13.01.2016_No5 / News

Cost Of French Repository Could Be From €20bn To €30bn, Says Andra

Waste Management

13 Jan (NucNet): The cost for the French nuclear waste repository project, or Cigéo, could range from €20bn ($22bn) to €30bn ($32bn) depending on assumptions made about technological progress or potential “project optimisations”, Andra, the French agency managing the project, said in a statement.

The assessment of these costs is a delicate exercise because it requires making assumptions on labour costs, taxation, materials or energy for over 100 years, Andra said.

The country’s main nuclear waste producers – EDF, Areva and the French alternative and atomic energy commission (CEA) – said yesterday they would suggest a cost estimate of €20bn for the project.

Earlier yesterday French nuclear regulator ASN called for an imperative and urgent update of the cost estimate for Cigéo.

ASN said the previous estimate of between €13.5bn €16.5bn dates from 2005 and contains assumptions that are “too optimistic” and “not in compliance with the requirement of necessary caution to such an assessment”.

If approved, Cigéo will be built in the Meuse/Haute-Marne area in northeastern France. Andra has already carried out extensive geological and scientific studies at the Bure underground laboratory, in the department of Meuse.

Areva said the Cigéo project is now coming to the end of the phase of preliminary design. Studies of detailed design will be conducted in 2016-2017. Construction could start in 2020 with commissioning in 2025.

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David Dalton

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