OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF COGEMA
7th return of vitrified residues to Japan
www.cogema.fr, 3 December 2001
A seventh shipment of vitrified residues from COGEMA-laHague
will leave Cherbourg to Japan on December 5th, 2001.
6 casks containing 152 canisters of vitrified residues will be
loaded on the Pacific Sandpiper.
Reprocessing used nuclear fuel recovers 97% of valuable, reusable
material and separates out the remaining 3%, which is waste. The
waste is conditioned by turning it into a solid glass form by
a process called vitrification.
This type of shipment follows the completion of different operations
and is part of the contracts signed between the Japanese electric
utilities, COGEMA and BNFL for the reprocessing of Japanese spent
- Transport from Japan to Europe of Japanese spent nuclear fuel,
- Reprocessing of this fuel in France & in the UK,
- And finally return shipment to the country of origin of the
vitrified residues separated by reprocessing operations.
The first return shipment of vitrified residues was carried out
in 1995. Five other were performed respectively in 1997, 1998,
1999 and 2000. The three partners (COGEMA, BNFL and ORC) have
scheduled one shipment of vitrified residues a year, in average
in the forthcoming years.
The reprocessing operations and the shipments of both spent fuel
and vitrified residues comply with national and international
The ships transporting the materials have travelled over four
millions miles without a single incident involving the release
of radioactive material.
In Cherbourg, a media welcome will be organised at the hotel
Mercure on the 5/12/01 from
7 h 00 am.
The route used and the approximate date of arrival to Japan will
be released on the day of departure.