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Geological challenges in radioactive waste isolation: Third worldwide review

Description: 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 is 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. ...
Date: December 1, 2001
Creator: Witherspoon Editor, P.A. & Bodvarsson Editor, G.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department