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Reducing the cost of nuclear decommissioning through portable machines


Nuclear energy continues to be a controversial subject. In the face of cheap shale gas, falling oil prices, plus the dangers highlighted by the Fukushima disaster in 2011, the benefits versus the risks of nuclear energy are still playing out.

There are 338 nuclear reactors worldwide, with almost 25% built before 1980, there are serious considerations to make not only for a replacement fuel source as the reactor reaches the end of its life, but also the cost of decommissioning to make the reactor safe for future generations.

$100 billion debt

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said late in 2014 that almost 200 of the 434 reactors currently in operation around the world would be decommissioned by 2040 at an estimated cost of $100 billion+.

Many experts have questioned this  figure, believing it to be far too low and not including the cost of waste disposal, long term storage and the fluctuating costs of decommissioning.

Speaking to Reuters, Paul Dorfman, Senior Researcher at the Energy Institute at the University College London said, “The IEA estimate is, without question, just a figure drawn out of the air. The reality is, the costs are quite phenomenal.”

Portable machinery the answer?

So what can be done to offset the spiralling cost of decommissioning projects in the future?

Portable machine tools can offer savings in the long run; by cutting engineer time, enhancing initial accuracy and operating with high levels of safety required for the sector. Portable machine tools can also be utilised across many applications, offering further cost savings.

With a multi-faceted range of products, Mirage Machines’ pipe casing and cutting series is trusted throughout the oil and gas, utilities and nuclear industries to deliver excellence. The range includes:

Pipe cutting and bevelling machine


Offering fast, efficient and accurate cut paths on any pipe material, this modular construction has any easy set up and provides increased stability for tricky decommissioning projects.

  • Range available from 2” to 48”
  • Available with pneumatic and hydraulic power options
  • Cuts through all materials, including super duplex

Diamond wire saw


Designed mainly for underwater cutting on multistring casings, piles and platform legs in the oil and gas industry, the diamond wire saw is ideal for quick cutting through dissimilar materials and resisting compressive forces.

  • Auto clamp and auto feed
  • Range available from 6” to 84”
  • Suitable for ROV operations

Portable band saw


Used for tubular severances, cutting conductors, caissons and multiple grouted strings, the portable band saw is a fast and efficient cold cutting alternative.

  • Range available from 16” to 48”
  • Low height for minimum clearances
  • Extensive blade selection for all materials

For more information about any of the pipe casing and cutting machines listed above, download our free guide by clicking here.

To discuss your bespoke requirements for your next nuclear decommissioning project, click here.

Free download: Pipe and Casing cutting on-site machining buyer guide

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