Year 1998

EDF's Interim Storage Evaluation Team

WISE-Paris, 7 October 1998

[Posted 07/10/1998]

EDF starts to think about long term intermediate storage of spent nuclear fuel. A signal that the utility takes the non-reprocessing option serious.

The French national electricity utility EDF, in September 1998, has put together a project team to study the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, which is supposed to coordinate the activities for the evaluation of concepts concerning interim storage of spent nuclear fuel.

French Law has required since 1991 (30 December 1991 Act) that research concerning interim storage of spent fuel and high level radioactive waste be organized in order to evaluate various waste management options. If EDF has been slow to respond, it does so at a time when COGEMA's international reprocessing market is about to collapse. The Japanese utilities, which represent about 40% of the foreign contracts until year 2000, are under no pressure any more to find a destination for their spent fuel, since the spent fuel storage pool at the Rokkasho Mura site in the north of the main island has been officially opened to the first shipment of spent fuel in September 1998. The German utilities, which account for more than another 40% of COGEMA's foreign customers, will face an entirely changed political situation under the new federal government. It is quite likely that no further shipments of spent fuel will be authorized to the La Hague reprocessing facility and pending contracts entirely be put into question.

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