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 Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>