The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) called on the authorities to quickly take decisions on nuclear waste management. “Decisions will be necessary, in the short term, so that safe management channels are available for all types of radioactive waste in the next fifteen to twenty years”, she underlined, Monday, June 7, in an opinion.
She insists on “The importance of anticipating management choices for radioactive materials and waste”. This warning comes as France is preparing its fifth national plan for the management of radioactive materials and waste (PNGMDR). ASN has published several notices, the last one in May, with a view to preparing this plan and it has been issuing more alerts on this subject since the start of the year.
In a recent report submitted to parliamentarians, she considered that “That in the absence of a decision taken in the next five years, no management system would be operational in the next twenty years”. “The capacity requirements for waste storage will not be [alors] therefore not insured ”, according to ASN. Regarding the most dangerous and radioactive waste, said to be high activity long-lived, she stressed Monday that “Long-term storage cannot be a definitive solution”.
The Cigeo project awaiting authorizations
For this waste, France plans to store 500 meters underground from 2035 in Bure, in the Meuse: it is the Cigéo project, which still has to obtain a series of authorizations before being formally launched. In the meantime, the waste is stored temporarily.
But this Cigeo project, estimated at 25 billion euros, arouses opposition. He was recently at the heart of a criminal trial in Bar-le-Duc, during which the prosecution requested a year in prison against an opponent. The National Agency for the Management of Radioactive Waste accounted for 1.67 million cubic meters of radioactive waste in France at the end of 2019, including around 4,000 cubic meters of high activity.