Technology to monitor how the rock barrier around radio active waste reacts has been developed by an Anglo French consortium with the help of 466,286 euros from the EU’s Framework Programme towards the projects total cost of 765,619 euros.
As the sources of traditional fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas continue to decrease there is a growing demand for more sustainable forms of energy. The option to turn to nuclear power for the production of electricity has long been debated but disposal of the waste material is a major cause for concern. Experts believe one of the most viable solutions for the safe management of nuclear radioactive waste is deep geological disposal, but this needs extensive testing and validation before it can be considered as the long-term solution.
“The OMNIBUS project developed ultrasonic technology with a primary aim to monitor the rock barrier at potential underground radioactive waste storage sites (including argillaceous rock masses)”, says Professor Paul Young, the project co-ordinator at the University of Liverpool’s Department of Earth Sciences. “The technology (hardware and software) has been successfully tested insitu to provide real time monitoring of rock masses to provide information on changes that are occurring. The software provides methods for interpreting these changes in terms of crack density, crack size and orientation, as well as fluid content. This information on changing rock properties is very important in terms of short and long term safety in these types of facilities.”
Dave Sanders | alfa
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