Environmental analyses, cleaning, landscape maintenance, etc. Some twenty contractors work alongside Andra at the CSM. To ensure the quality of the services provided, the Agency carries out regular checks. For example, with the Subatech analysis laboratory.
Although the Manche disposal center no longer receives packages of radioactive waste, Andra's teams continue to work on the upkeep and maintenance of the facilities, as well as on environmental monitoring. In all, some twenty companies provide a variety of services, from taking samples to cleaning the premises, including security guards and site landscaping. All of these activities are governed by precise specifications in which Andra specifies its requirements.
"It was a strategic choice," explains Julien Recarte, head of the CSM center. With ten employees on the site, Andra has neither the human resources nor the equipment to ensure the overall operation of its facilities. It therefore calls on outside experts who come with their equipment and train their staff".
For example, the Subatech laboratory carries out some of the measurements involved in monitoring the CSM. Its mission is to carry out some of the 2,000 samples and 10,000 analyses of water, soil and air each year. The goal is to ensure that the center's impact on the environment is kept to a very low level.
To this end, Subatech is in charge of the radiological analyses of water, soil and air samples taken on the site. While this very important mission requires the skills and material and logistical resources of a dedicated expert, it remains closely supervised by Andra.
Regular checks to verify the quality of services
To ensure the quality of services, the Agency audits its service providers every year, as was the case last January for the Subatech laboratory. "The external auditor examined the way the laboratory analyzes samples and guarantees the traceability of measurements, and how the results are presented in the report, verifying that they meet the requirements of our specifications," explains Flore Denizet, management system engineer, who led the audit for Andra and ensured that it complied with the ISO 17025 standard (see box).
At the end of the audit, the auditor sends his report to Andra and a feedback meeting is organized with the service provider to inform him of the results. If the report reveals major irregularities, Andra can interrupt the service.
To avoid routine effects, Andra renews its contracts with the auditors every three years by invitation to tender: "The auditors have different experiences and do not all see the same thing" adds Flore Denizet.
The audit is not the only way to evaluate the quality of the work of service providers. Andra regularly organizes meetings with them and also conducts field inspections.
The standards that govern Andra's quality system
Like all large-scale industrial facilities, Andra is certified by ISO(*) standards, which guarantee that the processes put in place to ensure the quality, performance and safety of its activities are carried out correctly.
Andra also requires its service providers to comply with the ISO 17025 standard for laboratory work.