Paris, November 30, 2021, EDF and Veolia have announced the creation of Waste2Glass, a 50/50 joint venture that will develop a new sector based on Veolia's Geomelt® vitrification technology.
The partners are thus renewing their joint commitment to developing innovative solutions for the treatment of complex radioactive waste, two years after creating Graphitech, a joint venture dedicated to the development of solutions for the decommissioning of graphite-gas reactors, which has now become a European leader in this field.
Due to its technical nature and cost, vitrification has until now been reserved for highly radioactive waste. Thanks to the complementary know-how of the two partners, Waste2Glass will be able to take up the challenge of the industrial deployment of the GeoMelt® technology, which will make it possible to broaden and simplify the use of the vitrification process for a wider range of waste types.
Currently, GeoMelt® is an unrivalled technology that has the potential to become a new benchmark solution for the treatment of complex waste, given the advantages it offers over existing technologies:
- A relatively simple industrial deployment;
- A significant reduction in waste volumes after treatment, especially compared to current immobilisation technologies using cementitious techniques;
- Obtaining an extremely durable matrix for conditioning.
This technology has already been used to treat 26,000 tonnes of radioactive and hazardous waste, particularly in the USA.
The creation of the Waste2Glass company is planned for early 2022. It will be based in Limay (Yvelines), near a new pilot unit that will incorporate the GeoMelt® process, recently commissioned by Veolia, in order to carry out demonstrations and obtain the certifications required for the industrial deployment of this process.
Antoine Frérot, Chairman and CEO of Veolia said: "Our business and our Purpose as a world leader of the ecological transformation is to offer innovative technologies and solutions for the management of complex waste such as hazardous and radioactive waste. I am delighted that we have taken this further step in our collaboration with EDF with the creation of Waste2Glass. It will enable a real change of scale through the industrialisation of GeoMelt®, which will make it possible to treat radioactive waste more safely and more economically, with a reduction in storage volumes."
Jean Bernard Lévy, Chairman and CEO of EDF, said "After Graphitec, the creation of Waste2Glass illustrates not only the quality of the cooperation between our two companies, but also the EDF Group's commitment to the development and industrial application of truly innovative solutions for the treatment of radioactive waste, a key issue for bringing nuclear power into the mainstream of sustainable development and helping to build a carbon-free future."
Veolia group aims to be the benchmark company for ecological transformation. With nearly 179,000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides game-changing solutions that are both useful and practical for water, waste and energy management. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and replenish them. In 2020, the Veolia group supplied 95 million people with drinking water and 62 million people with wastewater service, produced nearly 43 million megawatt hours of energy and treated 47 million metric tons of waste. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €26.010 billion in 2020. www.veolia.com.
As a major player in energy transition, the EDF Group is an integrated energy company active in all businesses: generation, transmission, distribution, energy trading, energy sales and energy services. EDF group is a world leader in low-carbon energy, having developed a diverse production mix based mainly on nuclear and renewable energy (including hydropower). It is also investing in new technologies to support energy transition. EDF’s raison d’être is to build a net zero energy future with electricity and innovative solutions and services, to help save the planet and drive well-being and economic development. The Group is involved in supplying energy and services to approximately 37.9 million customers (1), of whom 28.7 million in France (2). It generated consolidated sales of €69.0 billion in 2020. EDF is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.
(1) Since 2018, customers are counted per delivery site. A customer can have two delivery points: one for electricity and another one for gas.
(2) Including ÉS (Électricité de Strasbourg).