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Andra publishes the 2023 edition of the National Inventory of Radioactive Materials and Waste

As the French government agency in charge of the long-term management of French radioactive waste, Andra is mandated with the task of drafting and publishing the National Inventory covering all radioactive materials and waste in France every 5 years. This new edition lists and publishes information on the source, condition and locations of stock on 31 December 2021. Andra also estimates forecast quantities of radioactive waste and materials according to several wide-ranging scenarios focusing on the future of nuclear facilities and France’s long-term energy policy.

Volumes of radioactive waste at the end of 2021

The 2023 edition lists around 1,760,000 m3 of waste in actual existence at the end of 2021. These figures reflect an increase of approximately 220,000 m3 since the 2018 edition of the National inventory, including routine waste produced over the 5-year period.

This radioactive waste is produced in various business segments:


Data from the 2023 edition confirms clear differences between waste categories in terms of volumes and radioactivity levels:

  • most waste - 97.5% - is only slightly radioactive and represents less than 0.5% of the total radioactivity in this waste;
  • the most highly radioactive waste, taken alone, represents approximately 2.5% of the total volume, but 99.5% of total radioactivity.

For this reason, to protect both people and the environment well into the future, disposal facilities must be suitable for the inherent hazard level and life of radioactive waste.



Planning and adapting: looking ahead to guarantee controlled waste management well into the future

In order to manage radioactive waste and materials, we must establish a clear medium- and long-term vision of future waste volumes for the purpose of planning for and taking suitable action to guarantee the continuous availability of storage and disposal capacities and ultimately protect both people and the environment from the inherent risks of these materials and waste.

These forecasts are based on various strategies and potential changes to French energy policy and are intended to help provide an informed basis for decisions: should the nation continue with a nuclear industry or withdraw from this sector? should spent fuel be recycled? etc. over various time periods. The various scenarios considered by Andra are prepared in coordination between multiple parties as part of the French management plan for radioactive materials and waste, integrating the main guidelines of the current Multi-year energy programme. Details of the forecast scenarios can be found in the Summary report.


New reactors launched and the life of existing reactors extended

The National inventory also includes a section on “prospects” including comprehensive information on radioactive waste management solutions. This section describes the results of studies carried out by Andra on the volume of radioactive waste generated by the potential deployment of 6 new EPR2 reactors (European Pressurized Reactor) or the extended operating life of current reactors. This section complements the previous assessment of currently-authorised facilities.


A wide range of information on the history and operating details of radioactive waste management solutions

The 2023 edition of the National inventory includes articles focusing on specific topics such as the processing and packaging of radioactive waste; sites contaminated by radioactivity; an inventory of radioactive waste dumped at sea and VLLW and LILW-SL management. The National inventory also includes an inventory of current and required storage capacity for materials and waste, and describes the specific management methods used for historical situations.

An annual update for the inventory of radioactive materials and waste

While the National inventory is published every 5 years, Andra drafts and publishes an update to the inventory of radioactive materials and waste in France on an annual basis. On this basis, the quantities of radioactive materials and waste in France at the end of 2022 will be announced in Les Essentiels in the first quarter of 2024.