3rd Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration - 2016 Sept. 11-14

Presented at:
3rd Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Decommissioning and Environmental Restoration
2016 Sept. 11-14
Ottawa, Canada
Session Title:
Session T2: APM DGR Siting

M. Jensen (Nuclear Waste Management Organization)
E. Sykes (Nuclear Waste Management Organization)
T. Lam (Nuclear Waste Management Organization)
T. Yang (Nuclear Waste Management Organization)
L. Kennell-Morrison (Nuclear Waste Management Organization)
A. Parmenter (Nuclear Waste Management Organization)
R. Crowe (Nuclear Waste Management Organization)


The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has the federal mandate to implement the Adaptive Phased Management (APM) approach for the long-term care of Canada’s used nuclear fuel. The end point for APM is the safe emplacement of used nuclear fuel in a Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) situated in a stable crystalline or sedimentary bedrock formation. The DGR concept is comprised of multiple barriers designed to contain and isolate the used nuclear fuel on a timeframe of 1 Ma. A key element in the DGR design is the enclosing geosphere, which acts to protect the engineered barrier system(s), to preserve a stable environment in which radionuclide mobility is minimized, and to minimize the potential for intrusion. At a nominal depth of 500 m, the capacity of the geosphere to act as a natural barrier is governed by site-specific geologic features or attributes. As part of the APM Geoscience Technical Program, activities are undertaken to foster the development and optimization of multidisciplinary geoscience as they relate principally to surface based characterization of deep-seated (400-700 m) low permeability (≤10-18 m2), low porosity (≤0.1) and saline (TDS 50-300+ gm/L) settings. Such approaches are required to assess deep aquitard/aquiclude system evolution and dominant mass transport processes on timeframes relevant to a DGR safety case. This paper provides an overview of the NWMO APM Geoscience Technical Program and activities since 2011.

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