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Third transport of vitrified residues from France to Switzerland

Press release

October 10, 2002

A cask of vitrified residues will leave the railway terminal in Valognes (France) to the temporary storage facilities in Zwilag (Switzerland) as soon as the operational conditions are met, from October 14th 2002.

This transport lies within the commercial contracts concluded between COGEMA and NOK. According to the terms of these contracts, part of Swiss spent fuel is transported from the Swiss nuclear power plants to the COGEMA La Hague plant for being reprocessed(1). Both the Governments from France and Switzerland have agreed to the return from France to Switzerland of the vitrified residues resulting from the reprocessing operations.

The cask used for transport fully complies with the safety standards defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Besides, nuclear material transportation strictly conforms to national and international regulations in order to guarantee a high level of safety. The departure will be confirmed as soon as the transport's operational practicalities are met.

(1) Reprocessing is the industrial process that enables to recover valuable nuclear materials (uranium 96%, plutonium 1%) from spent fuel. It also permits to isolate and to condition fission products for their final storage.