A monumental radioactive trash problem looming, for France

French nuclear waste will triple after decommissioning: agency http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/01/us-france-nuclear-waste-idUSKCN0PB4TM20150701
PARIS The amount of nuclear waste stored in France will triple once all its nuclear installations have been decommissioned, which will boost the need for storage facilities, French nuclear waste agency Andra said.

In a report released on Wednesday, Andra estimated that final nuclear waste volumes will eventually reach 4.3 million cubic meters, up from 1.46 million at the end of 2013 and an estimated 2.5 million in 2030.

That is based on an average lifespan of 50 years for utility EDF’s 58 nuclear reactors and including a new reactor under construction in Flamanville. Most of that waste will be only slightly radioactive, such as building rubble and clothing used during decommissioning, but because of its bulk, it requires increasing amounts of space.

Andra, which publishes a nuclear waste inventory every three years, expects its low-level waste facility in Morvilliers, in the Aube region, would fill up between 2020 and 2025.

“We want to warn that the storage centers are filling up and that we need to optimize waste management because storage facilities are a rare resource,” Andra executive Michele Tallec told Reuters.

Volumes of highly radioactive, long-life waste – which represent just 0.2 percent of the volume but 98 percent of the radioactivity – should rise from 3,200 cubic meters at the end of 2013 to about 10,000 cubic meters when all France’s nuclear plants reach their end of life.

This waste is scheduled to be buried in the controversial deep-storage site in Bure, in eastern France, which already has a test facility but has not received any nuclear waste.

his year, Andra plans to present the French government and nuclear regulator ASN a technical dossier on Bure, which aims to bury nuclear waste 500 meters underground in thick layers of argillite rock, which Andra says will prevent most radioactive particles from traveling more than a few meters over hundreds of thousands of years.

Andra plans to put in a formal request to build the 35 billion euro facility – which faces resistance from environmental groups and local residents – in 2017 and hopes to start construction in 2020 with a view to open it for first testing in 2025.(Reporting by Benjamin Mallet and Michel Rose, writing by Geert De Clercq, editing by David Evans)

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One Response to “A monumental radioactive trash problem looming, for France”

  1. CaptD Says:

    How about a little ☢ reality, instead of ☢ Profitganda*, from PRO-Nuclear France:

    France is waving Bye Bye to Nuclear and Coal

    On Wednesday, France, host to the major United Nations conference on climate change at the end of the year, passed a law that both re-envisions the country’s energy system and sets an impressive precedent for the leadership potential France could offer come December.

    The long-anticipated law will halve the country’s energy consumption by 2050, cut nuclear power production by a third by 2025 (from 75 percent of electricity mix to 50 percent), and increase renewable energy to 32 percent of total energy consumption by 2030. It also requires France to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels, in part by reducing fossil fuel consumption by 30 percent in 2030 compared with 2012. The emissions reduction requirement is in line with the E.U.’s 28-country commitment to cut emissions at least 40 percent by 2030.

    That’s a lot to keep track of. As part of the effort, the French parliament will have to produce “carbon budgets” every five years, which will help set emissions targets for different parts of the economy. Large emitters will face a more stringent carbon tax that could nearly quadruple by 2020 from its current rate of 14.50 euros ($15.93) per metric ton.

    France introduced its domestic carbon tax in 2014 to cover companies not regulated by the E.U. Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), including those consuming natural gas, heating oil, and coal. The tax later expanded to fuels including gasoline and diesel. Originally, it started at 7 ($7.69) euros/metric ton.

    As the Carbon Pulse reports, “only around five percent of France’s power comes from fossil fuels, so the tax increase will have little bearing on electricity prices. However, the country relies on natural gas and fuel oil for much of its domestic heating, meaning the higher tax will raise some household bills while adding an estimated 7 cents to a litre of gasoline and 9 cents to a litre of diesel by 2022.”

    While the fossil fuel, greenhouse gas emissions, and renewable energy targets likely stand out to the international community, the rapid curtailment of nuclear power is probably the most substantial, and controversial, domestic element of the law. France is the second biggest nuclear energy producer in the world, and the country that relies most on it for electricity, with 58 reactors at 19 different power stations. In his 2012 campaign, French President Francois Hollande promised to cut back the country’s reliance on nuclear power. The new law effectively means that some of the older nuclear plants will close in the next couple years to meet the 63.2 gigawatts production limit to be put in place.

    Posted: http://www.energybiz.com/article/15/07/first-us-small-modular-reactor-inches-ahead#comment-15013

    * http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Profitganda

    Profitganda is the use of phony “feel good” information to sell an idea, product or concept to the masses.

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