French National Plan for the Management of Radioactive Materials and Waste for 2016-2018
The National Plan for Radioactive Materials and Waste Management (PNGMDR) is a key tool in ensuring the long-term implementation of these principles, within the framework set out in the Environment Code and in the Programme Act of 28th June 2006 concerning the sustainable management of radioactive materials and waste.
This three-year plan aims to provide a regular picture of the management policy for radioactive substances nationwide, to assess needs that are coming out and determine objectives to be met in the future, more specifically in terms of studies and research. The interest of this approach was confirmed at European level by the directive establishing a community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, adopted on 19th July 2011, which generalised the adoption of such approach.
This new PNGMDR was drafted on the basis of works and exchanges within a pluralistic working group, comprising environmental protection associations and regulatory authorities and regulatory assessment bodies, alongside radioactive waste producers and managers. It was the subject of an environmental assessment for the first time, followed by a public consultation, thus enabling obtained comprehensive understanding of the stakes and challenges associated with the management of radioactive materials and waste. Furthermore, this new PNGMDR takes account of the guidelines of the Energy Transition for Green Growth Act.
The 2016-2018 PNGMDR also proposes possible solutions for improving the management of all radioactive materials and waste. These proposals continue the work carried out since the first version of the plan, covering the period 2007-2009, and more specifically request to undertake studies and to implement management measures for some of these substances. Although much progress has been made, we cannot overstate the extent to which we consider the implementation of the recommendations presented in this 2016-2018 edition to be essential. New avenues for work are today open, in particular concerning the long-term harmfulness of radioactive waste from a more global environmental perspective, the further use prospects of certain radioactive materials, or the storage strategies adopted by the licensees pending the availability of final management solutions. The answers to the questions raised will determine our capacity to avoid imposing the burden of managing this waste on future generations.