On 11 September in Cherbourg, Naval Group started deconstruction operations on five first generation ballistic missile submarines (SSBN). Project manager for the global contract awarded by France’s Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), Naval Group has entrusted Veolia with the contract relating to deconstruction and recovery operations on these end-of-life submarines.
An unprecedented project in France, it continues on from the deconstruction operations on end-of-life ships, the former helicopter cruiser Jeanne d'Arc and the former cruiser Colbert, conducted by Veolia since 2014.
After the SSBN Le Tonnant, the 4 submarines Le Terrible, Le Foudroyant, L’Indomptable and L’Inflexible will in turn be dismantled. Recyclable materials from the operation - mainly ferrous and non-ferrous metals - will be sorted and prepared for sale. 87% of these materials can be recycled. Each vessel will take 18 months to process.
The project in figures
- 6,100 metric tons: weight of a ballistic missile submarine (SSBN)
- 5,300 metric tons recovered, including 1,500 metric tons of hull, 2,000 of scrap iron, 800 of lead and 1,000 of non-ferrous metals (stainless steel, copper, etc.).
- 87%: material recovery rate.
- 20 Veolia employees working on the Cherbourg site
- 18 months: time required to dismantle an SSBN