The nuclear sector facing the challenge of managing new radioactive waste

By Elsa Bembaron



The La Hague plant, the world leader in the recycling of spent fuel, could see its lifespan extended beyond 2040. STEPHANE MAHE/REUTERS

The planned construction of six, or even fourteen reactors, forces players in the sector to ensure its ability to process incremental fuel.

It’s the domino effect. restart the french nuclear, it also means increasing, over time, the volume of materials and waste to be managed. Far from the spotlight, industry players have been working on the subject for years. For these experts, there is no need to wait for the official decision to build six new EPRs, and perhaps 14, to take effect. Mathematical models have already turned to conduct prospective studies. No room for improvisation. Everything is programmed for the years, but also for the millennia to come.

We worked with EDF and the National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (Andra) to calculate the impact of all the scenarios, with or without nuclear production, with or without recycling of spent fuel, with recycling in several stages of spent fuelsays Jean-Michel Romary, director of strategic dismantling & waste programming at Orano.

Five categories of waste

The elements to be taken into account relate to both fuel needs…

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