Low and intermediate level short-lived waste
Low- and intermediate-level short-lived waste mostly comes from the nuclear power industry and the activities of the French atomic energy commission (CEA). It also includes waste from hospitals, research and university laboratories. It may also result from clean-up and dismantling operations. It essentially includes waste related to maintenance (clothes, tools, gloves, fi lters, etc.) and to the operation of nuclear facilities, such as treatment of gaseous and liquid effl uents. This waste contains short-lived radionuclides, such as cobalt-60 and caesium-137, and may also contain strictly limited amounts of long-lived radionuclides. This waste is managed at the Andra CSFMA waste disposal facility located in the Aube district.
Treatment and conditioning
Before disposal, LILW-SL may be compacted to reduce its volume, or solidifi ed if it is a liquid. Usually, it is placed in metal or concrete containers and then embedded in concrete. Thus, a package of LILW-SL is composed of 15 to 20% radioactive waste and 80 to 85% embedding matrix.
Since 1992, low- and intermediate-level short-lived waste has been disposed of at the Andra CSFMA waste disposal facility. Situated in the Aube district, it was designed to accommodate 1,000,000 m3 of waste. Waste is disposed of at surface in reinforced concrete cells, 25 metres square and 8 metres high. Once fi lled, these cells are closed with a concrete slab and then sealed with an impermeable coat. Finally, the cell will be capped with a several metres thick layer of clay, to ensure the long-term confi nement of the waste. Some LILW-SL cannot be managed in its current state at the CSFMA and is meanwhile stored in producers' facilities. In particular, this concerns highly tritiated waste.
LILW-SL existing at the end of 2007:
- 68.8 % of the total volume of French radioactive waste
- < 0.03 % of the total radioactivity of French radioactive waste
Technological LILW (paper, vinyl, cotton, etc.) before conditioning
Distribution of the volume of LILW-SL by economic sector at the end of 2007