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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. 2017. "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 = 2017,
month = 4
}

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
  • 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.
  • The broad range of activities on radioactive waste isolation that are summarized in Table 1.1 provides a comprehensive picture of the operations that must be carried out in working with this problem. A comparison of these activities with those published in the two previous reviews shows the important progress that is being made in developing and applying the various technologies that have evolved over the past 20 years. There are two basic challenges in perfecting a system of radioactive waste isolation: choosing an appropriate geologic barrier and designing an effective engineered barrier. One of the most important developments that ismore » evident in a large number of the reports in this review is the recognition that a URL provides an excellent facility for investigating and characterizing a rock mass. Moreover, a URL, once developed, provides a convenient facility for two or more countries to conduct joint investigations. This review describes a number of cooperative projects that have been organized in Europe to take advantage of this kind of a facility in conducting research underground. Another critical development is the design of the waste canister (and its accessory equipment) for the engineered barrier. This design problem has been given considerable attention in a number of countries for several years, and some impressive results are described and illustrated in this review. The role of the public as a stakeholder in radioactive waste isolation has not always been fully appreciated. Solutions to the technical problems in characterizing a specific site have generally been obtained without difficulty, but procedures in the past in some countries did not always keep the public and local officials informed of the results. It will be noted in the following chapters that this procedure has caused some problems, especially when approval for a major component in a project was needed. It has been learned that a better way to handle this problem is to keep all stakeholders fully informed of project plans and hold periodic meetings to brief the public, especially in the vicinity of the selected site. This procedure has now been widely adopted and represents one of the most important developments in the Third Worldwide Review.« less