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France to construct a nuclear waste disposal system

By Ko Bu-kyeong | 기사입력 2021/08/04 [08:29]

France to construct a nuclear waste disposal system

By Ko Bu-kyeong | 입력 : 2021/08/04 [08:29]

▲ The Orano La Hague reprocessing facility in France. More than 34,000 metric tons of used fuel has been treated here since the site’s operation in 1976.


France will begin to construct a large-scale, high-level waste dump called “CIGEO” in 2022. Its goal is to complete the project by 2035. The French government has prided itself on the safety and advancement of the facility, calling it the fruit of nuclear technology research over the past 55 years.

 

France covers about 70% of its electricity supply and demand with nuclear power and plans to lower it to 50% by 2035. The CIGEO is expected to be built on a scale of 500 meters underground near the Buch region. It can reclaim a total of 85,000 square meters of radioactive waste, a nuclear fuel used in various nuclear power plants in France.

 

French Ambassador Philippe LeFort held a press conference at the French Embassy in Seoul on June 2nd and introduced the French solution for managing nuclear waste. He said, “France has the ability to provide answers to radioactive waste. Any country that uses nuclear power has a must-solve problem of ‘nuclear waste disposal,’ regardless of whether it has decided to de-nuclearize or not.” 

 

He added, “South Korea also plans to de-nuclearize nuclear waste in the long term, but nuclear waste will continue to be created as long as it runs.” He also introduced the underground reclamation methods of spent nuclear fuel reprocessing technology and deep geological disposition. 

 

The French government considers nuclear energy a key part of its energy policy to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050. The European Commission’s Joint Research Center said in a report released on March 29th this year that there is no scientific evidence that nuclear energy is more harmful to health or the environment than other power generation technologies included in the EU’s green classification system.

 

Ambassador LeFort said, “Nuclear power is the energy to fight against climate change in an eco-friendly manner. As carbon neutrality has emerged as a global topic, it is time to discuss the issue of radioactive waste.”

 

France began its first commercial nuclear power plant in 1962. Currently, 56 nuclear power plants are being operated. The French government began researching radioactive waste disposal methods in 1991 and established the Radioactive Waste Management Plan Act in 2006 and selected the Radioactive Waste Management Agency (ANDRA) as a dedicated institution to conduct scientific verification on the site selection and method. 

 

64th Edition of Weeklymonday (August 2, 2021) 

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