Bannière Recyclage déchets nucléaires

For 59% of the French public, non-recyclable waste production is the main drawback of nuclear energy

 That's false in part!  Of used fuel, 96% can be recycled, and long-lived high-level radioactive waste only represents 0.2% of the radioactive waste produced in France.

#1 - All human activity produces waste 

  • We use the term waste when someting has no possible further uses. This contrasts with recoverable material, which can be recycled and reused.
  • There are some 1,200 producers of radioactive waste in France, from the nuclear power industry, from other industries, research, defense, medecine and so on.


#2 - All radioactive waste is recorded and classified by ANDRA

  • The French National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (ANDRA) keeps a national inventory of radioactive materials and waste.


#3 - Solutions exist for  safely managing  radioactive waste

  • 90% of radioactive waste produced in France has a low or very low level of radioactivity, and most of it is short-lived. It is conditioned, stored and monitored by ANDRA in dedicated centers while its activity decays.
  • The 10% represented by long-lived waste is in safe interim storage pending the availability of a long-term disposal facility, in accordance with the French laws of 1991 and 2006.


#4 - High-level radioactive waste represents a small quantity 

  • 96% of the materials contained in used fuel are recyclable.
  • High-level radiactive waste represents less than 200 m3 per an.
  • High-level and long-lived waste only represents 0.2% of the radiactive waste produced in France.


Valorisation du combustible uséLes déchet radioactifs de haute activité



#5 - Recycling: a strategic asset  for the nuclear industry

The treatment-recycling of used nuclear fuels makes it possible to recover the reusable nuclear material to manufacture a new fuel (MOX), which will then in turn generate more electricity.

  • Recycling also reduces the consumption of raw materials
  • Recycling enables a reduction in the radiotoxicity of the waste by a factor of 10 in the long term.
  • Recycling can reduce the volume of the most radioactive waste by a factor of 5.



66% of French people are aware of the possibilities for recycling nuclear fuels used in power plants*

*2021 BVA survey "French people and nuclear energy: knowledge and perceptions"


#6 -  A raw material resource-efficient  source of energy

Thanks to recycling, nuclear power preserves energy reserves.

  • In France, 10% of nuclear electricity is produced with recycled nuclear fuel (MOX).
  • Ultimately, with the recycling of uranium and used MOX fuel, 25 to 30% of the electricity produced would be derived from recycling.
  • 100g of produces as much energy as 1 metric ton of oil.

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