Ensuring safe management over the long term implies that Andra provides general information on all radioactive waste located in France. Andra keeps the memory of every French disposal facility with a view to handing it down to future generations in order:
Two so-called “active-memory” mechanisms over the short and medium terms, ranging from a few decades to one century, in order:
Three passive-memory mechanisms over the longer term, ranging from a few centuries to one millennium, as follows:
The “Centre de la Manche” disposal facility (CSM), which was the first disposal facility ever to be built in France, ran from 1969 to 1994, and is now in its post-closure monitoring period since then. The detailed memory of the facility includes more than 10,000 documents covering every phase of its entire lifetime. Only about 100 documents (equal to less than 1%) are currently necessary for monitoring it. That memory-preservation system is updated every five years in order keep track of the site's memory. A copy has been filed at the French National Archives since 2004.
For more information, please download (document in French):
Mémoire de synthèse pour les générations futures (PDF – 27.39 Mo)
That 169-page document presents the major information concerning the facility.
With regard to the disposal facility for low- and intermediate-level waste (CSFMA) located in the Aube district, the memory-preservation system works on an ongoing basis. It is structured according to the same mechanism as for the CSM. Hence, Andra, from digital files, does print on permanent paper all documents which must be kept for the memory preservation of disposal facilities.
The disposal facility for very-low-level waste (CSTFA) located in the Aube district does not require any specific memory-preservation mechanism. In fact, the facility will be in service for 30 years, followed by a 30-year monitoring period. For shorter disposal timescales than 100 years, conventional archiving techniques are sufficient.
With regard to its projects of disposal facilities for high-level and intermediate-level long-lived (HL/IL-LL) waste and low-level long-lived (LL-LL) waste, Andra will apply the same type of measures as for surface facilities. However, asthis kind of waste remains radioactive over longer periods, Andra is conducting and sharing worldwide reflections on memory preservation over multi-millennium scales.
Today, we still have a heritage from the past that includes rupestrian paintings, parchments, various manufactured artefacts and engineered structures, such as megaliths, pyramids, etc. Preserving memory over very long timescales is therefore possible under various forms. The main issue, however, is to preserve the meaning (of that memory).
Download the two last presentations about long term memory :
French National Evaluation Committee of 22 February 2012 (PDF - 94 Ko)
The 14th international conference on environmental remediation and radioactive waste management (ICEM), September 25-29, 2011 - Reims, France (PDF - 93 Ko)