How to bury 100,000 years of nuclear waste?

How to bury 100,000 years of nuclear waste?

Some of the waste from the nuclear industry will remain hazardous for 100,000 years. Risk management solutions on such time scales pose dizzying and controversial challenges. How to ensure that they remain imprisoned there for so long? that they do not pollute the water? That future generations should not forget this danger? We were able to visit the galleries where ANDRA, the national agency for radioactive waste management, tries to answer these questions.

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When entering the small village of Bure in the Meuse, you immediately see a sign indicating the direction of Sigio. Equally necessary, above the inscription, a tag: “Andra, exit”. It sets the mood. An important part of the future of French nuclear waste is at stake here. Sigio aims to get to the most hazardous waste of this type, at a depth of about 500 meters, by 2040. Backed by ANDRA, the project has faced strong opposition over the years from local associations and environmentalists, who accuse it of being dangerous and unsuitable.

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To better understand the challenges and questions raised by such a project, we ventured to Andra’s large underground laboratory in Bure, which foreshadows Seigeo. There experiments are being conducted on the rock in which within a few decades the garbage will be deposited. Because at the moment, Sizio has not received the building permit (DAC). If the project is accepted by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), and corrected if necessary, it should be awarded from 2025 to 2027…

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It comes from our paper magazine n°1 published in January 2023 “Can nuclear power be green? », available individually at our store.

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Photos – Cha Gonzalez.






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