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Title: International Approaches for Nuclear Waste Disposal in Geological Formations: Geological Challenges in Radioactive Waste Isolation—Fifth Worldwide Review

Abstract

The overall objective of the Fifth Worldwide Review (WWR-5) is to document the current state-of-the-art of major developments in a number of nations throughout the World pursuing geological disposal programs, and to summarize challenging problems and experience that have been obtained in siting, preparing and reviewing cases for the operational and long-term safety of proposed and operating nuclear waste repositories. The scope of the Review is to address current specific technical issues and challenges in safety case development along with the interplay of technical feasibility, siting, engineering design issues, and operational and post-closure safety. In particular, the chapters included in the report present the following types of information: the current status of the deep geological repository programs for high level nuclear waste and low- and intermediate level nuclear waste in each country, concepts of siting and radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel management in different countries (with the emphasis of nuclear waste disposal under different climatic conditions and different geological formations), progress in repository site selection and site characterization, technology development, buffer/backfill materials studies and testing, support activities, programs, and projects, international cooperation, and future plans, as well as regulatory issues and transboundary problems.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [2]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1353043
Report Number(s):
LBNL-1006984
ir:1006984
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES

Citation Formats

Faybishenko, Boris, Birkholzer, Jens, Sassani, David, and Swift, Peter. International Approaches for Nuclear Waste Disposal in Geological Formations: Geological Challenges in Radioactive Waste Isolation—Fifth Worldwide Review. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1353043.
Faybishenko, Boris, Birkholzer, Jens, Sassani, David, & Swift, Peter. International Approaches for Nuclear Waste Disposal in Geological Formations: Geological Challenges in Radioactive Waste Isolation—Fifth Worldwide Review. United States. doi:10.2172/1353043.
Faybishenko, Boris, Birkholzer, Jens, Sassani, David, and Swift, Peter. Wed . "International Approaches for Nuclear Waste Disposal in Geological Formations: Geological Challenges in Radioactive Waste Isolation—Fifth Worldwide Review". United States. doi:10.2172/1353043. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1353043.
@article{osti_1353043,
title = {International Approaches for Nuclear Waste Disposal in Geological Formations: Geological Challenges in Radioactive Waste Isolation—Fifth Worldwide Review},
author = {Faybishenko, Boris and Birkholzer, Jens and Sassani, David and Swift, Peter},
abstractNote = {The overall objective of the Fifth Worldwide Review (WWR-5) is to document the current state-of-the-art of major developments in a number of nations throughout the World pursuing geological disposal programs, and to summarize challenging problems and experience that have been obtained in siting, preparing and reviewing cases for the operational and long-term safety of proposed and operating nuclear waste repositories. The scope of the Review is to address current specific technical issues and challenges in safety case development along with the interplay of technical feasibility, siting, engineering design issues, and operational and post-closure safety. In particular, the chapters included in the report present the following types of information: the current status of the deep geological repository programs for high level nuclear waste and low- and intermediate level nuclear waste in each country, concepts of siting and radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel management in different countries (with the emphasis of nuclear waste disposal under different climatic conditions and different geological formations), progress in repository site selection and site characterization, technology development, buffer/backfill materials studies and testing, support activities, programs, and projects, international cooperation, and future plans, as well as regulatory issues and transboundary problems.},
doi = {10.2172/1353043},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Apr 26 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed Apr 26 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The goal of the Fifth Worldwide Review is to document evolution in the state-of-the-art of approaches for nuclear waste disposal in geological formations since the Fourth Worldwide Review that was released in 2006. The last ten years since the previous Worldwide Review has seen major developments in a number of nations throughout the world pursuing geological disposal programs, both in preparing and reviewing safety cases for the operational and long-term safety of proposed and operating repositories. The countries that are approaching implementation of geological disposal will increasingly focus on the feasibility of safely constructing and operating their repositories in short-more » and long terms on the basis existing regulations. The WWR-5 will also address a number of specific technical issues in safety case development along with the interplay among stakeholder concerns, technical feasibility, engineering design issues, and operational and post-closure safety. Preparation and publication of the Fifth Worldwide Review on nuclear waste disposal facilitates assessing the lessons learned and developing future cooperation between the countries. The Report provides scientific and technical experiences on preparing for and developing scientific and technical bases for nuclear waste disposal in deep geologic repositories in terms of requirements, societal expectations and the adequacy of cases for long-term repository safety. The Chapters include potential issues that may arise as repository programs mature, and identify techniques that demonstrate the safety cases and aid in promoting and gaining societal confidence. The report will also be used to exchange experience with other fields of industry and technology, in which concepts similar to the design and safety cases are applied, as well to facilitate the public perception and understanding of the safety of the disposal approaches relative to risks that may increase over long times frames in the absence of a successful implementation of final dispositioning.« less
  • An important issue for present and future generations is the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Over the past over forty years, the development of technologies to isolate both spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and other high-level nuclear waste (HLW) generated at nuclear power plants and from production of defense materials, and low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste (LILW) in underground rock and sediments has been found to be a challenging undertaking. Finding an appropriate solution for the disposal of nuclear waste is an important issue for protection of the environment and public health, and it is a prerequisite for the futuremore » of nuclear power. The purpose of a deep geological repository for nuclear waste is to provide to future generations, protection against any harmful release of radioactive material, even after the memory of the repository may have been lost, and regardless of the technical knowledge of future generations. The results of a wide variety of investigations on the development of technology for radioactive waste isolation from 19 countries were published in the First Worldwide Review in 1991 (Witherspoon, 1991). The results of investigations from 26 countries were published in the Second Worldwide Review in 1996 (Witherspoon, 1996). The results from 32 countries were summarized in the Third Worldwide Review in 2001 (Witherspoon and Bodvarsson, 2001). The last compilation had results from 24 countries assembled in the Fourth Worldwide Review (WWR) on radioactive waste isolation (Witherspoon and Bodvarsson, 2006). Since publication of the last report in 2006, radioactive waste disposal approaches have continued to evolve, and there have been major developments in a number of national geological disposal programs. Significant experience has been obtained both in preparing and reviewing cases for the operational and long-term safety of proposed and operating repositories. Disposal of radioactive waste is a complex issue, not only because of the nature of the waste, but also because of the detailed regulatory structure for dealing with radioactive waste, the variety of stakeholders involved, and (in some cases) the number of regulatory entities involved.« less
  • The first world wide review of the geological problems in radioactive waste isolation was published by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1991. This review was a compilation of reports that had been submitted to a workshop held in conjunction with the 28th International Geological Congress that took place July 9-19, 1989 in Washington, D.C. Reports from 15 countries were presented at the workshop and four countries provided reports after the workshop, so that material from 19 different countries was included in the first review. It was apparent from the widespread interest in this first review that the problem of providingmore » a permanent and reliable method of isolating radioactive waste from the biosphere is a topic of great concern among the more advanced, as well as the developing, nations of the world. This is especially the case in connection with high-level waste (HLW) after its removal from nuclear power plants. The general concensus is that an adequate isolation can be accomplished by selecting an appropriate geologic setting and carefully designing the underground system with its engineered barriers. This document contains the Second Worldwide Review of Geological Problems in Radioactive Waste Isolation, dated September 1996.« less
  • This bibliography lists reports released to the public between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 1980, by personnel of the US Geological Survey. Reports include information on underground nuclear testing and waste management projects at the NTS (Nevada Test Site) and radioactive waste projects at the WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) site, New Mexico. The bibliography is divided into three categories: (1) reports regarding underground nuclear testing; (2) waste management projects at the NTS; and (3) waste management studies at the WIPP site. Reports are listed in each category by publication outlet.