In accordance with the French Law of 1991 December 30, Andra is preparing a report on the possibilities of geological disposal to be submitted in 2005. For that purpose, a research programme has been launched to assess the suitability of granite geological formations for the implementation of a high-level long-lived radioactive waste repository. The programme relies mainly on Andra’s participation in experiments in Swedish, Swiss and Canadian underground research laboratories. The main issues under investigation include granite fracturing and the behaviour of engineered barriers. Furthermore, a typological analysis of French granites provides an opportunity to apply results to the French geological context. Advances in knowledge afford a better understanding of the phenomena relating to granite and preliminary repository designs. They constitute the basis for design studies and safety analyses to be conducted before 2005.

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