The International Conference on Nuclear Decommissioning (ICOND) was held November 21-24, 2016 in the city of Aachen (Germany), organized by the Aachen Institute for Nuclear Training, the Association for Technical Supervision "Rhineland Industrial services" (TUV Rheinland) and the Belgian company Technubel.

The event brought together more than 290 representatives of the nuclear industry, energy companies, technical supervision government departments and the ministries, as well as research institutes from all around the world. From the side of the State Nuclear Energy Corporation Rosatom, the event was attended by representatives of “Pilot and Demonstration Center for Decommissioning of Uranium-Graphite Nuclear Reactors” JSC (“PDC UGR” JSC) and the NUKEM Technologies company (a subsidiary of JSC "Atomstroyexport"), which specializes in providing services in the field of management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, as well as the decommissioning of the radiation facilities.

The main topics of the international conference were the planning and management issues of the decommissioning facilities, as well as the questions of the remote dismantling, demolition of specialized facilities, and the accuracy of the decommissioning process in relation to the environment. Particular attention was paid to the problem of waste disposal of dismantled nuclear facilities.

Head of the R&D group of JSC “PDC UGR” of ROSATOM and an expert of the international project GRAPA (International Project on Irradiated Graphite Processing Approaches) Alexander Pavlyuk, presented the report "Future directions of irradiated graphite handling". In his presentation he noted, that the issue of irradiated graphite handling is the key one for decommissioning of the uranium-graphite reactors. "To solve it, it is necessary to consolidate efforts of the concerned countries, including Russia, France, USA, UK, Italy, Spain and others. At the same time, such international projects as GRAPA (Graphite Processing Approaches), organized by the IAEA play a positive role, bringing together experts from many countries",- said Mr. Pavlyuk.

"In the Russian city of Seversk there has been created a special experimental demonstration center for uranium-graphite reactors decommissioning (Pilot and Demonstration Center for Decommissioning Nuclear Uranium-Graphite Reactors), which has all the necessary infrastructure and experience of the successful decommissioning of the uranium-graphite reactors. Currently, the main part of the laboratory research has been completed, which allows to achieve the next level of the development - a pilot testing of the graphite handling technologies, followed by replication", - he said.

On the final day of the event, there was a presentation of the representative of the NUKEM Technologies company Marina Sokcic-Kostic on the topic "Methods and Techniques to Analyse Burn-Up and Defect of Nuclear Fuel Elements of the Reactor Core". "The final stage of the fuel cycle, including the dismantling, decommissioning and waste management is becoming more and more important every single day. It plays a key role not only for the existing nuclear power plants, but also in the construction planning for the new ones. Methods and costs of these important measures should be timely and properly taken into account", - said M. Sokcic-Kostic.

In the frameworks of the conference’s programme, there has been organised an exhibition with the participation of the industry’s enterprises. The stand of NUKEM Technologies was also presented at the exhibition.

For information:

ICOND (International Conference on Nuclear Decommissioning) - An international conference dedicated to the organization and coordination of all the methods, planning, and technologies of decommissioning and closure of nuclear facilities. It is being held annually since 2012. The participants are companies, which work with planning and implementation of decommissioning, as well as the supervision and oversight of the process during the decommissioning and closure of nuclear facilities. The event also involves institutions dealing with radioactive waste.