Upcoming arrival of used nuclear fuel from the Netherlands for recycling
BACK END / TRANSPORT
June 25, 2013
A railway shipment of 6.7 tons of Dutch used nuclear fuel departed today from the railway terminal located near the Borssele nuclear power plant in the Netherlands for arrival at AREVA’s la Hague facility where the used fuel will bed treated before recycling.
This transport, composed of three shipping casks of used fuel, complies with the applicable national and international regulations to guarantee a high level of safety and security. The cask used for the shipment is compliant with safety criteria defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency and is designed to ensure the protection of people and environment under all circumstances.
This transport operates following the intergovernmental agreement signed between France and the Netherlands and a contract signed in 1978 for the processing-recycling of 350 tons of use nuclear fuel between AREVA and the Dutch electrician EPZ, which operates the Borssele reactor, located in the southwest region of the country. With this transport, about 299 tons will have been delivered and approximately 275 tons have been already treated.
The used fuel currently in route contains 96% of valuable energy materials that can be recycled through treatment-recycling operations. The 4% of ultimate radioactive waste will be vitrified for a safe and stable packaging before being returned to the Netherlands. The metallic structure of used fuel will be compacted, and then also packaged following the same process.
During their use in a nuclear reactor, these 6.7 tons of nuclear fuel generated enough electricity to power a city of the size of Utrecht (350,000 inhabitants, 4th city of the Netherlands).