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After 15 years of investigations conducted in France pursuant to the first research law on radioactive waste voted in 1991, reversible deep geological disposal has been recognised by the Planning Act No. 2006-739 Concerning the Sustainable Development of Radioactive Materials and Waste of 28 June 2006 as the reference solution for the longterm management of high-level and intermediate-level long-lived radioactive waste. The Act entrusts upon Andra to continue studies and investigations with a view to selecting a site and to designing the future deep geological waste repository in time for the creation-licence application to be reviewed in 2015 and, subject to its approval, to commissioning that facility in 2025. The repository must be implemented within a deep geological formation that must have been studied through an underground research laboratory. The studies and investigations carried out by Andra until 2005 have demonstrated the feasibility of a repository within the argillite layer of the Callovo-Oxfordian formation that has been investigated at the Meuse/Haute-Marne Underground Research Laboratory, located at Bure. A 250-km2 zone was delineated around the Laboratory where the laboratory results from the clay formation may be transposed. Andra has proposed within that transposition zone, in 2009 an interest zone covering an area of about 30 km2 in which advanced geological investigations will be performed in order to propose an implementation site for the underground structures of the future waste repository. In the same time, several implementation scenarios for surface installations will be developed and compared. The results of those studies will be presented during the prescribed public debate scheduled in 2013 before submitting the creation-licence application. The selected site will be validated after the public debate has taken place. The licence application will be submitted to territorial communities for comment and to a public inquiry. In order to ensure the best implementation of the future waste repository in its host territory, Andra has established an innovative exchange and dialogue with local stakeholders. The purpose of such approach was notably to identify, as a complement to scientific criteria and other industrial and environmental constraints, specific criteria relating to territorial development and integration to be taken into account in the final delineation of the final implementation scenarios for surface installations.

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SED Publication Type
Geologic Media