Research into long-term storage options for nuclear waste, both underground and surface, has been prioritised by the French government, with a parliamentary decision on a national strategy planned for 2006 (ENDS Daily 5 February 1998). A 1991 law paved the way for the creation of two underground sites. Initially, both would be research facilities, but one or both could be converted into permanent storage sites for long-lived, high-level radioactive waste.
An underground site in clay strata has already been chosen but an underground granite site has yet to be agreed on. The experts' report contains information on 15 potential granite sites, but it does not recommend which should be chosen.
The report urges the government to launch a public debate on underground storage of nuclear waste and to consider creating a protocol to govern how nuclear waste authorities should negotiate with a local authority once an underground granite site is chosen. The experts also call for the ministry of research to provide publicly accessible information on radioactive risk.
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