A railway shipment of 7.1 tons of Italian used nuclear fuel left yesterday and 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 two casks of used fuel is operated in accordance with intergovernmental agreement between France and Italy. This transport forms part of a contract signed in 2007 between AREVA and SOGIN(1) for the processing-recycling of 235 tons of used nuclear fuel. With this transport, 222 tons will have been delivered and more than 190 tons have been already 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 before 2025. The metallic structure of used fuel will be compacted, and then also returned.
During their use in a nuclear reactor, this nuclear fuel generated enough electricity to power a city of the size of Modena during a year (180,000 inhabitants).
(1) SOGIN, Italian society under the supervision of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance, has for mission the management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuels, the purification and the dismantling of the nuclear installations put in the stop after the referendum of 1987 and their requalification (the old 4 nuclear power plants and 4 nuclear installations of processing and manufacturing of the fuel). SOGIN is also in charge of the identification of the site, the construction and the management of "Deposito Nazionale", the storage site for all the Italian radioactive waste, and the associated Technological Park.
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