Two fields of expertise combined
Andra, the contracting authority behind the Cigéo project for a deep geological repository of radioactive waste, and Inria decided to renew their partnership on numerical simulation. Andra and Inria have been working in tandem for 10 years on developing numerical methods and tools capable of simulating changes in storage solutions and their geological environment over very long timescales (up to hundreds of thousands of years in the case of the Cigéo project). Geological storage involves sometimes complex phenomena over sweeping time and space scales, which we need to factor into the specific safety requirements for storage. These essential priorities require powerful numerical resources.
This new partnership will boost Inria's capacity for modelling and monitoring increasingly complex phenomena.
François Sillon, acting CEO of Inria
"Renewing this partnership will make it possible to continue developing numerical simulation tools ,"says Frédéric Plas, Andra's R&D Director, "and leverage Inria's expertise in fields such as big data, artificial intelligence and 3D visualisation to meet Andra's new needs ".
François Sillion, acting CEO of Inria, believes that "this new partnership will enable Inria to pursue its work on methodology and software development for life-size numerical simulation, and build its capacity to model and monitor increasingly complex phenomena.This requires more precise simulations, which in turn require more computing time and involve a growing body of data to be stored and analysed.These research issues naturally lie within the scope of the joint research with Andra on high-performance simulation. "
In recent years, the Andra-Inria partnership has yielded impressive results, which have provided operational backing for each design phase of theCigéo project. Topics of mutual interest include:
- The simulation of physical processes: on this point, Andra and Inria are endeavouring to improve physical representation models and more specifically numerical management of the various pairings, using innovative methods. The aim is to further expand knowledge of storage behaviour;
- High-performance computation: the methods and algorithms used to manage the complexity and the large time scales entailed inCigéo. The aim is to improve the accuracy, rapidity and quality of the results;
- Data processing and analysis methods, which allow researchers to more effectively manage all types of uncertainties about complex models, rank and sort large amounts of data, and compare observations with the simulation.
The decision to renew the partnership follows a day of talks organised in November 2017 by Andra and Inria on high-performance numerical simulation in geoscience.
France's National Radioactive Waste Management Agency is responsible for long-term management of the radioactive waste produced in France. Andra's expertise and know-how is channelled into finding, implementing and guaranteeing safe, secure solutions for managing French radioactive waste, to protect current and future generations from the risks posed by this waste.
About the Cigéo project
Cigéo (an acronym for "industrial geological storage centre") is the French project for a deep geological repository of radioactive waste. It is designed to store the high-level, long-lived radioactive waste generated by all of the current nuclear facilities, pending their dismantlement, and generated by processing of the spent fuels used in nuclear power plants.