An Underground Research Laboratory (URL) is, today, under construction in eastern France, with the aim of «compiling the necessary data for the design, optimization, retrievability and safety of a potential radioactive waste repository» (decree of the French Government published on August 3rd 1999).
ANDRA is in charge of building and, later, operating this laboratory.
The site belongs to the eastern fringe of the Paris Bassin, filled with a succession of sedimentary layers. The host formation is made of Argillites of the lower Callovo-Oxfordian age, at around 500 depth with a slight dip (1 to 1,5° westward) and 130 m thickness.
The paper describes briefly expected programm of construction including two shafts (of respectively 5 and 4 meters diameter) and drifts (1100 m) for technical, experimental and exploratory purposes.
The scientific and experimental program is in progress with preliminary geological, hydrogeological, geophysical investigations before and during shaft sinking.
The underground experimental program is described.