A railway shipment of 6.4 tons of Dutch used nuclear fuel, left yesterday from the railway terminal located near the Borssele nuclear power plant in the Netherlands. The shipment arrived today at AREVA’s railway terminal in Valognes (Manche region, France).
The used fuel will be treated at AREVA’s la Hague facility, before recycling.
This transport, composed of three shipping casks of used fuel, complies with the applicable national and international regulations to guarantee a high level of safety and security. The cask used for the shipment is compliant with safety criteria defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency and is designed to protect people and the environment in all circumstances.
This transport operates following the intergovernmental agreement signed between France and the Netherlands and a contract signed in 1978 for the processing-recycling of 350 tons of used nuclear fuel between AREVA and the Dutch utility EPZ. With this transport, 312 tons will have been delivered and about 275 tons have already been treated.
The used fuel contains 96% of valuable energy materials that can be recycled through treatment-recycling operations. The 4% of ultimate radioactive waste will be vitrified for a safe and stable packaging before being returned to the Netherlands. The metallic structure of used fuel will be compacted, and then also packaged following the same process.
During their use in a nuclear reactor, this nuclear fuel generated enough electricity to power a city of the size of Utrecht during a year (350,000 inhabitants, 4th city of the Netherlands).