Types of waste to be disposed of at Cigeo

Last update on : Tuesday 04 September 2012

Radioactive waste metal from spent fuel reprocessingRadioactive waste metal from spent fuel reprocessing

Cigeo is designed to house waste with high radioactivity levels and half-lives that cannot be safely disposed of in surface or near-surface disposal facility also studied by Andra.

Although high-level (HLW) and intermediate-level long-lived (ILW-LL) waste represent a small volume of the wastes generated (3% of the volume of existing radioactive wastes), they account for nearly all the radioactivity of radioactive waste (around 99%).

HLW and ILW-LL are generated mainly by the nuclear power industry (spent fuel reprocessing) and associated research activities as well as, to a lesser extent, activities associated with nuclear deterrence and nuclear marine propulsion conducted by the CEA.

French law forbids the disposal of foreign radioactive waste in France. As a result, no foreign waste will be disposed of at Cigeo. The HLW and ILW-LL to be disposed of there are generated mainly at France's nuclear power facilities and nuclear fuel reprocessing facilities.

Sixty percent of the long-lived intermediate-level wastes (ILW-LL) and 30% of the high-level wastes (HLW) destined for Cigeo have already been generated. These wastes will continue to be generated until France's nuclear power plant fleet is retired.