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AREVA and EDF create long-term used fuel management partnership

Press release

December 19, 2008

Paris, December 19th 2008 - AREVA and EDF today signed a framework agreement for the recycling[1] of used nuclear fuel[2] from 2008 to 2040, aimed at clarifying responsibilities and improving cooperation between the two groups.
The agreement, covering the scopes of used fuel transportation and recycling, determines the guidelines for a long-term partnership based on two reciprocal commitments: AREVA shall operate its La Hague and Melox sites until at least 2040, during which time EDF shall have access to the facilities for its own purposes.

The agreement guarantees both EDF and AREVA long-term visibility on their recycling partnership. It also allows for EDF’s planned increase in used fuel volumes sent to La Hague from 2010 onwards (850 to 1050 tons per year), and in the amounts of MOX[3]  fuel fabricated at the Melox site (100 to 120 tons per year).
The agreement is a continuation of the longstanding ties between the two groups which, since the first EDF power plants were commissioned, have been based on:

pick-up and transportation of used fuel from EDF power plants to La Hague

separation of recyclable fuel material from ultimate residues at La Hague and MOX fuel fabrication at Melox

packaging and minimizing of volumes, by vitrifying high-level waste or compacting medium- and low-level waste, for safe interim storage in dedicated installations at La Hague.

[1] Recycling: process by which around 96% of used fuel material is recycled, to produce a fifth of the waste volumes generated by nuclear power plants. Recoverable material is extracted and its energy potential harnessed (one gram of plutonium or 100 grams of uranium can generate as much electricity as one ton of oil)

[2] Used fuel: fuel used in a reactor to create nuclear chain reactions that produce the heat needed to generate electricity

[3] MOX: mixed-oxide (uranium and plutonium) fuel, fabricated by treating used fuel and reloaded into certain EDF nuclear power plants

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