Draft opinion concerning the safety options dossier for the Cigeo radioactive waste disposal facility

Published on 29/08/2017 • 12:28 pm

Information notice

In April 2016, Andra sent ASN the safety options dossier (DOS) for the Cigeo radioactive waste deep geological disposal project. Submission of the DOS means that the project is now subject to a process covered by regulations concerning basic nuclear installations (BNI) and more specifically by article 6 of decree 2007.1557 of 2nd November 2007.

This dossier was examined by IRSN, ASN’s technical support body and, on 18th and 19th May 2017, it was discussed by a meeting of the Advisory Committees for wastes and for laboratories and plants. At the request of ASN, the Andra dossier also underwent a review by international experts from regulatory bodies from other countries, coordinated by IAEA. These experts submitted their conclusions in November 2016 and their report is available on the ASN website.

In its draft opinion, ASN determined the inventory of radioactive waste to be considered for the facility’s creation authorisation application.

ASN considers that at the stage of the safety options dossier, the project has reached an overall level of technical maturity that is satisfactory. It also considers that the safety options dossier is documented and substantiated and constitutes significant progress with respect to the previous dossiers on which ASN has issued an opinion.

However, a number of the options adopted at this stage give rise of additional comments and even certain reserves. More specifically, with regard to the management of bituminous radioactive wastes, ASN considers that priority must be given to research into neutralisation of the chemical reactivity of the packages of bituminous waste. ASN underlines the fact that the justification of the disposal facility’s architecture, the design of the facility for dealing with hazards, the monitoring of the facility and the management of post-accident situations could lead to facility design changes and it makes a number of requests to be addressed in the creation authorisation application file.

Andra intends to submit the creation authorisation application for the Cigeo facility in 2019.

ASN gives the general public access to the opinion of its Advisory Committees for wastes and for laboratories and plants, drawn up on the basis of the IRSN report.

ASN submits its draft opinion for public consultation. It will issue its final opinion following these consultations in October 2017

Date of last update : 29/08/2017