International conference in Finland on safe sealing of a deep geological repository

At the end of May, participants in the EU waste disposal project DOPAS will exchange experience on plugging and sealing technologies for deep geological repositories. Nagra will also attend.

Besides Nagra, fourteen waste management organisations and research institutes from eight EU member states have been involved in the DOPAS (Full-Scale Demonstration of Plugs and Seals) Project since 2012. The results will be presented at the end of May at an international seminar in Turku (Finland).

Nagra will present the first results from the «Full-Scale Emplacement» Experiment (FE Experiment). The aim of this experiment is to investigate the effects of heat on the granular bentonite backfill and the surrounding Opalinus Clay rock on a 1:1 scale. «The FE Experiment has also provided Nagra with practical experience in backfilling and sealing underground tunnels under real conditions», explains Herwig R. Müller, who is responsible for the implementation of the experiment in Nagra. The DOPAS Project allows Nagra scientists to exchange their experience with other research institutes and foreign waste management organisations.

DOPAS is a technology development project for testing plugging and sealing systems for geological disposal facilities for radioactive waste. The project is built around a set of full-scale underground demonstration experiments in Germany, Finland, France, Sweden and the Czech Republic, in which these systems are tested in different host rocks.

The DOPAS Project is supported by the EU and has a budget of 15.7 million Euros (19 million Swiss Francs); it will run until August 2016. The Project is coordinated by the Finnish waste management organisation Posiva Oy.

Please also read our blog post after the conference on