Nuclear Waste

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  • Reactor Reactor
  • Reactor (closed) Reactor (closed)
  • Interim storage (high level waste) Interim storage (high level waste)
  • Interim storage (radium-holding waste) Interim storage (radium-holding waste)
  • Repository (high level waste) Repository (high level waste)
  • Repository (radium-holding waste) Repository (radium-holding waste)

France

 


Operating Reactors: 58
Reactors in Construction: 1
Reactors Being Decommissioned: 0


High Level Waste in Interim Storage Facilities:
13,464 t HM fuel elements + 2,293 m3 HLW

For Reprocessing:
16,000 t HM (France)

Other Nuclear Waste:
176,588 m3 low and medium level waste is stored in interim storage facilities and 735,278 m3 in surface and near-surface final repositories. Very low level waste is not released as 'conventional waste'. 83,574 m3 is stored in interim facilities and 89,331 m3 in final disposal facilities.  About 30 million t of waste containing uranium have been generated by uranium mining and reprocessing activities.


Waste Management Concept for High Level Waste:

In France, a large part of fuel elements is reprocessed. A final repository is planned to be constructed in deep geological formations for the rest of the spent fuel elements, the waste generated by the reprocessing and for persistent nuclear waste. The retrieval shall be possible for 100 years. For spent fuel elements generated by planned new reactors, the abscission and transformations of radioactive atoms shall be an option as of 2040.

Final Disposal Situation for High Level Waste:

The originally statutory comparison of sites with different geological formations has failed. A final repository for high level and persistent medium level waste is now planned to be constructed in clay formations close to the sub-surface research laboratory in Bure. It is planned to be commissioned in 2025.



Problems:

The reprocessing of spent fuel elements implicates increased radiation exposure for the workforce and for the general population, as well as an increased accident risk. In addition, reprocessing gives rise to a high proliferation risk. Large amounts of depleted uranium from the reprocessing facilities have been transported to Russia where it is stored outdoors in inadequate safety conditions.