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Cyclife expands its engineering capabilities in UK with the acquisition of Aquila Nuclear Engineering Ltd.

Publish on 07/01/2022

Cyclife, the EDF subsidiary in charge of international dismantling and radioactive waste management services, is pursuing its development in Europe by acquiring complementary engineering capabilities provided by Aquila Nuclear Engineering Ltd.

A key player in the radioactive waste management field through its subsidiary, Cyclife UK, the EDF subsidiary had already expanded its scope of activities in 2020 to be able to additionally offer consultancy and engineering services in the field of dismantling, enabling it to win its first major contracts, notably for graphite reactors.

In order to pursue its development, Cyclife has chosen to acquire 100% of the shared capital of Aquila Nuclear Engineering from Calder Group. From design to manufacturing and commissioning, the company provides turnkey solutions in the fields of containment, shielded installations, remote handling and transport/packaging. The existing management team and all Aquila employees will continue to operate in its core market areas, but will also work closely with Cyclife UK to provide integrated waste led decommissioning solutions in this growing market.

Dave Barker, CEO, and founder of Aquila said:

This acquisition is testament to the professionalism of the Aquila team and the reputation the business has gained across our nuclear sectors. We are delighted to be part of Cyclife / EDF and could not have chosen a better parent company to continue our success and growth.

Estelle Desroches, CEO of EDF Cyclife SAS said:

This acquisition is fully in line with the strategic ambitions of Cyclife / EDF, and will undoubtedly have a significant and synergistic impact on the development of both companies. It allows Cyclife to broaden its range of skills and strengthen its ability to provide integrated dismantling/waste solutions with high added value.

EDF and Veolia announce the creation of Waste2Glass: a joint venture to develop innovative radioactive waste treatment solutions

Publish on 30/11/2021

Paris, November 30, 2021, EDF and Veolia have announced the creation of Waste2Glass, a 50/50 joint venture that will develop a new sector based on Veolia's Geomelt® vitrification technology.
The partners are thus renewing their joint commitment to developing innovative solutions for the treatment of complex radioactive waste, two years after creating Graphitech, a joint venture dedicated to the development of solutions for the decommissioning of graphite-gas reactors, which has now become a European leader in this field.

Due to its technical nature and cost, vitrification has until now been reserved for highly radioactive waste. Thanks to the complementary know-how of the two partners, Waste2Glass will be able to take up the challenge of the industrial deployment of the GeoMelt® technology, which will make it possible to broaden and simplify the use of the vitrification process for a wider range of waste types.

Currently, GeoMelt® is an unrivalled technology that has the potential to become a new benchmark solution for the treatment of complex waste, given the advantages it offers over existing technologies:

  • A relatively simple industrial deployment;
  • A significant reduction in waste volumes after treatment, especially compared to current immobilisation technologies using cementitious techniques;
  • Obtaining an extremely durable matrix for conditioning.

This technology has already been used to treat 26,000 tonnes of radioactive and hazardous waste, particularly in the USA.

The creation of the Waste2Glass company is planned for early 2022. It will be based in Limay (Yvelines), near a new pilot unit that will incorporate the GeoMelt® process, recently commissioned by Veolia, in order to carry out demonstrations and obtain the certifications required for the industrial deployment of this process.

Antoine Frérot, Chairman and CEO of Veolia said: "Our business and our Purpose as a world leader of the ecological transformation is to offer innovative technologies and solutions for the management of complex waste such as hazardous and radioactive waste. I am delighted that we have taken this further step in our collaboration with EDF with the creation of Waste2Glass. It will enable a real change of scale through the industrialisation of GeoMelt®, which will make it possible to treat radioactive waste more safely and more economically, with a reduction in storage volumes".

Jean Bernard Lévy, Chairman and CEO of EDF, said : "After Graphitec, the creation of Waste2Glass illustrates not only the quality of the cooperation between our two companies, but also the EDF Group's commitment to the development and industrial application of truly innovative solutions for the treatment of radioactive waste, a key issue for bringing nuclear power into the mainstream of sustainable development and helping to build a carbon-free future."

About EDF
As a major player in energy transition, the EDF Group is an integrated energy company active in all businesses: generation, transmission, distribution, energy trading, energy sales and energy services. EDF group is a world leader in low-carbon energy, having developed a diverse production mix based mainly on nuclear and renewable energy (including hydropower). It is also investing in new technologies to support energy transition. EDF’s raison d’être is to build a net zero energy future with electricity and innovative solutions and services, to help save the planet and drive well-being and economic development. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to approximately 37.9 million customers (1), of whom 28.7 million in France (2). It generated consolidated sales of €69.0 billion in 2020. EDF is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.

(1) Since 2018, customers are counted per delivery site. A customer can have two delivery points: one for electricity and another one for gas.
(2) Including ÉS (Électricité de Strasbourg).

About Veolia

Veolia group aims to be the benchmark company for ecological transformation. With nearly 179,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides game-changing solutions that are both useful and practical for water, waste and energy management. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and replenish them. In 2020, the Veolia group supplied 95 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 43 million megawatt hours of energy and treated 47 million metric tons of waste. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €26.010 billion in 2020. www.veolia.com

Delphine Servot is appointed Managing Director of Cyclife Sweden AB

Publish on 15/10/2021

Delphine Servot has been appointed as Managing Director "Verkställande Direktör" of  Cyclife Sweden AB.

Delphine has been working for Cyclife Sweden since September 2019, first as customer project manager then as lead of the customer project managers and member of the management team. In that last position, Delphine was also in charge of tender management, customer sites services and contract management.

Delphine has been with EDF for the last 15 years. After working as external auditor with KPMG, Delphine Servot joined EDF in 2004 as internal auditor. Since 2007, Delphine has mainly worked in engineering and construction projects for EDF from Liquified Natural Gas terminal in North of France to New Nuclear Build projects (France, China, Finland and UK). In her last position prior to Cyclife, Delphine Servot was Project Manager within the Nuclear Fleet Lifespan Extension Program, in charge of engineering and construction projects for environmental compliance and optimization of chemical processes of the 58 French nuclear reactors.

Delphine’s background spans over a large range of roles, from team leader to project manager. Her key drivers, essential to manage the company in a mid-term perspective of strong growth, have always been to continuously learn by exploring new technical areas in combination with change management.

Delphine Servot will be the successor of Ralph Norden. The appointment of Delphine Servot is effective from 11 October 2021.

Cyclife UK continues to commit to employing young people

Publish on 30/09/2021

Cyclife UK continues to expand with the recruitment of four new apprentices as part of its growth plans. Based in Cumbria, Cyclife UK facility has been committed to employing young people in the North West of England.

Since Cyclife opened the facility in Cumbria in 2009, 14 apprentices have been employed and 10 are still with the company.  Cyclife UK facility, Metal Recycling Facility (MRF), is designed to support the United Kingdom's strategy on its management of low-level radioactive waste as well as to serve customers across the nuclear decommissioning life cycle. The four apprentices Annabelle Edgar, Edward Kemp, Daniel Hargreaves and Morgan Norcross are employed as Degree Apprentices within various departments of Cyclife: technical, business improvement and consultancy teams.

Tracy O’Pray, HR Manager at Cyclife UK commented: "This is an exciting time for both these young people and the company and we look forward to a great future for them all!"

Cyclife is given them full support with all their training and educational needs over their apprenticeships. The degree apprenticeship will be a duration of five years at the end. All four apprentices will have completed a Bachelor of Science degree in either Project Management* or Nuclear Scientist Waste Management**.

In the picture at the top, the 4 new apprentices at Cyclife UK, from left to right:
Annabelle Edgar – Waste Management working in the technical team at the Cyclife UK facility (Metal Recycling Facility - MRF)
Edward (Teddy) Kemp – Project management working in our Business Improvement team
Daniel Hargreaves – Waste Management working in our Consultancy team
Morgan Norcross - Waste Management working in our technical team at MRF

*The Project Management Degree is completed through the University of Cumbria by the end of the first year this apprentice will also have gained the APM Project Management Qualification (PMQ - IPMA Level D award)
**The Nuclear Scientist Waste Management Degree is completed through National College for Nuclear


Cyclife UK to Support Decommissioning Strategy Development for Legacy Dounreay Fuel Reprocessing Facility

Publish on 06/09/2021

Cyclife UK is to support the GBP4.2 million optioneering and decommissioning plan development for the Fast Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant (FRFRP), inclusive of the Residue Recovery Plant and Evaporator Facility, at the Dounreay site.

As a strategic partner within the Jacobs-led Decommissioning and Waste Alliance consortium, Cyclife will develop and integrate the underpinning waste management and characterisation plans as the project progresses through Optioneering, Concept and Scheme Design phases. Cyclife will also provide risk management services. 

Located within Dounreay’s Fuel Cycle Area, the FRFRP was constructed in 1957 for the purpose of reprocessing fuel from the Dounreay Fast Reactor and latterly the Prototype Fast Reactor. The various active cells within the complex present notable challenges for consideration when determining the appropriate waste-led approaches to decommissioning.

David Howorth, Chief Sales Officer of Cyclife UK, said: “We are pleased to be part of the winning consortium for this key Dounreay opportunity, which further evidences the growing capability that Cyclife UK has within the decommissioning sector, alongside our well-established waste management expertise.”
Since its acquisition in 2016, Cyclife UK has developed innovative, cost-effective solutions for waste management and decommissioning. Leading the growing need to reduce volume, recycle waste and preserve disposal capacity and, using the wider EDF Group skills and assets, Cyclife UK can offer efficient decommissioning and waste management solutions that follow a waste-led decommissioning approach.

Photo credit: Dounreay

Guénola Guillon appointed Managing Director of Cyclife France

Publish on 19/05/2021

Guénola Guillon has been appointed Managing Director of Cyclife France, a 100% EDF subsidiary specialising in the treatment of very low to intermediate level short-lived nuclear waste. The company's head office and its main industrial site, CENTRACO, are located in Codolet in the Gard region of France. She is succeeding Eric Villatel, who retired after a forty-year career with the EDF Group.

In her new role as Managing Director of Cyclife France, Guénola Guillon is committed to maintaining the performance of Cyclife France's existing activities and to ensuring the company's growth through the development of projects and new activities, as well as the marketing of new radioactive waste treatment solutions for its customers, with the aim of addressing new markets in France and internationally. This growth ambition displayed by Cyclife France is fully in line with that of the European platform, Cyclife, to be the European leader in the nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management.

During her career, Guénola Guillon has already had the opportunity to work with Cyclife, the EDF subsidiary dedicated to strategic activities in the fields of nuclear decommissioning an radioactive waste management in France and worldwide.

"I am pleased to join Cyclife France. I will enthusiastically continue the work already accomplished by all the teams within the company to achieve our ambition of becoming a leader in the field of radioactive waste treatment. Teamwork, continuous training and openness are the keys to a company's performance, which essentially contribute to the fulfilment of each individual in his or her job".

Guénola is convinced that she has shared her work values with the company's employees. For her, ensuring the well-being of employees is a key factor "Cyclife France's main asset is the values of the women and men who make up the company. Professional fulfilment is not only linked to the activities to be carried out, but also to the quality of the work environment and the human relations. Working in a collaborative and respectful framework that allows everyone to express themselves is an essential part of individual fulfilment and collective performance".

Her background
During her studies, Guénola Guillon took a general engineering course at the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris. During her professional career, she obtained a Management Master's degree from the IAE in Paris and completed an Executive MBA at INSEAD.

Guénola Guillon has a wide-ranging career path within the EDF Group. When she started, her professional objective was to combine technical and operational aspects in the energy sector. With this in mind, she joined the nuclear world of the EDF Group in 1999, joining the teams of the Technical Operations Unit in the Nuclear Production Division, as a project engineer for national maintenance operations. She continued her career at EDF as Head of Department and then Head of the Boilers and Valves Department at the Chinon nuclear power plant in 2003. She then moved to the nuclear production headquarters in Paris as a management controller, before taking up the position of Deputy Director of Unit Shutdown and Logistics at the Paluel nuclear power plant. In 2018, she seized the opportunity to join EDF Energy in the UK as Head of the Health, Safety and Environment Department.

Cyclife moves forward in Germany with the award of two long-term contracts from PreussenElektra for the dismantling and the treatment of 16 steam generators

Publish on 17/05/2021

Cyclife Sweden has been awarded on May 12th, 2021 a long-term contract for the transport and treatment of 16 steam generators from the German nuclear operator PreussenElektra. These large metallic components will be progressively transported from their operation site in Germany (nuclear power plants of Unterweser, Grafenrheinfeld, Grohnde and Brokdorf) to Sweden to be further processed in the melting facility of Cyclife Sweden. Cyclife Sweden is also in charge of the return transport of secondary waste to Germany, ensuring full compliance with applicable local rules and regulations.

This contract is a big step forward for the Swedish entity since it was acquired by the EDF Group in 2016 and confirms the dynamism of the waste treatment market at the international level, following other long-term contracts recently signed by Cyclife Sweden with nuclear operators in Italy and Sweden.

The treatment of steam generators is the core business of Cyclife Sweden, which has been developing a unique knowledge and process, continuously improved over the years. Cyclife Sweden is honoured to have been chosen by PreussenElektra to perform this key step of the decommissioning process. Cyclife confirms through this contract its strong commitment and involvement to support the German nuclear market with turn-key solutions.

This contract award is following a previous one, officialised in November 2020 by PreussenElektra, to dismantle the same 16 steam generators. Cyclife, with its subcontractor Framatome GmbH, will remove the components from the different reactor buildings and make them fully available for shipment and external treatment. Cyclife Engineering, the subsidiary of Cyclife created in 2019, will be in charge of detailed design studies. By combining this first success in the German decommissioning market to its historical and unique waste treatment capabilities, Cyclife is bringing forward the interest of the “Rip&Ship” model and of the waste-led decommissioning approach to handle large components in the decommissioning phase while securing the overall planning of dismantling operations.

The study phase for decommissioning operations have already started for the first nuclear power plant, located in Unterweser in the north of Germany. The first shipment of steam generators to Sweden is planned for the second quarter of 2023.

These two successes give a clear illustration of the synergies inside the EDF Group to provide our customer PreussenElektra with the best available combination of expertise in the fields of nuclear waste treatment and decommissioning.

Estelle Desroches appointed CEO of Cyclife

Publish on 11/03/2021

Since March 1st 2021, Estelle Desroches has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Cyclife by the Management of EDF Group (COMEX). Cyclife carries out strategic activities in the nuclear decommissioning and dismantling field as well as in the radioactive waste management in Europe and worldwide on the behalf of EDF. Thanks to its unique industrial and technological assets, Cyclife brings sustainable and innovative solutions based on advanced technology, such as robotics and digital.

Estelle Desroches manages Cyclife and its six subsidiaries in Europe: the radioactive waste treatment facilities in the United Kingdom, Sweden and in France; Cyclife Engineering which offers engineering, industrial design and project management services for the decommissioning of nuclear installations; Graphitech, specialised in the preparation for the nuclear decommissioning of reactors using graphite technology; and Cyclife Digital Solutions which supports decision-makers with innovative solutions based on real-time 3D technologies for nuclear decommissioning and maintenance.

As CEO of Cyclife, Estelle Desroches will take up three main challenges: the development of international customer portfolio, particularly in the UK and Germany in the fields of Light Water Reactor decommissioning, Graphite reactor decommissioning and Radioactive Waste management. Cyclife aims to become the European leader in nuclear decommissioning and waste management in a rapidly growing market. Another challenge is to provide EDF customers with high-performance services and support them in their future projects (major decommissioning operations, design and operation of new waste treatment facilities). The third challenge is to consolidate Cyclife’s unique industrial and technological assets, while maintaining the existing infrastructure by developing strong engineering skills, sustainable and innovative solutions in the nuclear decommissioning and waste management fields.

These are great challenges and an interesting industrial adventure to be built together with Cyclife’s teams!” commented Estelle Desroches, CEO of Cyclife. “I am honoured to have been chosen. To make a success of these ambitious projects in such short space of time requires continuing the transformation project initiated to build strong synergies between Cyclife and EDF and to mobilise all the players around these challenges”.

Previously, Estelle Desroches has been the Director of graphite reactor dismantling program for the nuclear dismantling and waste management division (DP2D) at EDF for five years. Since September 2019, she was simultaneously chairman of two subsidiaries of Cyclife (Graphitech and Cyclife Digital Solutions).

Aged of 49, Estelle Desroches holds a PhD in chemical engineering degree. She joined EDF Group in 1998 in R&D, where she managed projects and teams in the fields of hydraulics and environment. She continued her career within the Group, joining the Nuclear Fuel Division (DCN) in 2008 to work on the downstream cycle and nuclear waste management. From 2016 to February 2021, Estelle Desroches was the Director of graphite reactor dismantling program for the nuclear dismantling and waste management division (DP2D) at EDF Group.

Cyclife waste-metal treatment facility in Sweden to restart at full capacity in Q2-2021

Publish on 19/02/2021

The waste-metal treatment facility in Cyclife Sweden has restarted its melting operations early January 2021 and is planned to be back at full capacity in the second quarter of 2021 as new equipment will be set up in the beginning of 2021 in the large component cutting and treatment hall. The melting facility applies chemical and mechanical decontamination process for scrap metal and large components up to 30 meters length and 400 tons. Their metallurgical nature can be ferrous and non-ferrous (aluminium, copper, lead and special alloys).

The restart decision was officially communicated to Cyclife Sweden by the Swedish Nuclear Safety Authority on 17 November 2020, stressing the quality of all technical and safety optimizations that were performed in 2020, in particular ventilation and fire detection systems and processes. Since 18 December 2020, the facility has been running with limited capacity.
“I would like to congratulate the fantastic work achieved by the whole Cyclife Sweden team to make the facility up and running again in such a short time. Work has been very intense and we should be proud to see how our newly installed gas stirring system performs.” commented Ralf Norén, Managing director of Cyclife Sweden AB.

Cyclife Digital Solutions and Graphitech are partners of the European project Innov4Graph

Publish on 10/02/2021

Both Cyclife's subsidiaries, Cyclife Digital Solutions and Graphitech, contribute to the European project, Innov4Graph, coordinated by EDF Group. Over a period of three years, this project aims to create and deploy INNOvative tools FOR dismantling of GRAPHite moderated nuclear reactors. Innov4Graph is part of the programme led by the European Commission "Horizon 2020 EURATOM European Union funding for Research & Innovation".

This project brings together the know-how of thirteen European partners, including Graphitech and Cyclife Digital Solutions with its DEMplus® for nuclear application. This application checks the feasibility of operations during the removal of graphite bricks using simulations of several scenarios to improve the efficiency and ensure the reliability of the new tools under development.

You will find attached the official press release explaining how Innov4Graph project, through the development of physical and digital tools, as well as methods to support the decommissioning of European graphite reactors, is trying to answer questions such as "What are the most optimal ways to dismantle graphite reactors ?", "What remote tools can help operators to safely remove radioactive graphite?" and "What solutions will be the most cost-efficient for dismantling operations in reactors of such complexity and dimensions?".
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