A delegation of 9 representatives of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) spent five days in Andra to discover the Agency and the Underground Laboratory.
Andra has signed a framework cooperation agreement with CNNC in 2017. From May 13 to 17, Andra hosted the first delegation of its subsidiary Fourth Research and Design Engineering Corporation for a training-awareness session. China plans to build an underground laboratory (URL) and an Deep Geological Repository (DGR). Andra is a reference for CNNC in terms of R & D, and France is one of the few countries with an underground research laboratory in operation. The Agency offered the delegation a complete presentation of the laboratory as a research tool in connection with the Cigéo project, from the selection of the site to the operation of the Underground Laboratory, including the construction, maintenance, safety, excavation techniques, in order to provide a complete panel of validated experiments.
After two days in Châtenay-Malabry at its HQ, dedicated to the presentation of the Agency, Cigéo schedule, the management of radioactive waste in France as well as the R & D conducted within the framework of the Cigéo project, the delegation went to the Centre Meuse Haute-Marne (CMHM) , where the URL is located, for three days of 'immersion. The highlight: a three-hour visit to the underground laboratory, with all concerned department heads . "The demand was: how do we build, manage and operate a facility as an underground laboratory?" reports Jelena Bolia (International Relations), who accompanied the group. Engineering techniques, excavation- in China, it will be granite - and safety procedures related to the operations were the main questions of the group. ". "The idea was really to share our operational experience and our best practices in this area," adds Jelena Bolia, "to introduce them to the facilities of the CMHM, each essential for the project; there was a great interest in the core and the eco-library, (where environmental samples are maintained for future reference): the group was very sensitive to the protection of the environment and was very pleased to discover the techniques of conservation of the samples. "