Eurajoki, Finland
Eurajoki, Finland

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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NFRP-06-2014 | Award Amount: 9.66M | Year: 2015

The Modern2020 project aims at providing the means for developing and implementing an effective and efficient repository operational monitoring programme, taking into account the requirements of specific national programmes. The work allows advanced national radioactive waste disposal programmes to design monitoring systems suitable for deployment when repositories start operating in the next decade and supports less developed programmes and other stakeholders by illustrating how the national context can be taken into account in designing dedicated monitoring programmes tailored to their national needs. The work is established to understand what should be monitored within the frame of the wider safety cases and to provide methodology on how monitoring information can be used to support decision making and to plan for responding to monitoring results. Research and development work aims to improve and develop innovative repository monitoring techniques (wireless data transmission, alternative power supply sources, new sensors, geophysical methods) from the proof of feasibility stage to the technology development and demonstration phase. Innovative technical solutions facilitate the integration and flexibility of required monitoring components to ease the final implementation and adaptation of the monitoring system. Full-scale in-situ demonstrations of innovative monitoring techniques will further enhance the knowledge on the operational implementation of specific disposal monitoring and will demonstrate the performance of the state-of-the-art, the innovative techniques and their comparison with conventional ones. Finally, Modern2020 has the ambition to effectively engage local citizen stakeholders in the R&D monitoring activity by involving them at an early stage in a repository development programme in order to integrate their concerns and expectations into monitoring programmes.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: Fission-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 11.63M | Year: 2009

The multiple barrier concept is the cornerstone of all proposed schemes for underground disposal of radioactive wastes. The concept invokes a series of barriers, both engineered and natural, between the waste and the surface. Achieving this concept is the primary objective of all disposal programmes, from site appraisal and characterisation to repository design and construction. However, the performance of the repository as a whole (waste, buffer, engineering disturbed zone, host rock), and in particular its gas transport properties, are still poorly understood. Issues still to be adequately examined that relate to understanding basic processes include: dilational versus visco-capillary flow mechanisms; long-term integrity of seals, in particular gas flow along contacts; role of the EDZ as a conduit for preferential flow; laboratory to field up-scaling. Understanding gas generation and migration is thus vital in the quantitative assessment of repositories and is the focus of the research in this proposal for an integrated, multi-disciplinary project. The FORGE proposal is for a pan-European project with links to international radioactive waste management organisations, regulators and academia, specifically designed to tackle the key research issues associated with the generation and movement of repository gasses. Of particular importance are the long-term performance of bentonite buffers, plastic clays, indurated mudrocks and crystalline formations. Further experimental data are required to reduce uncertainty relating to the quantitative treatment of gas in performance assessment. FORGE will address these issues through a series of laboratory and field-scale experiments, including the development of new methods for up-scaling allowing the optimisation of concepts through detailed scenario analysis. The FORGE partners are committed to training and CPD through a broad portfolio of training opportunities and initiatives which form a significant part of the project.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NFRP-06-2014 | Award Amount: 4.71M | Year: 2015

The multidisciplinary project will address key technical issues that must be tackled to support the implementation of planned geological disposal projects for higher-level radioactive wastes across the EU. Our current understanding of the impact of microbial metabolism on the safety of geological repositories remains tenuous, even though microorganisms may have controlling influences on wasteform evolution in situ, multibarrier integrity and ultimately radionuclide migration from the repository. This proposal targets a number of high urgency and high importance topics identified in the most recent IGD-TP Strategic Research Agenda, focusing specifically on the influence of microbial processes on waste forms and their behavior, and the technical feasibility and long-term performance of repository components. The project will bring together, for the first time, 15 European groups working on the impact of microbial processes on safety cases for geological repositories across the EU, focusing on key questions posed by waste management organisations. The emphasis will be on quantifying specific measureable impacts of microbial activity on safety cases under repository-relevant conditions, thus altering the current view of microbes in repositories and leading to significant refinements of safety case models currently being implemented to evaluate the long-term evolution of radwaste repositories. The integration of society and policy oriented studies in the project will also extend the impact of the project outside the scientific and technical domain, while a study of expert conceptualization, public perception and risk communication concerning microbial influences in geological disposal, will improve awareness of microbial issues on a broader level. The programme will help the EU claim international leadership in the understanding of the impact of microbial processes on geodisposal, and indeed other technological areas pertinent to the exploitation of the subsurface.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: Fission-2011-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 5.09M | Year: 2012

Recent safety assessments nuclear waste repositories have shown that the formation and stability of colloids may have a direct impact on the overall performance of the repository. The main aim of the BELBaR project is increase the knowledge of the processes that controls clay colloid stability, generation and ability to transport radionuclides. The overall purpose of the project will be to suggest a treatment of the issues in long-term safety assessment. The key areas of research will be: erosion of bentonite buffers, the main objective of these studies will be to understand the main mechanisms of erosion from the bentonite surface and to quantify the extent of the possible erosion under different conditions clay colloid stability studies under different geochemical conditions. The colloids formed at the near/far field interface would be stable only if favourable conditions exist and therefore their relevance for radionuclide transport will be strongly dependent on the local geochemical conditions interaction between colloids and radionuclides and the host rock, how colloid mobility may be affected be the composition of the host rock and the mechanism of sorption and de-sorption of radionuclides on the colloids In these areas substantial laboratory studies will be undertaken. The modelling studies will support the laboratory studies through development of conceptual and mathematical descriptions of the observed phenomena. The final outcome is to consider how colloids and related phenomena can be considered in the long term safety case and to make recommendations on how the safety case could pursue to address this potentially very significant issue. The project will have strong focus on cooperation and integration. This will be achieved by exchange of staff between partners and arrangement of frequent seminars. The BELBaR consortium consists of research institutes, implementers and universities from within and outside the European Union.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: Fission-2013-5.1.1 | Award Amount: 2.12M | Year: 2013

In line with the Lisbon strategy and 2020 perspective Petrus initiative coordinates since 2005 universities, WMOs, training organisations and research institutes efforts to develop cooperative approach to education and training (E&T) in the geological disposal with the purpose of expanding this cooperation under PETRUS3. PETRUS3 project aims at continuation of the European Cooperation in this area including: Practical implementation of PETRUS training programme following ECVET principles: Starting from the outcomes of the previous project, we will experiment the elaboration and the implementation of training modules defined in term of learning outcomes in a Competency-Based Curriculum. The objective is to set up accredited and recognised qualification in geological disposal that can be achieved in parallel both through formal and PD training programmes. Elaboration of multidisciplinary training and research framework for PhD student:The objectives are i) to fast-track the research activities in geological disposal by proposing customised training programmes, ii) to organize periodic PhD workshops and iii) to enhance the emergence of multidisciplinary research. Development of strategies and frameworks for maintaining PETRUS initiative over the long-term: Following the recommendations of the PETRUS End-users Council, the PETRUS3 project will establish strategic plan for sustainability of the PETRUS initiative through i) establishing a steering board for coordination and follow-up of the PETRUS educational programme, ii) collaboration with the IGD-TPs CMET Working Group iii) creation of an integration framework to the ENEN structure for the overall management of the radioactive waste disposal E&T activities under the association umbrella and iv) linking with the radiation protection platform EUTERP and related EFTS. PETRUS3 strives to continue PETRUS II and ECNET international cooperation by strengthening the links already established with China and IAEA


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: Fission-2012-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 15.74M | Year: 2012

DOPAS aims to improve the adequacy and consistency regarding industrial feasibility of plugs and seals, the measurement of their characteristics, the control of their behavior over time in repository conditions and also their hydraulic performance acceptable with respect to the safety objectives. This DOPAS project addresses the design basis, reference designs and strategies to demonstrate the compliance of the reference designs to the design basis, for plugs and seals in geological disposal facilities. The project focuses on shaft seals for salt rock (German repository concept), tunnel plugs for clay rock (French and Swiss repository concepts), and tunnel plugs for crystalline rock (Czech, Finnish and Swedish repository concepts). Five different demonstration experiments are part of the project and will take place in Sweden, France, Finland, Czech Republic and Germany. They are in different state-of-development. The Swedish demonstrator will be constructed prior to start of the DOPAS project and will basically provide experience on demonstration of compliance of reference design to the design basis. German demonstrator will be installed after the DOPAS project and will focus on demonstration of suitability by performance assessment. The French, Finnish, Swedish,German and the Czech experiments will address developments in all phases of design basis, reference designs and strategies to demonstrate compliance of reference designs to design basis. The studied concepts will be developed in the DOPASs five thematic scientific/technological work packages, which each integrate the results of the individual experiments. The DOPAS project is derived from the IGD-TPs Strategic Research Agenda that points out the topic of plug and seals as a first priority issue for joint European RTD projects.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: Fission-2008-1.1.2 | Award Amount: 5.11M | Year: 2009

The MoDeRn project aims at providing a reference framework for the development and possible implementation of monitoring activities and associated stakeholder engagement during relevant phases of the radioactive waste disposal process, i.e. during site characterisation, construction, operation and staged closure, as well as a post-closure institutional control phase. Monitoring provides operators and other stakeholders with in-situ data on repository evolutions, to contribute to operational safety, to help manage construction, operation and/or closure activities, and may allow for a comparison with prior safety assessments. It thus provides information to inform necessary decisions. If, in addition, monitoring activities respond to stakeholder needs and provide them with understandable results, they will contribute to transparency and possibly to stakeholder confidence in the disposal process. The project is structured into six work packages (WPs). The first four WPs are dedicated to (i) analyze key objectives and propose viable strategies, based on both technical and stakeholder considerations; to (ii) establish the state of the art and provide technical developments to match specific repository requirements; to (iii) conduct in-situ monitoring demonstration experiments using innovative techniques; and to (iv) conduct a case study of monitoring and its integration into staged disposal, including specific scenarii analysis aimed at providing guidance on how to handle and communicate monitoring results, in particular when these provide unexpected information. In order to provide a shared international view on how monitoring can be developed within a given national context, WP5 regroups key dissemination activities and WP6 will provide a reference framework integrating project results and describing feasible monitoring activities, suggesting relevant stakeholder engagement activities, and illustrating possible uses of monitoring results for decision-making.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: Fission-2012-1.1.2 | Award Amount: 1.42M | Year: 2013

The Implementing Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste Technology Platform (IGD-TP) was established in 2009. This project through a Secretariat, aims at further deepening integration and coordination of the activities of the IGD-TP participants. This project includes activities involving all committed participants (80) and beyond all interested entities through Exchange Forums. The proposed Work Packages have been set up in order to: Provide an efficient management of the IGD-TP and its operation so that the mission and objectives are achieved and the benefits from the work are widely spread, Network, structure and develop Research, Development and (RD&D) programmes and competences in countries with less advanced geological disposal programmes. Public events will be organized to foster the RD&D activities in countries with less advanced programmes are proposed, Contribute to fulfilling the requirements, including advice and expertise, laid down in the new EU Directive on the management of radioactive waste, and Develop, implement and coordinate education and training activities in geological disposal in Europe within the Terms of Reference set for the IGD-TPs Competence Maintenance, Education and Training Working Group. For the period 2013-2015 the main objective of the IGD-TP is to deploy the Joint Activities identified in the Deployment Plan (DP) with the support of the Secretariat according to the timeframes set in the Vision Document, the Strategic Research Agenda 2011 (SRA) and in the Deployment Plan (DP). IGD-TP and its Secretariat do have a programmatic role which goes far beyond FP7 projects and encompasses the coordination of RD&D activities related to geological disposal from 11 Member States (and Switzerland). The Secretariat will promote the scientific and technical quality of the Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) by fostering interactions between national programmes. In this dissemination function, it maintains a website where e.g. progress reports and announcements for future events are published.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: Fission-2010-1.1.2 | Award Amount: 1.60M | Year: 2011

At the core of the safety case for long-term geologic disposal for spent nuclear fuel lie the issues regarding spent fuel dissolution. We have today significant knowledge regarding dissolution of uranium oxide in the laboratory. However, uncertainties remain regarding spent fuel dissolution under realistic conditions. Two main questions stand out as necessary to address: First, the synthetic groundwater used in the experiments to date does not contain all of the chemical elements that occur in natural groundwaters. Some of the trace elements may produce radiolysis products that are more aggressive than those produced in the synthetic groundwaters. Second, the fragments used in laboratory experiments contain sharp edges and defects generated by the crushing process. These sites contain atoms that have fewer bonds than the bulk material and constitute high-energy sites. As dissolution occurs, these sites dissolve faster than lower energy sites, such as plane surface sites. As the high-energy sites disappear through dissolution, the dissolution rate decreases. We can approach the long-term dissolution rate in the laboratory, but we cannot at this time estimate how far away we are from it. The two items mentioned above lead to uncertainty concerning the dissolution rate. The objectives of the work proposed here are to reduce the uncertainty in the dissolution rate to be used in the safety case and thereby increase the confidence that can be placed in our ability to demonstrate that the geologic repository will function as designed. A second objective of this work is to provide for the training of young research workers who can continue to support the research needed in the future concerning radioactive waste disposal.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: Fission-2010-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 9.09M | Year: 2011

The European Council outlined in its decision 2006/976/EURATOM the following objective for the research area management of radioactive waste: Through implementation-oriented RTD, the activities aim to establish a sound scientific and technical basis for demonstrating the technologies and safety of disposal of spent fuel and long-lived radioactive wastes in geological formations ... In the FP7 work programme 2010 (European Commission C(2009)5946 from 30 July 2009) it is stated that the expected impact of projects should be that they contribute to the progress towards the implementing of geological disposal in line with the Vision Report and initial roadmaps of IGD-TP and the 2020 objectives of the SET-Plan, together with significant advances in the treatment and/or understanding of key remaining issues. In particular, this should lead to demonstrable improvements in robustness of associated performance and safety analyses, and ultimately to increased confidence in the safety case ... Waste implementers (WMOs) being deeply involved in experiments in underground laboratories (SKB, Andra, Nagra and Posiva) address these objectives by implementing a joint collaboration regarding large underground concept experiments LUCOEX, which meets the FP7 work programme theme of Fission-2010 1.1.1. The included experiments will provide a check on the suitability of the different emplacement concepts and a possibility to understand and compare important parameters for the implementation and the long-term safety of the concepts. Important experience is expected to be obtained regarding testing and improving of methods, equipment, technologies, processes or operability related to the construction, operation and closure of a repository system. The key technical areas to address will be gallery construction, manufacturing and emplacement of buffer around waste canisters, emplacement of waste packages, and backfilling and sealing of galleries.

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