In a press release, the Russian public company specializing in nuclear energy explained that its contract with France covered “reprocessing uranium” and not nuclear waste, as Yannick Jadot had said.
Taking up an assertion made in particular by the NGO Greenpeace, Yannick Jadot, candidate for the Ecologist Pole in the next presidential election, recently affirmed that France was sending its nuclear “waste” to Russia. But what is it really?
In a press release sent to RT France on November 23, Rosatom made a point of clarifying the nature of the contract signed with France. The Russian public company specializing in the nuclear energy sector thus emphasizes that this contract relates to the supply of reprocessed uranium – which can be reused as fuel in certain plants after reprocessing – and not on nuclear waste.
Rosatom’s press release details the situation in these terms: “The contract does not provide for the supply or storage of nuclear waste. The contract covers the supply of reprocessed uranium from France for the internal needs of the Russian nuclear industry. ”
The use of French reprocessed uranium saves the equivalent of several years of natural uranium extraction
“Reprocessed uranium is uranium recovered during the processing of spent nuclear fuel. Once enriched or blended with enriched or natural uranium, reprocessed uranium can be used as fuel in light water reactors and graphite-gas reactors. […] The use of French reprocessed uranium saves the equivalent of several years of natural uranium extraction, ”explains Rosatom in its press release.
Finally, the Russian company specifies that this practice makes it possible “to reduce the environmental burden of the nuclear industry as a whole” and thus “fully meets the challenges of the time and the objectives of sustainable development”.
Charges included in a Greenpeace report
“Our waste [nucléaires] we send them to Russia, ”Yannick Jadot said in the program. We are live broadcast on France 2 on the night of November 20 to 21. “Do you trust the Russians to manage our waste?” He then asked his interlocutors, before calling on the French to be “somewhat responsible for [leurs] pollution ”.
“Are we sending our waste to us in Russia?” That I never heard, had then retorted the reporter and environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand. “Yes, then you can check that!” Yannik Jadot replied without hesitation.
This statement is contained in a report by the NGO Greenpeace entitled “French nuclear waste: one way to Siberia”. This report repeatedly uses the term “nuclear waste” to refer to reprocessed uranium. However, as indicated by CheckNews of Release, this type of material is not classified as such but as “radioactive material” because, as defined in article L542-1-1 of the environment code, it can be recycled and be used again as fuel for power plants, under the name of enriched reprocessing uranium.