Stability and Buffering Capacity of the Geosphere for Long-term Isolation of Radioactive Waste

Application to Crystalline Rock

image of Stability and Buffering Capacity of the Geosphere for Long-term Isolation of Radioactive Waste
Geological settings selected as potential host formations for the deep geological disposal of radioactive waste are chosen for, among other assets, their long-term stability and buffering capacity against destabilising events and processes. These proceedings present the outcomes of a geosphere stability workshop, held in November 2007, that focused on crystalline and other types of hard, fractured rocks. The workshop underscored the fact that many such rocks are intrinsically stable environments that evolve extremely slowly and provide good buffering against external events and processes.

The proceedings show a good understanding of the processes and events that can affect crystalline rocks and, although there is less confidence in predicting exactly when and where such events will occur and the volume of rock that will be affected, the extent of the impacts on a geological repository can be confidently addressed using bounding approaches supported by geological information from similar sites around the world.



Scope and Objectives of the Workshop

Nuclear Energy Agency

This workshop is the second in a series dealing with geosphere stability for various host rock types (i.e. crystalline rocks, argillaceous rocks and evaporites). It focused on crystalline rock – a term that, in this context, is meant to include all types of hard, fractured rock – i.e. those not otherwise planned to be covered by the other workshops in the series focused on clay or salt environments. In particular, this workshop was designed to include the various hard rocks being investigated by the USA and Japan as potential host environments for geological disposal, e.g. tuffs. An important objective of the overall “geosphere stability” initiative under the NEA IGSC is to ensure that the views of the broader scientific community are taken into account in developing an understanding of geosphere stability that can be applied to the management of radioactive waste. 


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