Radioactive waste: making less from more

Through a combination of innovative technologies, Bilfinger has developed a process with which the volume of radioactive waste can be significantly reduced. Waste is initially analyzed, broken down, sorted and compacted. Depending on the level of contamination, it is subsequently subjected to varying waste treatment processes in the course of which the compactible portion of the waste is further reduced through high pressure compacting. This two-stage process allows the total volume of radioactive waste to be reduced by roughly 20 percent. Every fifth Konrad container, and the associated costs for materials, transport, documentation and storage, can be saved in this way.

Why is Bilfinger your perfect partner? The advantages at a glance:

- The share of recyclable material increases
- The space required for interim and final storage is reduced
- The number of transports required is decreased
- The scope of documentation for both transport and storage is reduced


Bilfinger has been active in the area of nuclear disposal systems and the conditioning of radioactive waste for decades. Services include systems to determine the radiological inventory (sampling), sorting, breaking down and compacting of the waste as well as high pressure compacting. For radioactive waste treatment, Bilfinger also provides cementing systems, uncapping facilities, safety housing, double-cover locking, manipulators and decontamination as well as mobile water purification plants.

Selected Bilfinger references for the treatment of radioactive waste

Encapsulation plant for the storage of spent nuclear fuel

Bilfinger is developing the system design for a planned encapsulation plant for the Swedish for nuclear fuel and waste management company SKB. The system is used to store spent nuclear fuel at the Oskarshamn location. The scope of delivery includes the planning and design of all processes and associated machine technology equipment as well as the building areas for the packaging for final storage (encapsulation) of spent nuclear fuel for the CLINK plant. Bilfinger has also been commissioned with the coordination of the work with the building planning as well as the groundwork for the safety report and the defense-in-depth analysis. The project was commissioned in 2017.

Treatment unit for nuclear waste

Bilfinger is supplying a treatment unit for nuclear waste for the new British reactor Hinkley Point C. The plant will be used for the handling of radioactive waste generated in ongoing operations. The new waste treatment center aims to condition waste safely and in a space-saving way and thereby contribute towards significant cost savings. The client is EDF Energy, working in partnership with Chinese CGN. The project started in 2017.

Conditioning plant for radioactive waste

At the beginning of 2017, Bilfinger was commissioned by Energiewerke Nord GmbH for the construction, supply and assembly of a conditioning plant for Konrad containers. The order includes the entire cement plant as well as the required safety systems to ensure quality filling. Solid radioactive waste is stored in final storage containers, so-called Konrad containers, in a cement matrix and is conditioned for transfer to the Konrad storage site. Bilfinger has already supplied similar conditioning plants to Fangchenggang (China), Lyon (France), nuclear power plant Taishan 1 & 2 (China), nuclear power plant Gundremmingen (Germany) and nuclear power plant Mühleberg (Switzerland).

Thorsten Hoppe

Thorsten Hoppe

Executive President

Our customer promise: With Bilfinger, you save every fifth container – that means savings of €100,000 each.