Meeting challenges through innovation

Born out of Eurochemic, Belgoprocess was founded in 1984 as a private company in the Belgian nuclear area Mol-Dessel. In 1986, it became a subsidiary of the Belgian Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Materials (NIRAS), which is responsible for outlining a clear and coherent policy on radioactive waste. NIRAS assigned Belgoprocess as the nuclear operator of the centralised treatment and storage facilities for all types of radioactive waste produced in Belgium and as the company in charge of decommissioning the shutdown nuclear facilities. In 1989, Belgoprocess took over the former waste treatment facilities of the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre.

Belgoprocess was in charge of decommissioning the experimental reprocessing plant Eurochemic – the first civil plant in Europe to reprocess irradiated nuclear fuel and the first reprocessing plant in the world to have been decommissioned. In doing so, Belgoprocess gained a unique experience in the decontamination and dismantlement of nuclear facilities. In order to achieve maximum decontamination of materials and installations,  it invested substantially in research in new technologies. Today, decommissioning efforts still go on at both sites resulting in free release of 91% of its decontaminated material for reuse in the conventional industry.

The radioactive waste is classified into several categories, all related to a specific treatment and conditioning process with for each category, the appropriate installations and technologies. Among its main waste treatment facilities are the CILVA installation for low-level waste and the PAMELA installation for alpha-bearing and high-level waste on site 1 and the 280X facility for processing historical waste on site 2.

Belgoprocess’s patented plasma thermal treatment technology uses a high-temperature plasma processing technique with operating features that eliminate the personnel exposure and costs associated with sorting, characterizing and handling this waste and gives a final product that meets most stringent acceptance criteria for final storage.

In 2009, Iberdrola Ingeniería y Construcción and Belgoprocess won a contract to build a full-scale plasma facility at the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant site in Bulgaria. This engineering, procurement and construction contract was co-financed through a grant by the Kozloduy International Decommissiong fund administated by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and through Bulgarian national funding. The plasma facility has been operated successfully by the State Enterprise of Radioactive Waste in Bulgaria since 2019.

Also in the field of thermal treatment, Belgoprocess and Montair Environmental Services developed the PRIME (Pyrolysis Resins In Mobile Electric) Installation, processing spent resins in one single reactor without pre-treatment and without intermixing of other waste, allowing for easy traceability and isotopic characterization of the end product. Both low level waste and medium level waste can be treated in the installation. The standard PRIME installation is designed to treat two batches of 100 liter of saturated ion exchange resins over a period of 24 hours but capacity can easily be increased.

It is the company’s mission to carry out these activities in a careful and professional manner, while paying the greatest attention to people, to safety and the environment, and to the socio-economic development of the region, with the intention of setting a leading example within Europe.

¡Recibe nuestra newsletter!

    The data provided by you is processed by the Spanish Nuclear Society in accordance with EU Regulation 2016/679 on Data Protection, with the purpose of managing your requests, answering queries, administrative, statistical processing and sending SNE communications, about your activity, events, etc. The transfer of data is not foreseen (unless legally required) or international data transfers; and through the Privacy Policy you have all the rights that assist you in terms of privacy.