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Disposal of High-Level Nuclear Waste in Deep Horizontal Drillholes
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Deep Borehole Disposal Safety Case

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S1 3JD, UK
Marriott Drilling Group, Chesterfield S45 9BQ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(11), 2141;
Received: 23 April 2019 / Revised: 16 May 2019 / Accepted: 17 May 2019 / Published: 4 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deep Borehole Disposal of Nuclear Waste)
The safety case for deep borehole disposal of nuclear wastes contains a safety strategy, an assessment basis, and a safety assessment. The safety strategy includes strategies for management, siting and design, and assessment. The assessment basis considers site selection, pre-closure, and post-closure, which includes waste and engineered barriers, the geosphere/natural barriers, and the biosphere and surface environment. The safety assessment entails a pre-closure safety analysis, a post-closure performance assessment, and confidence enhancement analyses. This paper outlines the assessment basis and safety assessment aspects of a deep borehole disposal safety case. The safety case presented here is specific to deep borehole disposal of Cs and Sr capsules, but is generally applicable to other waste forms, such as spent nuclear fuel. The safety assessments for pre-closure and post-closure are briefly summarized from other sources; key issues for confidence enhancement are described in greater detail. These confidence enhancement analyses require building the technical basis for geologically old, reducing, highly saline brines at the depth of waste emplacement, and using reactive-transport codes to predict their movement in post-closure. The development and emplacement of borehole seals above the waste emplacement zone is also important to confidence enhancement. View Full-Text
Keywords: boreholes; safety case; performance assessment boreholes; safety case; performance assessment
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Freeze, G.A.; Stein, E.; Brady, P.V.; Lopez, C.; Sassani, D.; Travis, K.; Gibb, F.; Beswick, J. Deep Borehole Disposal Safety Case. Energies 2019, 12, 2141.

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