Systems engineering for a nuclear waste treatment facility

System engineering Nuclear France

Context and challenges

This client is a major nuclear research specialist. One of its projects dealt with the recovery and conditioning of nuclear waste from one of its industrial facilities. One of its programme’s projects aimed at designing, building and settling facilities to enable the recovery of “bulk” intermediate-level waste present in wells and pits. This waste had to be characterised, conditioned and shipped to the disposal outlets.

The client called on Assystem in cooperation with an other engineering firm, to build this facility and implement system engineering methods, as part of a comprehensive project supervision mission.

Project scope

Deployment of a systems engineering approach to secure the design, guarantee that requirements transmitted by the project manager are taken into account (functional, safety, performance) enabling the validation of requirements during the execution and commissioning phases:

  • Comprehensive needs analysis at the project start-up: identification, classification and ranking of the initial requirements in collaboration with the project manager and the various project stakeholders.
  • Design including a systems engineering approach based on the definition of a multi-level product breakdown (from functional systems to primary components of the facility).
  • Spreading of requirements into various levels of the system architecture (with traceability of the coverage).
  • Design optimisation of each functional scheme regarding the requirements (performance, safety, etc.) according to a « design-to-value » approach.
  • Set up of a configuration management at a project level to provide all stakeholders with a common and relatable technical data reference for all stakeholders.

Client benefits

  • Better sharing of technical information thanks to the consolidation of all technical design provisions and project requirements in a Definition Justification Folder (DJF).
  • Comprehensive coverage of all safety issues (related to the 7th February 2012 decree) thanks to the systematic implementation of safety requirements in the risk analysis.
  • Improved interface security to a functional approach (evaluation and activities segmentation) enabling a coherent split and simplified interfaces management, also supported by a BIM (Building Information Modelling) approach.
  • Design optimisation through the implementation of a BIM approach for space synthesis and the good understanding of client needs, avoiding oversizing of equipment.

In figure


process buildings


annex buildings


years of construction


design hours

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