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A repository design for the retrievable disposal of radioactive waste in rock salt
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ECN-RX--97-054 Artikel wetenschap tijdschrift
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Gepubliceerd in: Paper presented at the "4th International workshop on the design and construction of final repositories", 6-8 October 1997, Luce (), , , Vol., p.-.

A new design for a repository for high level radioactive wastes in rocksalt has been developed at the Netherlands Energy Research Foundation. This design and the work being done to evaluate this design is presented in this paper. It is emphasised that this evaluation is not yet completed and that the design is still a draft and is subject to discussion within the Dutch waste management research programme. The basic philosophy underlying the new design is that it should facilitate the retrieval of the waste whilst at the same time passive safety design principles are taken into account. The disposal of the radioactive waste is conceived as an extended and phased operation consisting of the following steps: facility construction; the placement of the wastes in the repository; the operation of the repository as an underground waste storage facility - during this period the waste can be retrieved in accordance with a procedure which has been developed based upon present-day technology; regular (for example, every 20 to 30 years) decisions as to whether the repository should remain 'open' or be 'closed'; closure of the repository. The repository consists of two main galleries joined by a number of cross galleries. In each cross gallery 40 shallow horizontal boreholes are constructed; one waste container is placed in each horizontal borehole. Each borehole is then 'back-filled' with salt plugs as soon as the waste canister is placed in the borehole. The cross galleries and main galleries are kept open during the period of interim storage. These galleries are back- filled once the decision has been made to close the mine. Calculations have been carried out in order to evaluate the design with respect to the dose rate and temperature conditions in the cross galleries (to which access will be needed for maintenance purposes). A performance assessment for the design is currently being carried out: in addition to the scenarios considered for the previous repository designs - e.g. the subrosion, ground water intrusion and human intrusion scenarios - attention is also being given to scenarios during the operational period (for example, flooding of the repository during this period). 3 figs., 8 refs.

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