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Decommissioning of the High-flux reactor (HCR) at Petten

The European Commission has published a communication relating to the decommissioning of the High-flux Reactor (HFR) situated at the Joint Research Centre in Petten, The Netherlands. Whilst the communication makes clear that decommissioning will not be necessary until well in...

The European Commission has published a communication relating to the decommissioning of the High-flux Reactor (HFR) situated at the Joint Research Centre in Petten, The Netherlands. Whilst the communication makes clear that decommissioning will not be necessary until well into the 21st century, it lays down the options, as well as ensuring that sufficient funding to cover the costs of eventual decommissioning are laid aside from the HFR budget each year. Currently, the HFR's reactor vessel may be used until at least 2015. A spare vessel is in stock and this could be exchanged for the current one at that time, allowing the reactor to continue operating until mid-century. The other options would be to continue operating with the existing vessel for some time, or to cease operations and decommission the reactor. In view of the possibility of decommissioning, the Commission has prepared a decommissioning plan, and has estimated that the total costs would be in the region of ECU 25 million. On this basis, a part of the annual budget will be set aside to meet these costs.