France’s Andra to apply for deep repository construction permit

3 November 2016

France’s waste management company, L' Agence nationale pour la gestion des déchets radioactifs (Andra), which is managing the Cigéo deep geologic repository project, is planning to apply for construction permission in 2018. Andra said on 27 October that the application requires “a clear description, as accurate as possible”, of the selected design options and of elements of the project to be examined by the French safety authority, Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN). The detailed design will also be used as a basis for formulating contracts with the companies which may participate in Cigéo’s construction. Andra said Cigéo has begun its detailed design phase. “This new phase primarily aims at achieving a more detailed design of the project: facilities, equipment, materials, techniques, etc,” Andra said. If approved, Cigéo will be built in the Meuse/Haute-Marne area in northeastern France. Andra has already carried out extensive geological and scientific studies at the Bure underground laboratory, in Meuse. In January 2016 Andra said the cost for Cigéo could range from €20bn ($22bn) to €30bn ($32bn) depending on assumptions made about technological progress or potential “project optimisations”. Construction could start in 2020 with commissioning in 2025.

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