Rosatom to Cooperate with France in Radwaste Management

A cooperation agreement was signed in Moscow at AtomEco-2017, an international forum held last week in Russia’s capital. You will find more details in our report below.

Rosatom and the French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (ANDRA) signed an agreement to cooperate in ultimate disposal of radioactive waste. Signatories to the document were Oleg Kryukov, Rosatom’s Director for Public Policy on Radioactive Waste, Spent Nuclear Fuel and Nuclear Decommissioning, and Patrick Landais, Director for Innovations, Development and International Relations at ANDRA.

Rosatom and ANDRA will cooperate in implementation of the national radioactive waste management system, exchange of scientific information and experience in legal, social and ethical aspects of nuclear waste management. The parties agreed to have technology and solutions assessed by joint expert groups, hold seminars, and organize expert visits to ultimate disposal sites in Russia and France.

On Russia’s part, the agreement will be performed by the National Operator for Radioactive Waste Management (NORWM), a Rosatom Group company holding an official license for ultimate disposal of nuclear waste.

Cooperation between NORWM and ANDRA started in 2012 when Rosatom and the French agency signed a memorandum of intent. The partners plan to continue working on safe management of radioactive waste and believe that exchange of knowledge, expertise and technology will be of mutual benefit for the two countries.

NORWM was established in 2012 and is the only Russian company duly licensed to perform ultimate waste disposal operations. The company’s primary task is to ensure environmental safety in the country by establishing safe and secure repositories where radioactive waste is isolated from the environment for the entire period it remains potentially hazardous. MORWM is also responsible for development and operation of the national infrastructure for environmentally safe and cost efficient disposal of radioactive waste. It also functions as a source of information about safe management of nuclear waste and radioactive contamination around ultimate disposal sites for general public, government bodies and municipal authorities.

France’s National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (ANDRA) was established in 1979. Its activities are supervised by the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. ANDRA is engaged primarily in the design, licensing and construction of ultimate disposal sites for different radioactive wastes, repository operation and monitoring, public awareness, and relations with international organizations. France operates three low and medium level waste repositories. Work is ongoing to prepare and file documents to obtain a construction license for a deep geological repository to store high and medium level radioactive waste.