The Cigéo project is designed to ensure long-term management of the radioactive waste produced by nuclear facilities in France, in accordance with the Environmental Code. This waste is now packaged and stored by nuclear operators that produced them in specific and secure facilities, under their responsibility. Andra conducts research on storage in deep geological formations for over 20 years including at the underground laboratory Meuse / Haute-Marne. The project is now coming to the end of the phase of preliminary design. Studies of detailed design will be conducted in 2016-2017 to develop the creation authorization application. Subject to authorization, the construction of the storage facility could start in 2020.
The costing reports cover:
- First, studies, technology trials, investments for the construction and operation of the facility for the pilot industrial phase of Cigéo spread over twenty years.
- Then, spread over a hundred years, future expenses related to the construction and the current operating phase of Cigéo. These costs will cover the construction of new disposal cells as and when new waste is managed, the monitoring, maintenance and periodic renewal of industrial equipments, operation and closure of the storage facility, fiscal charges and taxes.
Financing of Cigéo
Financing of Cigéo is supported in full by nuclear operators (EDF, CEA and Areva).
According to the Code de l’environnement (environmental legislative and regulatory framework), the financing is secured in their accounts by provisions backed by dedicated assets, under the control of the Ministry of Energy. The reference cost of the Cigéo storage considered at present by EDF, AREVA and CEA results of the assessment of a working group led in 2005 by the Ministry in charge of energy and that included Andra, EDF, AREVA, the CEA and ASN. It is the responsibility of the Minister in charge of energy to decide, in light of available evidence and the progress of the project, whether to set a new reference estimated cost of storage.
The Court of Auditors (Cour des comptes) estimated that the cost of storage is in the order of 1 to 2% of the total cost of electricity generation throughout the operating life of a reactor.
The different costing assumptions for the Cigéo project do not impact significantly the cost of electricity for French consumers.