Dec 11, 2013
A regional training course on the Fundamentals of Geological Disposal was organized under the framework of the regional TC project RER/9/103: Training in Radioactive Waste Disposal Technologies Using Underground Research Facilities from 11 – 15 November 2013 in Mizunami, Japan. The objective of the course was to provide participants with an overview of the geological disposal of radioactive waste. The Japanese Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) in its Tono Geoscience Centre at the Mizunami Underground Research Laboratory (URL) hosted the event.
Sixteen participants representing 11 Member States attended the course. More than half of the Member States represented are in the first step of site investigation for geological disposal or are currently initiating corresponding research programmes, and thus found the training highly relevant in developing their national programmes.
The training course covered core topics on the development of geological disposal. The utility and R&D programme of an underground research laboratory were described and illustrated through a site tour of the Mizunami URL.
The course further covered fundamentals of typical site properties and site characterization approaches, corresponding repository designs and safety concepts, aspects of construction and operation, to conclude with the degradation of engineered barriers and resulting radionuclide mobilization and migration. A group exercise illustrated several typical approaches of addressing stakeholder interactions as part of the siting process. The course concluded by covering topics relevant to performance and safety assessment, managing uncertainties and spatial variability in performance assessment, and the use of natural analogues as additional evidence for long term safety.