France launched a national debate on how to treat its 1.6 million cubic meters of nuclear waste as part of the country’s National Plan for the Management of Radioactive Waste takes place under the auspices of Andra, the national agency responsible for its management. Currently, Cigéo, the €35 billion Industrial Centre for Geological Storage, is being built in Bure, in eastern France, a region with no seismic activity and thick layers of slate that keep water out. The idea is to create chambers 500 meters below the surface and seal the waste inside galleries. However, the emission of hydrogen from the waste could lead to explosions, so the waste needs to be ventilated, which suggests maintenance work for a few million years. The question is whether this solution will be able to maintain the waste “safely” for a few million years. Neptunium 237 requires 2,1 million years to be half as dangerous as it is today; iodine 129 will take 16 million years and chlorine 36 merely 300,000 years.
New Europe 23rd April 2019 read more »
France set out its energy transition roadmap in the recently proposed PPE plan. Included are challenging targets to gradually reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear generation. Pierre George, senior director, and Claire Mauduit-Le Clercq, director, EMEA Utilities at S&P Global Ratings, explain the implications for France’s nuclear future and for the country’s sole nuclear operator, EDF.
World Nuclear News 23rd April 2019 read more »