Grenoble (France)

Research Facility

Facilities in Grenoble

plantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down
GrenobleResearch Reactor
ILL Grenoble RHFHigh-Flux 57 MW

The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, operator of the Reacteur a Haut Flux (RHF), has become the first company to sign formally with Cogema for reprocessing of material test reactor (MTR) spent fuel.
Although the reprocessing contract represents a large and immediate expenditure for the trinational institute, it is a good investment in the future because Cogema will take over responsibility for the RHF spent fuel at the site and ILL will not have to worry about waste management.
The deal, consummated in late April, calls for Cogema to take charge of all the SF discharged in the past from RHF, which amounts to 18 fuel elements now stored at the Commissariat a l´Energie Atomique´s (CEA) Cadarach research center. Cogema will also take the SF discharged annually from RHF since 1995 which is still on site. RHF uses a single fuel element, manufactured by Cerca, and consumes four to five elements a year.
The spent high-enriched uranium (HEU) fuel will be diluted into the much larger stream from commercial reactor fuel at the company's La Hague reprocessing complex, and the resulting residues will be conditioned in standard formats along commercial reactor waste awaiting final disposition. Cogema's offer includes taking responsibility for the ILL waste.

- June 2, 1997


Restart of the High-Flux reactor after nearly 3 years off line for refurbishment to permit another 15 years operation
The heavy-water moderated reactor is used as a high-intensity neutron source for experiments in physics biology, chemistry & is one of few in Europe burning HEU. The reactor uses a single fuel element 1.5 m high manufactured by the French fuel fabrication company Cerca using HEU from the US DOE.
AUSTRIAN Swiss & Spanish organizations contribute to ILL's scientigfic program; The restart might encourage potential new partners.


Operation stopped after discovery of cracks in internal structure. The owners, research organizations from GB, France, Germany decided to undertake a major backfitting including replacement of the reactor's reflector tank. Cost: 32 million US$ to outside contractors + some 30 million worth of ILL staff work.