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Geological Storage of Radioactive Waste

ASC provides research, consultancy and tailored technological solutions for local geosphere characterisation, remote monitoring of critical rock excavations and engineered structures in radioactive waste disposal. In the past 20 years, ASC has been involved in the monitoring of major international projects for the feasibility of underground geological storage for the permanent disposal of high level radioactive waste. Projects include the characterisation and quantification of the EDZ in crystalline rock (Posiva, Finland; CNL, Canada), long-term baseline site monitoring (CNL, Canada), the impact of thermal loads on the host rock around canister deposition holes (SKB, Sweden; Posiva, Finland) and monitoring of sealing properties of engineered barriers (CNL, Canada).

ASC was a partner in three major EU-funded research projects addressing the permanent disposal of radioactive waste:

  • Safeti: Seismic validation of 3D thermo-mechanical models for the prediction of the rock damage around radioactive spent fuel waste.
  • Omnibus: Development of the tools and interpretation techniques for ultrasonic surveys to monitor the rock barrier around radioactive waste packages.
  • Timodaz: Thermal impact on the damage zone around a radioactive waste disposal in clay host rocks.

 

ASC provides the following service to the radioactive waste storage industry:

  • Seismic monitoring at all scales from regional earthquake site characterisation to micro seismic and acoustic emission studies.
  • Repository-wide 3-D seismic array design, installation and operation from consultancy and post-processing data analysis, to project management.
  • Three-dimensional ultrasonic surveys to quantify damage and disturbance accumulation.
  • Embedding of sensors within structures, such as concrete bulkheads, to assess integrity.
  • Validation and development of numerical models for predictive modelling of repository behaviour.
  • Acoustic Emission and microseismic monitoring to detect fractures around engineered structures and delineate potential fluid pathways

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