“The Cigeo deep geological disposal center for high-level and medium-level long-lived radioactive waste” is declared “of public utility”, indicates one of the decrees.

“The expropriations of land necessary for (its) realization (…) are carried out before December 31, 2037. The expropriations concerning only the subsoil are carried out before the end of the pilot industrial phase (…) at the latest December 31, 2050”, specifies the decree. He adds that the National Agency for the Management of Radioactive Waste (Andra), which is leading the project, “will have to, if necessary, remedy the damage caused to farms”.

Andra will also be responsible for the “measures (…) intended to avoid, reduce and compensate for the significant negative effects of the project (…) on the environment and human health as well as the associated monitoring methods” , continues the text.

A separate decree, also published on Friday, lists Cigéo among the operations of national interest (OIN), urban planning operations with a “particular legal regime due” to their “major interest”, according to the data.gouv site. .Fr.

These two texts are signed by the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, and the Ministers for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, and for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, Christophe Béchu.

In December, the public inquiry commission had already concluded that Cigéo was “both timely, relevant and robust” and that its public utility was “proven”.

The publication of these decrees immediately caused opponents to Cigeo to react, the Sortir dunuclear network denouncing in a press release “an unacceptable public utility for a dangerous project”.

The two texts “allow Andra to acquire the missing land control, to expropriate if necessary, and to begin the so-called preparatory work for Cigeo”, is indignant the collective, which denounces a “rush to bury” while the site, “unauthorized to date”, raises “very serious questions in terms of safety”.

“This is a public utility of circumstance on a mountain of major doubts”, also indicated on Twitter the Cedra52 association.

The Cigéo project aims to bury, 500 meters underground, 85,000 m3 of the most radioactive waste from the French nuclear fleet.