Centraco (French Centre nucléaire de traitement et de conditionnement, Central Nuclear processing and packaging), is a factory run by the Society for packaging waste and industrial effluents (SOCODEI). Located on the Marcoule nuclear site in an area of 11 hectares Codolet (Gard), the basic nuclear installation has been operational since 1999.
Nuclear waste treated Centraco are very low, low and intermediate radiation (TFA, FMA), they come from the nuclear industry (mainly from EDF and Areva), research centers (Atomic Energy Commission), and small producers such as hospitals.
Types of Waste:metal objects, from the controlled area and maintenance of nuclear decommissioning;
waste fuels, mainly gloves and coveralls;
liquid waste such as washing solutions, oils, solvents, and resins and sludge from nuclear installations.
The main goal is to minimize the volume before packaging, plant Centraco consists of two main units that deal with waste by type:The melting of metals
The incineration plant for fuel and effluents.
Residues from each unit are mixed with a matrix and then packaged. The final volume of waste is reduced by a factor of 10 to 17.
This furnace consists of three rooms:The primary chamber: the temperature there is 900-1000 °C
The secondary chamber: the temperature of 1100–1200 °C
The tertiary room
Solid waste is fed into the primary chamber. By cons, liquid waste is injected either in the primary chamber, or in the secondary chamber according to their chemical composition.
The ash and slag are collected and linked in a "glue" by the method of inerting cold. They are then packed in metal drums and shipped to the National Agency for Radioactive Waste (ANDRA).
The incinerator has a rated capacity of 5000 tons / year of waste.
An explosion September 12, 2011 caused the death of an employee, and injured four others. This has happened in a furnace at the site of reprocessing nuclear waste Marcoule. It was an "industrial accident" and not "nuclear accident".
The smelter includes an induction furnace for the manufacture of ingots and metal ferrules. The metals are melted in the furnace at 1600 °C. Impurities are removed manually, then the molten metal is poured into a ladle and is then cast into ingots or centrifuged in a tube.
The ingots, conical cylinders of about 1.5 t are considered as final waste and are sent to the Center of storage l'Aube in Soulaines-Dhuys for a long-term storage.
The tubes are reused for the manufacture of packaging for medium-level waste such as concrete shells or internal shielding of barrels, allowing the partial recovery of the waste.
A shuttle bus travels between the two units to transfer the waste into the proper unit after sorting.