Deconstruction of Fort Vaujours

Deconstruction of Fort Vaujours
Context & Issues

Placoplatre launched the project to deconstruct Fort Vaujours (Greater Paris) in order to exploit a gypsum quarry located 40 m below the surface. Built in 1876, the fort was occupied by the German army during the Second World War and was rocked by a series of explosions in 1945.

The CEA (French Atomic Energy Authority) moved into the site in 1955 with a view to developing the detonator for the first French atomic bomb and performing studies on shock waves in uranium. The site was decommissioned in 2009 and sold to Placoplatre.

The main phases of the works involve:

  • Unexploded ordnance clearance  (about 300 explosive devices already discovered and destroyed during a previous tranche of works).
  • Radiological clearance of a 6-m thick layer of soil, checking that there are no traces of uranium. All the excavated earth will be stored on site.
  • Cutting down of trees over a surface area of 30 ha, with most of the site being covered by vegetation.
  • Removal of asbestos from and deconstruction of about 100 buildings, a majority of which were covered by a 6-m thick layer of earth.
  • Earthworks involving excavation of a 6-m layer of earth on a 30 ha plot.