Cigeo in brief
Cigeo is the name of a deep geological disposal facility for radioactive wastes to be built in France. It will serve as a repository for highly radioactive long-lived wastes generated by France's current fleet of nuclear power plants, from operation to dismantling, as well as from reprocessing of spent fuel from these same plants.
If approved, Cigeo will be built along the boundaries of the Meuse and Haute-Marne departments in northeastern France.
Cigeo will consist of surface facilities that, amongst other things, will be used to receive and prepare waste packages as well as excavate and build the necessary underground structures. The wastes will be buried some 500 metres below ground in an impermeable argillaceous rock formation able to contain radioactivity over a very long periods.
Cigeo is designed to operate for at least 100 years and be flexible over time to give future generations a maximum number of possibilities to adapt it as needed.
The project reached the pre-construction phase in 2011 and operations are scheduled to begin in 2025. However, the project must first go through the following legal process:
- holding of a public debate in 2013;
- submittal of a construction licence application by Andra (scheduled for 2015)
- 2015 to 2018:
- assessment of the construction license application by the competent authorities and consultation of local communities;
- approval of the act on the reversibility conditions of disposal;
- public inquiry;
- approval of the construction license (after completion of the previous steps).