Surroundings: Paul Sabatier College inspired to evacuate all “radioactive components” from their website

the essential
In its annual report, the Nuclear Safety Authority recommends that Paul Sabatier University evacuate all of its radioactive waste. The university guarantees to do the necessary as quickly as possible.

The laboratories at Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier University of Sciences (UT3) are in the sights of the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) which, in its annual report, points to the storage of radioactive products that have not yet been evacuated.

Like many scientific universities, several laboratories at Rangueil University use radioactive substances such as tritium or cobalt to carry out their experiments. It is still necessary to treat this hazardous waste, an obligation that often proves to be a delicate, complex and expensive operation.

300 sources of stored waste

In 2018, ASN identified more than 300 sources of waste stored at the university and sent a statement to management. Some of this residue has started to be removed, but not all.

Contacted on Wednesday, June 22, the university’s management explains the ASN’s annual report, acknowledging in fact that certain radioactive products did not find an attribution.

“As specified by the ASN, we proceeded to evacuate the sources and waste that were the subject of formal notification, with the exception of two “neutron” sources for which the search for a recovery solution continues, says Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier University. Further steps are also underway to continue the progressive evacuation of remaining sources.”

a significant cost

The treatment of radioactive waste does indeed come at a significant cost to scientists. UT3 has spent several tens of thousands of euros since 2018.

“Measures were taken with potential buyers (ASN, IRSN, CEA and ANDRA) that made it possible to evacuate, in 2018 and 2019, 80 radioactive sources worth more than 110,000 euros, says the University of Toulouse. In 2020, 27 radioactive sources were evacuated for a value of 20,000 euros. In 2021, about thirty liquid radioactive wastes were treated by a service provider with the aim of carrying out additional analyzes for final recovery by ANDRA. This operation is valued at 60,000 euros. Finally, for the first half of 2022, 24 sources and radioactive waste worth 24,000 euros were evacuated”.

Obviously, the presence of radioactive elements does not create any danger for the employees and 35,000 students of the university, which wants to be reassuring: “According to the regulations, these radioactive elements currently used are evacuated, at the end of their life in accordance with the protocol classical taking into account its level of activity and its lifetime; to date, no phenomenon of saturation of radioactive materials to be evacuated has been observed”.

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