The French Act voted in 2006 made the choice of deep geological disposal as the reference option for the long term management of high level (HLW) and intermediate level long-lived waste. The Cige´o repository project aims at avoiding or limiting burden to future generations, which could not be achieved by the extension in time of interim storage. The reversibility as provided by the Act will maintain a liberty of choice for waste management on a duration which is comparable to new storage facility. Interim storage is required to accommodate waste as long as the repository is not available. The commissioning of the repository in 2025 will not suppress needs for interim storage. The paper describes the complementarities between existing and future interim storage facilities and the repository project: repository operational issues and planning, HLW thermal decay, support for the reversibility, etc. It shows opportunities to prepare a global optimization of waste management including the utilization at best of storage capacities and the planning of waste emplacement in the repository in such a way to facilitate operational conditions and to limit cost. Preliminary simulations of storage-disposal scenarios are presented. Thanks to an optimal use of the waste management system, provision can be made for a progressive increase of waste emplacement flow during the first operation phase of the repository. It is then possible to stabilize the industrial activity level of the repository site. An optimal utilization of interim storage can also limit the diversity of waste packages emplaced simultaneously, which facilitates the operation of the repository. 60 years minimum interim storage duration is generally required with respect to HLW thermal output. Extending this interim storage period may reduce the underground footprint of the repository. Regarding reversibility, the capability to manage waste packages potentially retrieved from the repository should be analyzed. The 2006 French Act provides for a research program on interim storage to be carried out along with the repository project development. This program has been guided by the complementarities between interim storage and the repository project. The main research issues address the longevity of storage facilities, up to 100 years, their versatility with regard to waste package types and their modularity to match future needs progressively. In parallel the dialogue between Andra and waste producers will continue to propose optimized waste management scenarios.

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