Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Since 1983 the International Seabed Working Group, under the auspices of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, has been carrying out a co-ordinated research programme to investigate the feasibility and safety of the disposal of heat-generating wastes into deep ocean abyssal plain formations. The main objectives of the research are to assess the long-term safety of the option, to demonstrate the necessary engineering emplacement capability within oceanic geological formations, and to identify characteristic study zones in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Deep ocean abyssal formations form a potentially very stable barrier for this disposal option. The sediments are highly radionuclide adsorbing and effectively impede the movement of materials through the matrix towards the biosphere. The zones at present under study are large and are found well away from techtonic plate fronts. They are also distant from fishing zones and do not contain mineral resources of commercial value. Furthermore, they are far from human habitation and are among the most remote of inhospitable areas of our planet.

Additional information

Authors: MURRAY C N, JRC Ispra (IT);DUJARDIN R, JRC Ispra (IT);FREEMAN T, Building Research Establishment, Watford (GB)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Geoscience Investigations of Two North Atlantic Abyssal Plains: The ESOPE International Cruise, Vol. 2 (1989) pp. 1253-1267
Record Number: 199011124 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en