The Cigéo project aims to dispose of the most radioactive French waste, primarily from nuclear power plants and the reprocessing of their spent fuel.
Under a six-year contract Gaiya, a joint venture of Technip and Ingérop, will project manage the conceptual and front-end phases of the project. Work will include proposing the architecture for the repository, definition of operating principles for the lifetime of the repository, as well as estimates of construction cost and duration. Gaiya will also gather the technical data necessary for preparation of a repository licence application, which could be submitted in 2015 after a public consultation phase in 2013.
Andra plans to launch tenders for the selection of subsystem prime-contractors in 2013. These contracts will conduct conceptual design and basic design studies and will be involved in: conventional surface installations, nuclear surface installations, waste package handling and underground installations.
Separately, in 2012 the waste inventory that be disposed of in the future repository and its plans for delivery will also be defined in collaboration with waste producers EDF, Areva and CEA.