A lot of money has already been spent for this hotly contested project. The first step towards the implementation of the storage site known as Cigeo (Centre Industriel de Stockage Géologique) was the construction of the Meuse/Haute Marne Underground Research Laboratory. It is located 500 metres underground in Bure (North Eastern France) in the Meuse department allowing the study of the geological formation in order to evaluate its capacity for deep geological storage of high level and long lived medium level radioactive waste. It is managed by the 'Agence nationale pour la gestion des déchets radioactifs' (Andra). Its construction began in 2000, having been underway since 1994 as a result of the 1991 law on the management of nuclear waste. The signature of a contract between ANDRA and a joint venture of two engineering companies (Technip and Ingérop) in the beginning of 2012 ended this phase of study and research.
With regard to the repository, on one hand, there is an ongoing public debate; on the other hand, ANDRA had to present a blueprint to the government in 2014; if approved by the French National Assembly in 2016, construction would begin the following year. The assembly will then consider licensing the facility to open in 2025. The facility is anticipated to operate for 100 years before final closure although the storage would be reversible.
Nuclear power used to enjoy fairly good cross-party support in the country, and the economic incentives that the storage facility offers to the Bure region have been welcomed by many locals. Anti-nuclear groups also have little clout.
Nevertheless, some small organizations (Burestop 55, Bure Zone Libre and EODRA) are opposing the project and showing their discontent organizing several actions and events. In 2017, a local farmer, J.P. Simon was brought to court for lending a tractor to demonstators ("zadistes", as newspapers called them). The Confederation Paysanne supports him. (See also a very informative article in the Financial Times in 2016, in Sources and Methods (2), and the update on the demonstrations in 2017 in the section Project Details).