A rail shipment of 7,37 tons of used nuclear fuel left, on January 14th, the railway terminal of Vercelli, in Piedmont, in Italy in order to be transported to AREVA la Hague plant for recycling.
This transport composing of two casks of used fuel is operated in accordance with intergovernmental agreement between France and the Italy. This transport forms part of a contract signed in 2007 between AREVA and SOGIN(1) for the processing-recycling of 235 tons of use nuclear fuel. With this transport, about 200 tons will have been delivered and about 190 tons were already treated.
This used nuclear fuels which has already permitted to produce a big quantity of electricity, still contains 96 % of valuable materials that can be recycled thanks to processing operations led at AREVA la Hague plant. The 4 % of ultimate radioactive waste will be vitrified to allow a safe and stable confinement before being returned to the costumer. The metallic structure of used fuel is compacted and also confined. Vitrified and compacted wastes are conditioned in a standard container.
This shipment is fully compliant with safety criteria defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and is designed to ensure people and environment protection in normal or accidental conditions.
(1) Society under the supervision of the Ministry of the Italian Economic development, SOGIN has for mission the management of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuels, the purification and the dismantling of the nuclear installations put in the stop after the referendum of 1987 and their requalification (the old 4 nuclear power plants and 4 nuclear installations of processing and manufacturing of the fuel).