FiR1 Research Reactor Decommissioning and Waste Management

Fortum has been the main contractor for planning the decommissioning and waste management of VTT's research reactor FiR1 since 2020. The contractor’s scope is to produce needed technical design material, implement the dismantling, and take responsibility for the produced radioactive waste. The entire project is remarkable in its field, as it is the first reactor to be decommissioned in Finland. The work has progressed from the design phase to the procurement process, and the actual dismantling is planned to begin in 2023. Eventually, waste will be disposed to Loviisa LILW (Low and intermediate level radioactive waste) repository.

Case Description

FiR1 TRIGA Mark II research reactor, which was operated in Espoo, Finland, between 1962 and 2015 is in decommissioning. The decommissioning license was granted to VTT in June 2021 by the Government of Finland, and dismantling is scheduled to commence in early 2023. The contract on decommissioning services, signed in March 2020 between VTT and Fortum, covers the dismantling of FiR1 and all necessary nuclear waste management services. The contract also covers final disposal of decommissioning waste from the research laboratory (OK3) decommissioning. OK3 is located next to FiR1 reactor and has been used for nuclear material research purposes by VTT.

Fortum’s role in the project can be divided into three phases:

  • Planning and support
  • Site preparation and dismantling
  • Waste management

Planning and support phase consist of decommissioning site design, developing radioactive waste management process, planning of dismantling and radiation protection. Fortum has also supported in licensing and spent fuel management. Planning and support phase was completed in June 2022.

Site preparation and dismantling is expected to start in the beginning of 2023. Fortum’s responsibilities are site preparation for dismantling, implementation of radiation protection and waste management arrangements as well as all demolition works. The waste management phase consists of sorting, packing, transportation, and final disposal of the decommissioning waste.

Project information

Customer: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)

Project: FiR1 research reactor decommissioning and waste management

Project start and end: 2020-2024

Country: Finland

Main contractor: Fortum Power and Heat Oy (Fortum)

Working methods

Project is executed in good and close cooperation with VTT. Fortum has utilised several modern tools for planning the decommissioning. A virtual model (eSiteview) of the plant has been created to support remote planning. Radiation modelling (MCNP and HVRC Vrdose®) has been used to optimise the work process. All reactor internals dismantling phases are modelled with 3D software (Solid Works, Micro Station etc.) to ensure smooth execution and to streamline work plans.

Fortum has also supported VTT for authority involvement. Common meetings and presentations for authority have been adopted to ensure smooth continuity of the project. Fortum has presented solutions for technical execution. Managing of authority requirements are also included in the technical documentation.

Relevance of project

For the planning and support phase 25 documents have been prepared for licensing and later execution of the project. So far approximately 10 man-years have been adopted to the project.

  • The FiR1 decommissioning project is the first of its kind in Finland. During the project, the authority has not had existing procedures for such projects, and planning documentation has never been taken this far before. Flexibility was also learned during the project, as support was needed from other organisations, and help has been available in both directions, says Fortum's leading decommissioning specialist Matti Kaisanlahti

Overall, the project is unique and new, and a lot of new things were learned during the project. Despite the large workload of the project, the overall schedule has been kept, since the goal of the project has been clear and visible from the beginning. And what's the most important, the customer has been satisfied with the operation of the project and the produced material.

Contact us

Antti Ketolainen

Senior Manager
Decommissioning and Waste
Tel: +358 40 751 8956
Antti [dot] V [dot] Ketolainen [at] fortum [dot] com

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