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Deep geological radioactive and chemical waste disposal: where we stand and where we go

Published in ATW International Journal for Nuclear Power. 2020, vol. 65, no. 6/7, p. 311-316
Abstract Projects for the deep disposal of radioactive waste have increasingly been making negative headlines for several decades: Water influxes in the German Asse II experimental repository, stability losses in the ERAM Morsleben repository, accidents in the " Waste Isolation Pilot Plant" for transuranium waste repository (WIPP, New Mexico), and subsequently a three-year closure of operations, etc. In the area of underground storage of chemotoxic waste, the Stocamine underground landfill in Alsace, which is known as a lighthouse project, was also shut down definitively after a fire. Doubts have been growing about the guarantee of the possibility of retrieving radioactive or chemotoxic waste once it has been emplaced from the deep underground under certain circumstances or if necessary (reversibility of deep geological disposal). A review of the above-mentioned and other deep geological repository projects should provide an insight into the problems associated with the concrete implementation of the disposal of highly toxic waste in the geological underground, and show the possibilities for adapting and correcting the current concepts for deep geological disposal. In principle, these adaptations and corrections do not call the concept of deep geological repository into question, but they do indicate the need to further deepen the concept, be it with regard to scientific and technical requirements, project planning, organisation or public involvement.
Keywords Radioactive waste disposalGeological disposal
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Article (Published version) (405 Kb) - public document Free access
Research group Limnology and Environmental Geology
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BUSER, Marcos, LAMBERT, André Emmanuel, WILDI, Walter. Deep geological radioactive and chemical waste disposal: where we stand and where we go. In: ATW International Journal for Nuclear Power, 2020, vol. 65, n° 6/7, p. 311-316. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:138327

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Deposited on : 2020-07-10

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