The Role of Rock Engineering in Developing a Deep Geological Repository in Sedimentary Rock

Rock Engineering 2009 - Rock Engineering in Difficult Conditions
Kenneth Birch,
Abstract Rock engineering will play an important role in siting, design, and construction of a deep geological repository (DGR) for used nuclear fuel waste. Post-construction activities during operation such as excavation maintenance, monitoring, decommissioning, and closure will also require rock mechanics expertise. The type of host rock selected for a DGR will influence the scope of rock engineering activities and related research requirements. Both crystalline and sedimentary rocks are being actively considered as potential host formations for a DGR. Considerable research has been completed over the past several decades around the world to better understand the geomechanical processes associated with the development and long-term performance of a DGR. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization’s technical research and development program is examining a number of potentially suitable rock formations to support implementation of Adaptive Phased Management, Canada’s approach for long-term management of used nuclear fuel waste. This paper outlines key rock engineering aspects to be considered in developing a DGR in sedimentary rock.
Keywords: Deep Geological Repository, Sedimentary rock, Rock engineering, DGR, Nuclear waste disposal
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