The first convoy of intermediate-level vitrified waste arrived in Belgium on Wednesday morning in “optimum safety conditions”, the National Agency for Radioactive Waste and Enriched Fissile Material (Ondraf), Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (AFCN), Synatom and Belgoprocess reported on Wednesday. The waste came from the reprocessing of used Belgian nuclear fuel from Synatom at the Areva plant in La Hague, northwestern France. The 16 containers arrived at a storage facility on the site of the Belgoprocess waste-management company in Dessel. They will be unloaded in the coming weeks and warehoused there while awaiting their final destination.
“The waste returned with this transport corresponds to the processing of 68 tonnes of used fuel which was used to provide electricity for about two years to the equivalent of a city the size of Brussels (1,150,000 inhabitants),” Areva said on the night of Monday to Tuesday as the convoy left the Valognes terminal in Manche department (France) for Dressel.
The repatriation of the waste is part of a processing-recycling contract concluded between the French company, Areva, and Synatom, a Belgian company that manages nuclear fuel, since Belgium has no such reprocessing plant. The waste is transported by road and rail.
A second convoy of intermediate-level vitrified waste, transporting a total of 35 containers, will leave France for Belgium later this year, as planned.