept design and planning of new facilities, upgrading of existing nuclear and non-nuclear facilities and supporting NND with technical documentation, as well as preparing safety cases to meet ownership and operating licence requirements.

Under that agreement, the work is expected to start immediately and to last for a period of six years. The total value of the six-year multi-award framework was estimated to be NOK750 million, and maximum NOK900 million, in addition to an option estimated to be worth NOK100 million.

In addition to the research reactors, there are several other nuclear facilities in Norway that will be decommissioned and a wide range of nuclear waste that must be handled and disposed of in a safe way. The overall programme for used fuel treatment and decommissioning of the Halden and Kjeller reactors is expected to cost about NOK20 billion and take 20-25 years.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News