Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Do Rocks Hold The Key To Nuclear Waste Storage?

10.09.2004


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.”


Three main technologies have been produced that will have significant application in areas, apart from radioactive waste management, where continuous and non-destructive testing of brittle materials such as concrete and metals are undertaken. For instance, in mining and petroleum sectors as well as in seismological studies and civil engineering for structures including dams, tunnels, and bridges. They are:

Ultrasonic Monitoring Hardware – A state-of-the-art system of custom designed and built components as well as off the shelf components. This includes the technology for installing ultrasonic sensors in boreholes in a rockmass as well as for high speed high resolution data collection.

Ultrasonic Monitoring Software – to allow ultrasonic data acquisition control, real time ultrasonic data processing and visualization, as well as ultrasonic data interpretation of rock properties from the display and analysis of model data.

Ultrasonic Modelling Software – that can be used to help understand the effect that rock properties have on ultrasonic transmission characteristic including phase and amplitude spectra.

“The nuclear energy programme of Framework Funding is aimed at intensifying and deepening the already well established co-operation at European level in the field of nuclear research”, says Paul Leeks, Project Director for FP6UK. “The exploitation of nuclear fission energy for energy production requires progress to be made in the problem of waste, and more particularly the industrial implementation of technical solutions for the management of long-lived waste.

“The current Framework Programme (FP6) runs until 2006 and organisations wanting free, easy to access, information on the 19bn euros of funding available to support internationally collaborative R&D should log on to http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk or call central telephone support on 0870 600 6080.”

Dave Sanders | alfa
Further information:
http://fp6uk.ost.gov.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>