An important step in the decommissioning of the Gentilly 2 nuclear power plant in Bécancour, in the Centre-du-Québec region, is beginning, now that all that remains is to remove the objects for nuclear use from the site.
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Hydro-Québec must therefore have all the tools for nuclear use used during the operating period from 1983 to 2012, ie a total of 20,000 pieces.
These are basically hardware equipment and accessories like pumps, generators, ladders, screws, nuts, pliers, hammers and others. All this equipment was kept separately in a warehouse in a secure area on the plant site.
A firm specializing in decontamination and decommissioning has just been hired to manage this task. As tools may be radioactive, a radiological survey of each must be carried out. Eventually, parts will need to be decontaminated.
“The chances of them being radioactive are pretty slim. It is moreover material that is isolated from the rest of the material. So, we have parts that are specific to the nuclear world of course,” explained Véronique Trépanier, spokesperson for the state-owned company.
Tools whose level of radioactivity is too high will be directed to the secure storage area of the nuclear site.
Hydro-Québec will favor the reuse of the components of this maintenance arsenal within its other divisions. Otherwise, a broker was hired to find outlets in the nuclear sector. It will also be possible to dispose of it via auctions or to turn to a scrap dealer.