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Eurajoki, Finland

Agency: Cordis | 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.

Agency: Cordis | 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.

Agency: Cordis | 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.

Agency: Cordis | 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.

News Article
Site: http://www.reuters.com

It approved Posiva Oy's plan to construct a spent nuclear fuel encapsulation plant and disposal facility at the island of Olkiluoto, western Finland. Local people have accepted the plan. Up to 6,500 tonnes of uranium may be deposited in the facility, some 450 meters (490 yards) below the surface in the granite bedrock. It is estimated to become operational from around 2023. Sweden has similar plans, but Posiva said it is a few years behind Finland. "This is a huge step for us. We've done research and development work for this for more than 40 years," said CEO Janne Mokka. The world has 270,000 tonnes of used fuel stockpiled, much of it under water in ponds at nuclear power stations, adding to the urgency of finding a permanent storage solution for material that can remain toxic for hundreds of thousands of years. In Posiva's disposal process, the waste will be packed in copper canisters and transferred into tunnels and further into deposition holes lined with bentonite buffer. Construction is expected to cost just under a billion euros, and the total cost estimate, including operational costs for 100 years, is 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion). Before the repository can go operational, Posiva must yet again analyze its environmental impacts, including the ability to retrieve the nuclear waste if necessary as well as the transport risks. "The long-term safety of final disposal is a matter of great importance. It must be monitored throughout the service life of the disposal facility," said economy minister Olli Rehn. Posiva is owned by utilities Fortum and TVO, whose owners in turn include forestry groups UPM-Kymmene and Stora Enso. TVO has two reactors in Olkiluoto and it is building a third one, which is currently nine years behind its original schedule. Fortum has two units in the south of the country.

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