Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - LUCOEX (Large Underground Concept Experiments)

Executive Summary:
The four waste management organizations Nagra, Andra, SKB and Posiva have as part of their step-vice development of repository concepts for long-lived radioactive waste come together in the LUCOEX project with the common objective to demonstrate the technical feasibility for a safe and reliable disposal of radioactive waste in geological formations.

This demonstration has been done by executing four parallel experiments at different underground research laboratories, which all are designed for the specific purpose of hosting these kinds of experiments. Each experiment has focused on different concepts and different geological and technical/legal pre-conditions and all experiments have been executed with a focus on openness and willingness to share the knowledge gained to support the development of safe and reliable repositories throughout Europe.

- In Switzerland, Nagra has performed the FE-experiment in the Mont Terri underground research laboratory, which is a full-scale, multiple heater test in Opalinus Clay.
- In the Bure underground research laboratory in France, Andra has demonstrated the construction feasibility of a complete HLW cell in Callovo-Oxfordian clay with a concept optimized for a possible future retrieval of the waste.
- In the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory in Sweden, SKB has shown the feasibility of the KBS-3H concept in crystalline rock, which is based on horizontal position of canisters in bored tunnels.
- In Finland, Posiva has demonstrated the feasibility of emplacing the buffer components in the KBS-3V concept, which is based on horizontal disposal tunnels with vertical disposal positions in crystalline rock.

All objectives have been met and each one of the four LUCOEX partners have shown that construction of galleries, manufacturing of buffer components, installation and sealing of galleries can be made to meet the initial state, i.e. the situation when no more adjusting measures are assumed to be made and further evolution of the repository components are driven by the repository´s THMC environment and geoscientific events.

In addition lots of experience were gained during the excavation, installation and sealing of the four experiments, as several practical problems were experienced, which had to be solved when they appeared. They were all handled to satisfaction and in the final end we concluded that the solutions provided additional knowledge and significant return of experience in the planning of new large underground experiments.

The final component of the LUCOEX project has been the dissemination of our findings. This has been done through a) making it possible to visit the experiments at the underground research facilities, b) presenting results and findings in scientific articles and at conferences, c) producing movies from the different experiments, d) hosting conferences and workshops and e) managing an ambitious scholarship programme to give external parties the possibility to participate both in hosted events and on site during the experiments.

The project also provided additional experience on management and allocation of personnel resources, especially the problems arising when key persons are partly allocated to other tasks. The Expert Group had too many appointed experts (four out of eight had been preferred) and should preferably have focused on the final reporting as now is the case in the DOPAS project.

Project Context and Objectives:
Available in the appended document.

Project Results:
Available in the appended document.

Potential Impact:
Available in the appended document.

List of Websites:

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Nuclear Fission