CIRES stands for « Le Centre Industriel de Regroupement, d’Entreposage et de Stockage » or « Industrial facility for grouping, sorting and disposal ». As the name says, it hosts multiple activities.
First of all, CIRES is a Very-Low Level Waste repository; it and also hosts facilities for the management of non-electronuclear waste (produced outside of NPPs and large nuclear research facilities), such as grouping, sorting, and storage. It is located in Morvilliers, in the Aube district.
Located in the Aube in the municipalities of Morvilliers and La Chaise, the CIRES hosts several activities: storage, grouping, processing and disposal.
The disposal facility opened in 2003, and Andra started receiving and disposing of VLLW on this site. Light metallic and plastic waste can be compacted on-site, to optimize disposed volumes.
Since autumn 2012, two new activities have been added to CIRES: grouping and temporary storage of non-nuclear waste, or waste produced outside of the nuclear electricity production sector. The grouping building can be likened to a multimodal platform. The waste packages are sorted and grouped by category before being oriented towards processing, storage or disposal.
Two other activities were added in 2015, namely the sorting and treatment of non-nuclear waste. The operations include checking packages using an x-ray scanner, blending and packaging solvent, oil-based or aqueous liquid waste , processing scintillation vials and disassembling lightning conductor heads.
The storage building hosts waste packages for which disposal solutions are currently under study.
Surface area for Cires
Temporary storage building
VLLW waste mainly comes from the operation or dismantling of nuclear facilities, conventional industries using radioactivity, and the remediation of polluted sites.
- Waste packaging
The waste is prepared on the production sites and packaged, for the most part, in metal boxes or in large plastic bags called "big-bags".
- Waste transport and delivery
Almost all VLLW packages are transported from producers to the disposal facility by road, following stringent international regulations.
An average of 10 trucks per working day deliver waste packages to the disposal facility.
- Arrival at the CIRES
Measurements are performed to verify the radioactivity level (dose rate and contamination) on transport containers and radiological characteristics of the waste packages.
- Treatment and conditioning at the CIRES
Certain waste packages undergo additional conditioning before disposal:
- Some plastic waste or scrap are compacted to reduce the volume.
- Sludge and liquid waste are solidified
85% of delivered waste is already treated and packaged for direct disposal. Every year, around 30,000 m3 of waste is disposed of in the trenches dug out in the clay.