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MODELLING THE LONG TERM EVOLUTION OF GEOLOGICAL RADWASTE DISPOSAL FACILITIES.

Objective

THE PRIMARY OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY IS TO ALLOW MORE REALISTIC MODELLING OF THE EFFECTS OF ICE SHEET ADVANCES AND RETREATS ON DEEP UNDERGROUND DISPOSAL FACILITIES FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTES AND THEIR ENVIRONMENTS. THIS IS TO BE UNDERTAKEN BY ADVANCING THE STATUS OF FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH IN THIS AREA. IN NORTHERN EUROPE GLACIAL CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO RETURN WITHIN THE NEXT 20,000 TO 30,000 YEARS AND CYCLES OF ICE SHEET ADVANCE AND RETREAT TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT MILLION YEARS AT LEAST. THE INFLUENCES ON DISPOSAL SITES COULD BE SIGNIFICANT. IT IS EXPECTED THAT ALGORITHMS WILL BE DEVELOPED FROM THE WORK WHICH, IF USED IN A SUITABLE COMPUTER CODE, WILL ALLOW REALISTIC MODELLING OF ICE SHEET EROSION AND DEPOSITION AND THE EFFECTS OF ICE SHEET ADVANCE/RETREAT CYCLES (INCLUDING THE ASSOCIATED GROUND FREEZING/THAWING) ON GROUNDWATER FLOW.

THE PROJECT IS BEING CARRIED OUT IN COLLABORATION WITH RESEARCHERS AT THE GRANT INSTITUTE OF GEOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM.

1. RESEARCH STATUS REVIEW: A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE STATUS OF RESEARCH INTO THE EFFECTS OF LONG-TERM ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES ON DEEP DISPOSAL FACILITIES.

2. BACKGROUND RESEARCH: THIS SECOND TASK IS THE MAJOR ASPECT OF THE WORK PROGRAMME AND INCORPORATES RESEARCH INTO THREE ASPECTS OF GLACIAL PROCESSES AS WELL AS DEVELOPMENT OF ALGORITHMS, AS DETAILED BELOW.

2.1. INVESTIGATION INTO THE COMBINED PROCESSES OF PERMAFROST DEVELOPMENT/DEGRADATION AND ICE SHEET ADVANCE/RETREAT ON GROUNDWATER FLOW SYSTEMS AND THE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF GEOSPHERE MEDIA, TOGETHER WITH APPROACHES TO MODELLING SUCH PROCESSES.

2.2. INVESTIGATION OF APPROACHES TO MODELLING EROSION DURING ICE SHEET ADVANCES AND THE CONSEQUENT ALTERATION OF TOPOGRAPHY IN THE AREA SURROUNDING A DISPOSAL SITE.

2.3. INVESTIGATION OF APPROACHES TO MODELLING SEDIMENT DEPOSITION BY ICE SHEETS AND THE DISPERSION PATTERNS OF ERODED MATERIALS, WHICH COULD INCLUDE CONTAMINATED GEOSPHERE OR WASTE.

2.4. SPECIFICATION FOR FURTHER RESEARCH REQUIREMENTS ARISING FROM THE PROJECT AND OF OUTLINE APPROACHES TO ADDRESSING THESE REQUIREMENTS.

3. SPECIFICATION FOR THE INCORPORATION OF SITE EVOLUTION MODELLING INTO PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT OF GEOLOGICAL DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, WITH REFERENCE TO THREE SUITABLE SITES IN EUROPE.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Dames and Moore International
Address

TW1 3NJ Twickenham
United Kingdom