Context and challenges

Our client, a leader in the nuclear sector, is a specialist in waste management. It is currently managing a project to create a deep geological disposal facility for highly-radioactive, long-lived waste. The first waste disposal at the site is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2025.

To assist in the preliminary design phase of the project, the client called on Assystem (jointly with two other companies, a design specialist and an engineering firm)  to design the nuclear procedures for transferring and handling waste packages. The design work is to be completed within six years.


As part of its mission as Project Supervisor, Assystem designs nuclear procedures for all phases in the project life cycle, including design, construction, operation, maintenance and dismantling. The complexity of the underground structure, the foreseen service life of 100 years, and the concept of total reversibility for the operations make this an extremely complex mission.

Assystem worked in the following areas for six years with a team of sixty people:

  • Complex project management
  • Nuclear safety
  • Health, safety and environment
  • Fire safety
  • Management of resources and organisations
  • Mechanical systems
  • Electricity: High/low voltage, DC


  • Upon completion of the initial design phase, definition of concepts behind technical solutions confirming the feasibility of the project and the total associated costs.
  • Within the framework of the new French Order for Basic Nuclear Installations of 7 February 2012, additional expertise in project management and risk management.
  • In the final preliminary project phase, frozen technical solutions taking into account all the phases in the life of the project, including design, construction, operation, maintenance and dismantling. This detailed design work made it possible to confirm the total cost of ownership for the project.

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