Metal waste treated in the melting unit arrives in bulk in containers, or is transported in crates. The metal waste is sorted, characterised and cut up in various different workshops before being placed in the melting furnace.
facility is equipped with a cutting shop for large components
. It handles components up to 19 metres in length, and weighing 200 tonnes, such as heat exchangers or fuel pool storage racks, without the need for prior treatment by stakeholders.
After sorting and adjusting to the correct size, the metal waste is melted in the induction furnace, which has a capacity of four tonnes. Once a temperature of 1,500°C has been reached, the molten material is poured into a casting ladle. The molten metal in the ladle can then be poured into an ingot mould containing steel liners, to produce the final package form, known as an ingot. The melting unit enables waste volumes to be reduced by a factor of between six and ten, and also allows precise physical/chemical and radiological characterisation of packages sent for storage.
The final residues of melting (slag, dust and refractories) and the ingots are conditioned in accordance with agreements with ANDRA. They are reassigned to producers in proportion to the weight and activity of the incoming waste, after deduction of any recycled materials.
Where possible, and depending on the metallurgical quality of the molten material, part of the waste can be recycled as radiological shielding, produced using a centrifuge. The shielding is then integrated into concrete containers for conditioning of ion exchange resins
The recycled steel is deducted from the final residues reassigned to producers.
Cyclife France is authorised to treat low-level radioactive waste from foreign producers at the Centraco
site, under nuclear safety conditions that are identical to those applicable to the treatment of French waste. Final waste is returned to the producing country after treatment.