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Nuclear decommissioning project in Slovakia reaches important landmark

The decommissioning of Soviet-era reactors at the Bohunice nuclear power plant (BNPP) in Slovakia reached an important landmark: the two pressurised water reactors have now been fully dismantled and their components decontaminated for safe storage and recycling, announced the European Bank for Reconstructing and Development (EBRD) which founded the decommissioning.

This is the first time when reactors of this type were decommissioned and disassembled directly on site. As a result, around 95 per cent of waste products and metals have already been safely processed, decontaminated and released from the site. It is also a benchmark for nuclear-decommissioning activity around the world in terms of both technological solutions and the pace of work.

“The dismantling of the two VVER nuclear reactors and the processing of the metallic waste in such a short timescale is an impressive achievement,” said Steve White, Associate Director for Nuclear Safety at the EBRD. “It is hard to overstate the complexity of the completed works – and the enormous engineering challenges we have overcome.”

It is expected that work at the site to take apart and process the remaining equipment and systems will be completed by 2025. Civil structures and the BNPP buildings will then be demolished making the area safe for redevelopment by 2027.

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