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Environment, safety and health at AREVA Melox

Exterior view of the MELOX plant

The MELOX site is part of a sustainable development initiative led by New AREVA. Water, energy, waste, MELOX is committed to respect for the environment. It also acts to promote health and workplace security, as well as for the benefit of handicapped persons.

CONTROLLING CONSUMPTION

Water consumption

The MELOX plant uses water for building-related purposes (sanitation, company restaurant, watering of plants) as well as for cooling mechanical installations. MELOX also uses demineralized water for its laboratory as well as for certain production facilities (cleaning of small components, sintering ovens).

Over the past 3 years, raw water consumption has dropped 35%, primarily as a result of leak detection campaigns on buried networks, and pipe repairs.

Energy consumption

To ventilate and air condition buildings, power plant equipment (ovens, presses and compressors) or run heaters and diesel groups, the plant consumes electricity and fuel.

WASTE MANAGEMENT AND RECOVERY

Waste from MELOX primarily includes waste generated during ongoing operation of the workshops (gloves, plastic gloves, work suits...) and from maintenance or modification operations (metallic equipment, tools...).

Management of radioactive waste at MELOX has three major objectives:

  • As low a volume of waste as possible,
  • classify wastes into categories and process them, either to reduce their volume or to extract radioactive substances from them, notably to recycle nuclear materials where applicable,
  • pretreat the wastes in a safe and sustainable manner for the purpose of shipping, packaging, and then permanent storage. No final wastes remain at the MELOX site. Depending on their level of radioactivity, they are then transported to the facilities of AREVA La Hague, of CEA Marcoule, of SOCODEI or to the very-low-level waste storage site of (TFA) ANDRA in Morvilliers in the French regional department of Aube (CSA-TFA) for additional processing, final packing, or for storage.

Value development of radioactive waste

Since the plant's inception, MELOX has been committed to the implementation of a waste reduction and resource recovery policy.

Principal actions of waste optimization include:

  • Improvements in the reliability of the procedure in order to cut down on interventions and corrective maintenance,
  • The pretreatment of ventilation filters in a facility in order to recover recyclable nuclear materials(ventilation filters constitute the largest part of nuclear activity of MELOX wastes),
  • Reducing the quantity of waste by optimizing the filling of drums,
  • The routine monitoring of pretreatment of wastes in drums and, where applicable, &uot;resorting&uot; of the drums,
  • The promotion of awareness among internal departments that produce the wastes,
  • The numerous research and development activities to reduce volume and activity of wastes (dust ventilation system for nuclear materials, filter cleaning system...).

Safety, Health, and Security at work

The health and security of personnel, and the safety of the facilities constitute major concerns for MELOX. In addition, technical and organizational improvements are continuously developed to prevent and reduce risks.

 

APPLICATION of the ALARA procedure

Making continuous progress in controlling exposure to radiation (ALARA procedure) has been a priority at MELOX since it opened its doors. The determination of Management in this area has been concretized by the setting up of specific action plans, which cover not only actions in the field and organizational initiatives, but campaigns designed to raise the awareness of personnel regarding radiation exposure.