AREVA logo

History

Exterior view of the MELOX plant

Built in the early 1990s, the MELOX recycling plant has seen numerous events since its foundation. It has therefore concluded commercial agreements at an international level with Japan or Germany whilst increasing its production.

2010:

  • The Shikoku Japanese utilities, TEPCO (1) and Kansai have loaded some of their reactors with MOX fuel.
  • March: signing a contract to supply MOX fuel to Japanese electrician HOKKAIDO.
  • July: delivery of two campaigns made in Japan for electricians Kyushu and Kansai.
  • September: Decree No. 2010-1052 of 3 September 2010 on the transfer of operator of the nuclear base 151, the Marcoule nuclear site, Chusclan (Gard), and allowing the company MELOX SA to operate this facility.
  • October: MELOX delivers the 3000th  MOX fuel assemblies for EDF.
  • December: The Nuclear Safety Authority has made the applicable change of operator of the INB 151 in favor of MELOX SA (Decision No. 2010-DC-0200 of December 7, 2010 the Nuclear Safety Authority on the effective date of the change of operator of the Basic Nuclear Installation No. 151 on the Marcoule nuclear site, Chusclan (Gard)).

(1) TEPCO became the first Japanese electrician to sign a contract manufacturing MOX fuel in 1995. MOX fuel loaded was manufactured by TEPCO Belgonucléaire (Belgium) at the end of 90 years in the contract between the Toshiba Fuel designer and Economic Interest Group Commox. The Economic Interest Group (60% owned by COGEMA and 40% Belgonucléaire) was a commercial entity that allowed the use of force manufacturing plants Belgonucléaire, AREVA Cadarache and MELOX form platform. Belgonucléaire Plant in Dessel ceased operations since mid 2006 and Cadarache has stopped its commercial production in 2003 was called Commox to disappear in late 2006, the productions being refocused to MELOX.

2009:

  • May: delivery of MOX fuel to Japan. In October 2009, the first MOX fuel assemblies ordered by Kyushu, a Japanese electric power company, were loaded in reactor no. 3 at the Genkai nuclear power plant, followed by a series of power generation tests in November and reactor operation at full capacity on December 2nd, 2009. This was the first time ever that MOX was employed to generate electricity in Japan. The utilization of MOX fuel in Japan marks more than 30 years of a fruitful business relationship between AREVA and Japanese power companies.
  • April: signing of a contract with EPDC, another Japanese power company, for the supply of MOX to fuel the future Japanese boiling water reactor (BWR) designed to run on MOX fuel alone (100%).
  • September: signing of a contract with Chugokuto, a Japanese electric power company, for the supply of 40 MOX fuel assemblies.

2008:

  • March and November: contract with the Japanese power company KANSAI is signed for the supply of MOX fuel.
  • November: request to change the role of nuclear operator of the Basic Nuclear Installation (BNI) no. 151 MELOX, held by AREVA NC by virtue of the founding permit order of May 21, 1990, as amended, to MELOX SA.
  • December: a long-term AREVA-EDF contract is signed covering the 2009-2040 period in the field of used fuel reprocessing (performed at La Hague) and MOX fuel production (performed at MELOX).

2007:

  • April 27: order authorizing an increase in MELOX's production capacity to 195 tons of Heavy Metal (tHM) per annum.
  • April: loading of first MOX fuel equivalent reload in reactor no. 1 at the Tricastin nuclear power plant.
  • June: headquarters transferred to Chusclan (Gard).

2006:

  • From April 18 to June 17: public survey conducted in 11 towns around the MELOX site (7 in the Gard department and 4 in Vaucluse).
  • June: OHSAS 18001 certification obtained thereby enabling triple certification: ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environment) and OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety).
  • July 5: favorable opinion by Permanent Group of experts on increasing MELOX's annual production capacity to 195 tHM.
  • Launch of the MOX parity production program for EDF. It allows the supply of a MOX fuel with better performance and up to the same level as standard UO2 fuel.
  • Signature of three contracts with Japanese power companies CHUBU, KYUSHU and SHIKOKU.

2005:

  • 1st quarter: assembly of EUROFAB rods produced at AREVA's Cadarache site in late 2004.
  • July: Nuclear Safety Agency authorizes deconstruction of the MELOX incinerator.
  • October 6: 10th MELOX anniversary.

2004:

  • September: request for authorization to increase MELOX's production to 195 tHM/year.
  • October 4: order amending order of May 21, 1990, authorizing MELOX to proceed with assembling the EUROFAB rods.
  • December 31: AREVA brings the &uot;production and commercialization of MOX fuel&uot; sector of activity to MELOX. MELOX SA thus becomes an industrial and commercial company controlling all of its operations and one of the largest companies in Languedoc-Roussillon.

2003:

  • German production operations transferred from AREVA Cadarache to MELOX.
  • September 3: decree authorizing an increase to MELOX's annual production capacity to 145 tHM and amending the foundation authorization order of May 21, 1990.
  • Delivery of first MOX fuel assemblies made from rods produced at MELOX to clients.

2001:

  • First MOX fuel productions for boiling water reactors.

2000:

  • April: ministerial authorizations for the extension to the production building.
  • May: ministerial authorizations for the commissioning of BNI 151 (within the meaning of Article 4, III of order no. 63-1228 of December 11, 1963, as amended).

1999:

  • July 30: order authorizing creation of the production building extension (the intention of this modification being to equip the plant for production of various types of MOX fuel for water reactors) and amending the foundation authorization order of May 21, 1990.
  • First MOX fuel production operations for Japanese clients.
  • ISO 14001 certification obtained, confirming the site's environmental performance.

1997:

  • First year of production at the authorized level of 100 tHM.
  • ISO 9002 certification obtained (later became ISO 9001 in 2000) confirming the process quality.

1995: commencement of industrial production at MELOX:

  • February: authorization to use plutonium oxide powders.
  • Commissioning of production facilities for the production of fuel for EDF's reactors.

1994 

  • July-August: ministerial authorizations issued for releases of radioactive waste (following public survey in June 1993), for holding radioactive materials and for active commissioning of BNI 151.

1990:

  • Authorization order for the foundation of BNI no. 151 MELOX issued to AREVA.
  • Start of construction.

1985: agreement between COGEMA, FRAMATOME and EDF for creation of a high capacity MOX fuel production plant.