Technical support for design of geological disposal facility


Dates: 2012 - Present


Radioactive waste generated by the French nuclear industry will be stored in a deep geological facility, Cigéo (Industrial Centre for Geological Disposal), situated in eastern France and construction is expected to begin in the next few years. The project will be delivered by Andra, responsible for the long term management of radioactive waste in the country.


Since 2012, TÜV SÜD Nuclear Technologies Division has been contracted by the French company SOCOTEC to assist in the technical and regulatory control of the design documents of the Cigéo project produced by contractors for Andra.

TÜV SÜD’s scope focused on nuclear safety, ventilation and instrumentation and control for the facility and the process enabled the final design documentation to reach a level of maturity to support the construction licence application in 2021.


A multidisciplinary team of subject matter experts provided peer review of documentation as part of the iterative design process. The team, consisting of both staff and associates, provided peer review of operational nuclear safety, internal and external hazards, and specialist issues such as nuclear ventilation. TÜV SÜD also developed a long-term partnership with a French consultancy to provide support with the instrumentation and control review.

In addition to the design document peer reviews, TÜV SÜD provided direct support to Andra by taking an advisory role in nuclear safety steering group meetings.

Benefits to the client

  • TÜV SÜD provided a flexible responsive peer review service, aligning capabilities to meet the needs of SOCOTEC, the immediate client, while recognising their delivery commitment to Andra.
  • An integrated approach managed uncertainty within the design process and helped to minimise the risks to the design delivery stages.

What went well

  • Independent technical peer review and advice.
  • A flexible approached ensured continuous adaptive support.
  • SOCOTEC continues to engage with TÜV SÜD to finalise the peer review report.

Next Steps

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