Over the course of the year 2012, Efectis was involved in the Cigeo project led by ANDRA, the French Agency for Radioactive Waste Management. The Cigéo project is designed to allow deep geological disposal of spent fuel and of high-level (HL) and intermediate level long-lived (IL-LL) waste. It is the result of studies and research by ANDRA ensuring operational safety for long-term storage as well as storage reversibility.

In 2012, the project entered the industrial design stage, with ANDRA and the GAIYA entity, composed of two French companies Technip and Ingérop. GAIYA used the skills of Efectis for fire protection studies related to the nuclear areas of Cigéo. Fire safety is indeed a major challenge for Cigéo, both in terms of nuclear safety and safety of personnel and firefighters, in operational areas as well as in areas under construction.

In 2012, during the preparatory phase of the project, studies led by GAIYA examined the overall architecture of the design, exploration of operational aspects, equipment and site organization, estimation of the construction timeline, and reviews of the overall budget.

For the aspects involving fire, design sketches helped to summarize the basic requirements, to compare different solutions to control fire hazards, and to define the principles of compartment and fire venting.

In 2013-2014, Efectis, along with the GAIYA entity, is selecting the subcontractors and is responsible for the technical approval of all fire risk assessments for four years. After approval, the beginning of the construction of Cigéo facilities should start in 2019 and, in 2025, ANDRA should put Cigéo into service.

The contribution of Efectis to this project brings with it a wide range of skills such as fire risk analysis, smoke extraction and ventilation in case of fire, fire development modelling, fire behavior of structures and performance of fire safety equipment; this all takes into account fire behavior in tunnels, mines, nuclear installations, etc. A group of dedicated experts within Efectis is bringing GAIYA and ANDRA suitable solutions for this very unique project.

During the year 2013, Efectis was also selected to perform the first fire resistance test of the concrete protective packaging of radioactive waste, before defining a specific series of fire tests with ANDRA in 2014, in order to justify fire resistance effectiveness in case of fire.

Type of services provided in this project:

  • In charge of fire safety design for the CIGEO project led by ANDRA during the preparatory phase of the project:
    • Fire risk analysis of different design solutions
    • Definition of the basic fire safety requirements:
      • Fire risk analysis
      • Smoke extraction
      • Ventilation in case of fire
    • Comparative analysis of different design solutions
      • Fire safety
      • Fire development modelling
      • Fire behavior of structures
      • Fire safety equipment
      • Etc.
  • Assessment of the subcontractors’ technical offerings for the design phase,
  • Responsible for the technical approval of all fire risk assessments during the design phase (2013-2016):
    • Establishment of fire risk analysis method for the CIGEO project,
    • Technical approval of fire risk studies for four years.
  • Responsible for performing fire resistance tests of the concrete protective packaging of radioactive waste.
Diagram Cigéo facilities ( may differ from the photo) © ANDRA
Example, the storage of waste long intermediate life (MA)
Example, the disposal of high level waste (HLW )