A rail shipment of 6.7 tons of used nuclear fuel arrived today from AREVA’s railway terminal in Valognes (France) in order to be transported to AREVA la Hague plant for recycling.
This transport is composed of three casks of used fuel. It is operated in accordance with intergovernmental agreement between France and the Netherlands. This transport forms part of a contract signed in 1978 between AREVA and the Dutch electrician EPZ(1) for the processing-recycling of 350 tons of use nuclear fuel. With this transport, 288.2 tons will have been delivered and about 275 tons were already treated.
This used nuclear fuels which has already permitted to produce a big quantity of electricity(2), still contains 96 % of valuable materials that can be recycled thanks to processing operations led at AREVA la Hague plant. The 4 % of ultimate radioactive waste will be vitrified to allow a safe and stable confinement before being returned to the costumer. The metallic structure of used fuel is compacted and also confined. Vitrified and compacted wastes are conditioned in a standard container.
This shipment is fully compliant with safety criteria defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and is designed to ensure people and environment protection in normal or accidental conditions.
1The Dutch Electric Company EPZ (Elektriciteits-Produktiemaatschappij Zuid) is in charge of the management of the Borssele reactor (pressurized water reactor of 485 MW) located in the southwest of the Netherlands.
2Before being used, these 6.7 tons of nuclear fuels allowed to feed with electricity during one year the equivalent of a city of 350 000 inhabitants any confused needs (domestics and industrialists), a city of the size of Utrecht, 4th city of the Netherlands.