Eighth return of vitrified waste to Switzerland

Press release

A railway shipment of three packages of vitrified waste is shipped today from AREVA’s railway terminal in Valognes (France) to the storage facility in Zwilag1 (Switzerland).

This eighth return of vitrified waste to this country is operated in accordance with commercial contracts between the Swiss utilities and AREVA concerning the recycling of Swiss used nuclear fuel in France. This return is also carried out in respect of the French regulation stating that the nuclear waste belonging to a foreign country must be returned into its country of origin.

These three packages contain a total of 84 canisters of vitrified waste:
  • It corresponds to the vitrified waste generated by the use in reactor of 140 tons of uranium, the equivalent of about 12 years of electric consumption of a city as Zurich (370 000 inhabitants). 
  • This eighth transport brings up to 308 the number of containers returned towards the country since 2001 or 71% of the total of the containers of vitrified waste to return.
  • The maxi value of radiation dose rate measured at 2 m of the package is 0,045 mSv/hour. In term of impact, remaining 1 day at 2 meters of the package would correspond to the dose of an abdominal radiography.

This transport satisfies the standards of safety of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and is designed to ensure the protection of the persons and the environment in any circumstances, both in normal conditions and in extreme conditions of accident. This transport is strictly supervised by a set of rules and of national and international procedures which guarantee a high level of safety and security.

1 The center of storage Zwilag was put in service in 2001 to Würenlingen (the North of Switzerland). Researches relative to the definitive storage of the radioactive waste are in progress in Switzerland.

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Catherine Argant
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Marie Dudouit
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Julien Duperray
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