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Radioactive waste and polluted sites


Chapter 16

    1. Radioactive waste management channels
    2. The legal and regulatory requirements for radioactive waste management
    3. Very low level radioactive waste management principles
    4. European regulations harmonisation work within WENRA
    5. Stakeholders and responsibilities
    6. ANDRA national inventory of radioactive waste and reusable materials
    7. The national plan for the management of radioactive materials and waste (PNGMDR)
    1. Waste management in basic nuclear installations
      1. CEA waste management
      2. AREVA NC waste management
      3. EDF waste management
      4. Management of waste from other licensees
    2. Radioactive waste management in medical, industrial and research activities
      1. Origin of waste and radioactive effluents
      2. Management and disposal of radioactive waste and effluents
    3. Management of waste containing natural radioactivity
      1. Uranium mining waste
      2. Waste resulting from other activities
    4. Management of incidental contamination
    1. Long-term management of very low level waste
    2. Long-term management of low level and intermediate level short-lived waste
      1. The Manche repository
      2. The low and intermediate level short-lived waste (LL-ILW-SL) repository
      3. Package acceptance rules
    3. Long-term management of long-lived low level waste
    4. Long-term management of long-lived high and intermediate level waste
      1. Separation/Transmutation
      2. Long-term storage
      3. Disposal in deep geological formations
      4. Specifications and approval certificates for waste packages unsuitable for surface disposal
  4. Sites polluted by radioactive materials
    1. The organisation and regulation of action by the public authorities
    2. Abandoned radioactive objects
    3. Sites polluted by radioactive materials
      1. General
      2. The polluted sites inventories
      3. Some of the files in progress
    4. Public service storage facilities

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In 2010, ASN continued with its actions aimed at ensuring that radioactive waste is managed safely, right from the moment it is first produced. ASN thus regulates its management within the nuclear installations and periodically assesses the management strategies put in place by the licensees. In particular, ASN remains attentive to the implementation by AREVA of its strategy for retrieval of old waste from La Hague site.

In accordance with the joint ASN and ASND request, in 2010, CEA sent a file on the management strategy for waste produced in civil nuclear installations to both of the authorities. The file presents the management strategy for waste produced and to be produced in the future, identifying the needs for facilities for treatment, packaging, transport packages and placing in storage. It will be examined by an Advisory Committe with a view to ASN establishing a position. Furthermore, ASN has observed an overall difficulty on the part of CEA to fulfil its commitment, notably in terms of meeting its deadlines, leading it to postpone the deadlines for removal from storage of waste present in the oldest installations. In addition, in 2011, ASN will continue to follow attentively the retrieval from storage of wastes presenting the greatest safety risk.

With regard to the long-term management of radioactive waste, ASN is encouraged by the way ANDRA operates its waste centres currently in service. ASN considers that there must be safe disposal routes for all waste. To this end, it is of the opinion that it is essential that France equip with a facility to allow disposal of low level long-lived waste. ASN will therefore follow attentively the process of search for a site and development of disposal solutions.

The Authority considers that key steps will be taken in development of the disposal project in coming years. By means of the opinion that it gave on the file submitted by ANDRA in 2009, ASN will set out the main areas of focus for between now and submission of the license application for creation that should take place at the end of 2014. ASN remains vigilant to ANDRA's providing of the expected elements. It will also pursue the development of its doctrine on reversibility.

After consultation, ASN also expressed several opinions in 2010 on the strategies for management of polluted sites. Under the renewed regulations, ASN has been strengthened since 2009 and will continue its work in 2011 in collaboration with the relevant administrative departments and bodies, and with other stakeholders. In 2011, ASN intends to publish its doctrine in the area of management of sites polluted by radioactive substances. ASN restates its position that the solution involving maintaining the contamination in-situ must not be the reference solution for management of sites polluted by radioactive materials and that this option can only be an interim solution or reserved for situations in which the complete clean-out option cannot be contemplated owing to the volume of waste to be excavated.

In 2011, ASN will also continue to work on revising regulations, following the publication of Act 2006-686 of 13 June 2006 on transparency and safety where nuclear matters are concerned, in particular by stipulating, via its decisions, the measures applicable to BNIs concerning the production of nuclear waste, the storage of this waste, its packaging and its disposal.

Moreover, in 2011, ASN will continue with its operations for diagnostic analysis of sites likely to have hosted activities involving handling of radium in Ile-de-France and will extend these operations to other regions.

Finally, ASN will maintain its close involvement in international work by maintaining its active participation in working groups, especially within the framework of the IAEA's Waste Safety Standards Committee (WASSC) which validates the reference standards for radioactive waste management, and within WENRA, as well as by participating in the work of the different international organisations on disposal of radioactive waste and especially on reversibility.

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