Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space wins contract to design Cigéo project’s surface nuclear facilities

• Airbus Defence and Space awarded contract worth 52.8 million euros for the design of future surface nuclear facilities of the Industrial Centre of Geological Storage (Cigéo) being studied by Andra
• If Cigéo is authorised, Airbus Defence and Space designed facilities will be used for reception, monitoring and preparation of radioactive waste shipments prior to storage in the underground facilities
• Facilities will have to be designed to operate for the next 100 years, while adapting to advances in technology and answering reversibility requirements
• Airbus Defence and Space will use its expertise in ultra-secure sites to design a facility that
meets the most stringent safety and reliability requirements

29 November 2013 – Airbus Defence and Space, number two in the world for space, has signed a contract with France’s National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (Andra) for the study and design of surface nuclear facilities of the Industrial Centre of Geological Storage (Cigéo) for high-level and mid-level, long-life radioactive waste. The contract, worth 52.8 million euros, covers a four year study, to help Andra complete the approval request file that the Agency needs to hand over in 
2015. If it is authorised, Cigéo could be operational in 2025.

Under the terms of the agreement, Airbus Defence and Space, representative and co-prime contractor along with Tractebel Engineering, and architects Cardete & Huet, will design the entire nuclear facilities to be used to monitor and re-package radioactive waste originating mainly from French nuclear power stations. It will be designed to handle, over a period of 100 years, approximately 80,000 cubic metres of packaged radioactive waste in accordance with very strict specifications pertaining to 
nuclear safety and reliability. The facility will also have to be capable of adapting to technological developments and to the reversibility required by the project over a 100-year period.
“As part of the Cigéo programme, these facilities will form an industrial complex with exceptional standards, particularly in the areas of safety and reliability,” said Airbus Defence and Space CEO Alain Charmeau. “Andra chose Airbus Defence and Space and its team to design this facility because of our unrivalled track record as prime contractor on major public programmes and our expertise in complex studies – not to mention our proven ability to design and build some of the world’s most 
reliable systems.”
The agreement falls within the framework of the French law dated 28 June 2006 that tasks Andra with designing and setting up a reversible deep-storage facility to ensure safe, long-term management of high-level (HL) and mid-level, long-life (ML-LL) radioactive waste.
The waste originates mainly from the treatment of spent fuels at French nuclear power stations. 
It takes thousands of years for its radioactivity to decrease, hence the need to implement a management solution that ensures it is stored safely and securely over very long periods of time without the need for human intervention.

About Airbus Defence and Space
Together, pioneering excellence
Airbus Defence and Space is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the second in the world. It 
is the only global company that covers the full range of civil and defence space systems, equipment 
and services.

In 2012, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover over €5.8 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide.
Its three business units are: Airbus Defence and Space, the European prime contractor for launchers, 
orbital systems and space exploration; Airbus Defence and Space, a leading provider of satellite system solutions, 
including spacecraft, ground segments, payloads and equipments; Airbus Defence and Space, the Space services 
partner for critical missions, providing comprehensive fixed and mobile solutions covering secure and 
commercial satcoms and networks, and bespoke geo-information services, worldwide.
Airbus Defence and Space is a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. 
In 2012, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of €56.5 
billion and employed a workforce of over 140,000.


Press contact
Jeremy Close Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872
Get more info on Airbus Defence and Space
Press Centre
Broadcast Room