Following are “lessons learned” from the experience of repository efforts of the U.S. and other countries to date about geologic disposal as a permanent solution to the disposal of high activity waste:
Deep geologic repositories are feasible.
Expect surprises when you get underground during the site-characterization phase.
Engineered barriers may be more predictable than the natural system, in the “near” term.
An improved knowledge base now exists to guide future efforts in specifying waste forms.
Prototyping of first-of-a-kind components is important.
Direct disposal of canisters containing spent fuel in dual-purpose casks should be considered.
Postclosure performance can be quantified using the principles of the risk sciences.
A total systems approach to characterizing a repository site is crucial.
A close relationship between science and engineering is essential.
A license application can be developed that meets Nuclear Regulatory Commission review
- Repository systems can be developed in a variety of geologic environments.
- Most proposed disposal concepts rely on both natural and engineered barriers, although the degree of reliance on one or the other varies considerably.
- Research carried out at-depth in underground research laboratories has been extremely valuable.
Nov 16, 2010