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Title: Current Status of Deep Geological Repository Development

Abstract

This talk provided an overview of the current status of deep-geological-repository development worldwide. Its principal observation is that a broad consensus exists internationally that deep-geological disposal is the only long-term solution for disposition of highly radioactive nuclear waste. Also, it is now clear that the institutional and political aspects are as important as the technical aspects in achieving overall progress. Different nations have taken different approaches to overall management of their highly radioactive wastes. Some have begun active programs to develop a deep repository for permanent disposal: the most active such programs are in the United States, Sweden, and Finland. Other countries (including France and Russia) are still deciding on whether to proceed quickly to develop such a repository, while still others (including the UK, China, Japan) have affirmatively decided to delay repository development for a long time, typically for a generation of two. In recent years, a major conclusion has been reached around the world that there is very high confidence that deep repositories can be built, operated, and closed safely and can meet whatever safety requirements are imposed by the regulatory agencies. This confidence, which has emerged in the last few years, is based on extensive work aroundmore » the world in understanding how repositories behave, including both the engineering aspects and the natural-setting aspects, and how they interact together. The construction of repositories is now understood to be technically feasible, and no major barriers have been identified that would stand in the way of a successful project. Another major conclusion around the world is that the overall cost of a deep repository is not as high as some had predicted or feared. While the actual cost will not be known in detail until the costs are incurred, the general consensus is that the total life-cycle cost will not exceed a few percent of the value of the electricity generated by the power reactors that have produced the waste. Of course, the current international situation is that no nation is currently willing to take any radioactive waste from another nation for deep disposal. This means that every nation will ultimately need to develop its own deep repository. This makes no sense, however--many nations have only a modest amount of waste, or do not have appropriate geological settings for a repository, or both. Ultimately, the need for one or more multi-national or international repositories will emerge, although so far this has not happened.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
883514
Report Number(s):
UCRL-CONF-214982
TRN: US200615%%84
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at: International Seminar on Planetary Emergencies, Erice, Italy, Aug 20 - Aug 23, 2005
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; CONSTRUCTION; ELECTRICITY; LIFE-CYCLE COST; MANAGEMENT; POLITICAL ASPECTS; POWER REACTORS; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; SAFETY

Citation Formats

Budnitz, R J. Current Status of Deep Geological Repository Development. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.1142/9789812773890_0005.
Budnitz, R J. Current Status of Deep Geological Repository Development. United States. doi:10.1142/9789812773890_0005.
Budnitz, R J. Mon . "Current Status of Deep Geological Repository Development". United States. doi:10.1142/9789812773890_0005. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/883514.
@article{osti_883514,
title = {Current Status of Deep Geological Repository Development},
author = {Budnitz, R J},
abstractNote = {This talk provided an overview of the current status of deep-geological-repository development worldwide. Its principal observation is that a broad consensus exists internationally that deep-geological disposal is the only long-term solution for disposition of highly radioactive nuclear waste. Also, it is now clear that the institutional and political aspects are as important as the technical aspects in achieving overall progress. Different nations have taken different approaches to overall management of their highly radioactive wastes. Some have begun active programs to develop a deep repository for permanent disposal: the most active such programs are in the United States, Sweden, and Finland. Other countries (including France and Russia) are still deciding on whether to proceed quickly to develop such a repository, while still others (including the UK, China, Japan) have affirmatively decided to delay repository development for a long time, typically for a generation of two. In recent years, a major conclusion has been reached around the world that there is very high confidence that deep repositories can be built, operated, and closed safely and can meet whatever safety requirements are imposed by the regulatory agencies. This confidence, which has emerged in the last few years, is based on extensive work around the world in understanding how repositories behave, including both the engineering aspects and the natural-setting aspects, and how they interact together. The construction of repositories is now understood to be technically feasible, and no major barriers have been identified that would stand in the way of a successful project. Another major conclusion around the world is that the overall cost of a deep repository is not as high as some had predicted or feared. While the actual cost will not be known in detail until the costs are incurred, the general consensus is that the total life-cycle cost will not exceed a few percent of the value of the electricity generated by the power reactors that have produced the waste. Of course, the current international situation is that no nation is currently willing to take any radioactive waste from another nation for deep disposal. This means that every nation will ultimately need to develop its own deep repository. This makes no sense, however--many nations have only a modest amount of waste, or do not have appropriate geological settings for a repository, or both. Ultimately, the need for one or more multi-national or international repositories will emerge, although so far this has not happened.},
doi = {10.1142/9789812773890_0005},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2005},
month = {8}
}

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