argillite, Bure, Bure Argillite, Cigeo, clay, collapsing nuclear waste facility, dangers of nuclear, deep geological disposal facility, deep geological repository, environment, France, gallery collapse, geothermal potential, High Level Nuclear Waste, Hot Springs, l'Andra, nuclear energy, Nuclear France, nuclear industry, nuclear power, nuclear waste, nuclear waste disposal, nuclear waste dump, nuclear waste problem, police raid, radioactive waste, risk management, tunnel collapse, underground burial nuclear waste, water, worker safety
Residents near the proposed French nuclear waste facility in Bure France have demonstrated that within 16 minutes the “argillite” clay of this high level nuclear storage site dissolves into gravel clumps. This is because it is hard materials held together by soft materials. If that isn’t insane enough, it is also on top of a geothermal resource site, apparently a hot springs. So, nuclear waste, clay and hot springs! As there are well-known hot springs within the region, including at Nancy, it shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. On Tuesday, 26 January, 2016, a worker was killed and one injured at the site due to collapse of an underground tunnel gallery.
Google Streetview of Bure, France (Images saved Jan. 2015.) Note anti-nuclear house and how much the lab and proposed nuclear waste dump has done (NOT) for Bure’s economy, as illustrated in the housing.
While there is no good place or means of burying nuclear waste, some are better than others. The better way is to create a bunker-like storage facility in hard rock which is actively pumped for the water leakages found in underground facilities and monitored for perpetuity. The French know a good deal about the construction and maintenance of underground infrastructures, making this proposal all the more patently absurd.
It is hard to decide which is most dim-witted: burial in salt, as at the US WIPP and Germany’s aptly named Asse, and Morsleben, or burial in clay, as proposed at Bure in France. The geothermal source which may lie under the Bure site simply piles outrageous stupidity upon stupidity. Given French expertise in underground infrastructure, outrageous criminality is probably more accurate.
Thus, the opponents of the nuclear waste facility near Bure, France are not simply nuclear waste “NIMBYs”.
And, the current Prime Minister of France, Edouard Philippe, worked as public affairs officer for the French nuclear industry – French government owned AREVA. His communcations director, Charles Hufnagel, worked for the French state-owned nuclear twin companies – first EDF and then AREVA. EDF owns the nuclear power stations in France, as well as the UK. These are points to bear in mind, when reading both about actions taken by the opponents and the police raids, evictions, arrests.
In France, it is illegal to evict people from their homes in winter, even when they can’t pay rent, going back to when some evicted tenants froze to death in the 1950s: “French homeless campaigner dies“, Monday, 22 January 2007, 10:33 GMT Abbe Pierre “demanded the nation act when he went on the radio in the winter of 1954, highlighting the case of a three-month-old baby who had frozen to death in inadequate housing and a woman who had died on the streets clutching an eviction order.” See article here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6285805.stm.
Recent news from the protest encampments:
“* EVICTION OF THE FOREST: updates * vmc March 1, 2018
Tuesday Februray 22, at 6:15 am, 15 gendarmes’ vans have entered the Bois Lejuc, near to Bure, and proceeded to its eviction. In total, 500 cops were mobilized. Later that day, riot cops also raided the House of Resistance in the village of Bure, to arrest all its occupants….“. Read more here: http://en.vmc.camp/2018/03/01/eviction-of-the-forest/
“vmc February 22, 2018
This morning at 6:15am the eviction of the Lejuc wood (Bois Lejuc) started with 500 riot cops, reinforced/orchestrated by a communication campaign from the home secretary (ministre de l’interieur), the news channels diffusing shock images of military vehicles gathered next to the Lejuc wood, cabins being invaded, cops in balaclavas armed with chainsaws and cameras…. The operation, supposed to be because of a court decision last year about eviction of the wood from le tribunal de grande instance de Bar-le-Duc, came before all legal cases had finished (especially if Andra owns the wood or not) and before the end of the period of non eviction in winter even though many living/occupation structures had been built in and around the wood. There is even a place where local elected officials changed their headquarters to an address in the wood. Andra can’t legally start any work in the wood, the French environmental authority concluded in October 2017 that Andra had to do an environmental survey of the area before proceeding with any exploration/preparation work. There is a nesting period in the middle of March that prevents any work and Andra does not have the permit to do any forest clearing….” Read the rest and much more here: First press release from a few owls in Bure http://en.vmc.camp/2018/02/page/3/
[There is much more information at the web site]
“Saturday, first day of the inter-committee weekend in and around Mandres-en-Barrois (Region: Meuse). vmc March 11, 2018
In the Morning the people that slept in the House of Resistance in Bure went in some kind of demonstration to Mandres without problems (it was forbidden by the prefecture to have any kind of demonstration in the region). The police installed itself in the villages around, making the siege, which is anyway in place since the eviction, heavier than before….” Read the rest and updates here: http://en.vmc.camp/2018/03/11/saturday-first-day-inter-committee-weekend-around-mandres-en-barrois-region-meuse/
Summary of legal actions by opponents to nuclear waste facility: http://en.vmc.camp/2018/03/01/1356/
“URGENT – Police search in BZL, the Station and several private houses
vmc September 21, 2017 INFO THREAD – SEVERAL POLICE SEARCHES TOOK PLACE IN BZL, THE STATION AND PRIVATE HOUSES ON SEPTEMBER 20th” See here : http://en.vmc.camp/2017/09/21/urgent-police-search-bzl-station-several-private-houses/ and here: https://mariannewildart.wordpress.com/2017/09/21/french-resistance-to-nuclear-dump-the-nuclear-mafia-want-to-dump-radioactive-waste-at-bure-and-they-are-using-violence-to-do-it/
The French government wants to bury their nuclear waste in argillite, on top of a geothermal resource site. On Tuesday, 26 January, 2016, a worker was killed and one injured at the site due to collapse of an underground tunnel gallery.
“An argillite /ˈɑrdʒɨlaɪt/ is a fine-grained sedimentary rock composed predominantly of indurated clay particles. Argillaceous rocks are basically lithified muds and oozes. They contain variable amounts of silt-sized particle” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argillite
An observant child knows that clay becomes soft and unstable when wet. And, that it shrinks and cracks when dry and expands when wet. Residents near the proposed French nuclear waste facility in Bure France have demonstrated that within 16 minutes the “argillite” clay of this proposed high level nuclear storage facility dissolves into gravel clumps. This is because it is hard materials held together by soft materials.
Images from video link at http://www.villesurterre.eu
“Experimental deformation of Bure argillites was performed by indenter techniques in order to investigate the kinetics of pressure solution processes… unstable microfracturing around the indenter that may be linked to the swelling that always occurs before the indenting and that weakens the strength of the rocks (especially when using water). Argillite deformation is likely to be linked to the deformation of clay minerals acting as potential weak zones… This work just underlines the difficulty of studying this mechanism in weak rocks where several mechanism of deformation may competes and the faster strain rate hide the slower one at human time scale, whereas the slower one may be predominant on long-term duration.” Excerpted from Abstract of “Indenter studies of the swelling, creep and pressure solution of Bure argillite” J.P GratierL JenattonD Tisserand R Guiguet Applied Clay Science August 2004, Vol.26(1):459–472, doi:10.1016/j.clay.2003.12.035 “Clays in Natural and Engineered Barriers for Radioactive Waste Confinement”
In a 26 Jan 2016 Press Release BureStop states that a fatal rock slide occurred in the underground galleries of the Bure Laboratory where Andra is doing research to bury high level nuclear waste at a depth of 500 meters. One person died and another was injured. Their thoughts are with the victims and those close to them (as should everyone’s thoughts be).
While awaiting more precise information on the circumstances and consequences of the accident they raised points such as:
If l’Andra can’t assure the security of its construction site, how can they claim to make secure for over 100 years the project which will include more than 300 km of galleries and 5 km of descent?
If the nuclear waste site (Cigeo) is constructed, how could it avoid similar accidents, especially if, under the pressure of EDF, a low cost version is retained?
While l’Andra wants to present the Bure underground as an unshakeable strongbox (safe), this collapse clearly raises the question of the real stability of underground clay in which Cigeo was bored. If underground fractures, notably linked to the boring of the galleries, appears in the laboratory, what will happen when the underground storage centre is constructed and has an accident once it is full of radioactive waste? This collapse confirms that the reversibility of the [nuclear waste] burial is impossible to guarantee.
While a bill has been proposed (“une proposition de loi a été déposée“) on the reversibility and the launch of the “pilot phase”, it is urgent to stop the nuclear waste burial project. This incident only confirms the extreme risks of this project, as opponents have warned for over 20 years.
Expensive, dangerous and insane, Cigéo / BURE project must be abandoned immediately, and France must urgently make every effort to stop its production radioactive waste. (The preceding is based on our unofficial (and quick) translation. Read the original press release in French here: http://burestop.free.fr/spip/spip.php?article692 )
Read More Here
“One dead in tunnel collapse at future French nuclear waste siteSTRASBOURG, FRANCE, Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:46am EST http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-nuclear-idUSKCN0V41NV
France Bure: Rock slide kills one at nuclear waste site“, 27 Jan 2016 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35415456
“Eboulement mortel de Bure : “Tout le monde sait que l’argile est une roche extrêmement fragile” (géologue) par Rédaction de France Info mardi 26 janvier 2016 17:38. http://www.franceinfo.fr/fil-info/article/eboulement-mortel-de-bure-tout-le-monde-sait-que-l-argile-est-une-roche-extremement-fragile-geologue-761505
On the Geothermal potential
This was part of a video of an excellent and lively presentation by Dr. Antoine Godinot, which along with written information may be found here: http://www.sortirdunucleaire.org/Un-potentiel-geothermique-cache
According to Antoine Godinot, who holds a doctorate in geology, starting in the 1970s, this part of the Meuse (Bure area) was recognized as having a good geothermal productivity by the BRGM (Office of geological research and mining). The results were confirmed during drilling for petroleum in 1989. Under the nuclear waste galleries a hot springs has been found. (Godinot probably holds a doctorat d’etat which takes a very long time to obtain, unlike the much shorter doctorat de 3e cycle which is more like Ph.D.s) See: “Décembre 2012, L’eau chaude, source de la discorde, Source : La Voix de la Haute Marne via le CEDRA, D’après la version papier vendredi 21 12 2012
L’eau chaude, source de la discorde
Un collectif d’associations vient de mettre en demeure I’Andra au sujet de la présence d’une source géothermique sous le site de Bure. Une présence d’eau, selon les textes, incompatible avec le projet Cigéo. Ce dossier fait l’objet de travaux d’un géologue indépendant, Antoine Godinot.
Docteur en géologie, Antoine Godinot suit de près évolution du dossier des déchets nucléaires de Bure. Il vient de mener une analyse critique, qu’il présente aujourd’hui, des rapports de l’Andra sur un sujet bien précis : le potentiel géothermique de la region de Bure. De quoi s’agit-il ? En fait, dès les années soixante-dix, cette partie de la Meuse était reconnue comme ayant une “bonne productivité” en ressource geothermique par le Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières (BRGM). Ces résultats étaient confirmés lors d’un forage pétrolier réalisé en I989….
Sous les galeries une source d’eau chaude a été repérée….” Read the entire article here: http://www.sortirdunucleaire.org/L-eau-chaude-source-de-la-discorde
“The areas with the highest underground temperatures are in regions with active or geologically young volcanoes. These “hot spots” occur at tectonic plate boundaries or at places where the crust is thin enough to let the heat through“. http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/renewable-energy/how-geothermal-energy-works.html
“La ressource geothermique du sous-sol autour de Bure n’est pas exceptionnelle – Reponses de l’Andra aux critiques des associations sur la ressource geothermique dans la zone d’etude de Cigeo“: “ANDRA herein states again that this resource is neither exceptional nor attractive in the present technological and economical conditions“. https://inis.iaea .org/search/searchsinglerecord.aspx?recordsFor=SingleRecord&RN=44089295. So, they admit that it exists. It doesn’t have to be economically attractive to create problems for the nuclear waste.
“Geothermal potential of the Meuse/Haute-Marne site
Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire – IRSN, Pole radioprotection, environnement, dechets et crise, Service de recherche sur les transferts dans la geosphere (France)
[en] This report aims to analyze the geothermal potential of the Meuse/Haute-Marne site selected for the Cigeo project, primarily based on data available in the literature and particularly on those recently Acquired by Andra near this site. It also analyzes the report made on the same topic by Geowatt AG at The request of the CLIS of Bure. For the Meuse/Haute-Marne area relevant to Cigeo, the present report concludes to the existence of A low-energy geothermal resource in the lower Triassic. For the Permian and the basement, a medium To high-energy geothermal resource is conceivable, but its occurrence is hypothetical. Beneath the site, exploiting the Triassic would depend on the possibility of re-injecting the produced Brine. National and international experiences show the difficulty to carry out such a reinjection in Silty-clayey formations. The profitability of such exploitation in the Triassic, the Permian or in the basement is questionable. Indeed, the Meuse/Haute-Marne area neither shows an exceptional nature nor a specific interest Compared to other formations or zones for which either the geothermal potential is better Demonstrated, such as for instance the Dogger formation in the central part of the Paris basin with Easier exploitation conditions, or where the geothermal gradients are higher. (authors)”
“Le directeur de la communication du Premier ministre a fait sa carrière chez Areva, 16 mai 2017 , Le Premier ministre Edouard Philippe a choisi Charles Hufnagel comme directeur de la communication de son cabinet…“. https://reporterre.net/Le-directeur-de-la-communication-du-Premier-ministre-a-fait-sa-carriere-chez The director of communication for French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is Charles Hufnagel who worked for Areva (as did Philippe). They go on to explain that Hufnagel also worked at EDF (Areva’s nuclear twin which owns the French nuclear power stations as well as all of Britain’s nuclear power stations.)