NDA Geological Disposal R&D Programme

Following publication of the generic Disposal System Safety Case (DSSC) in February 2011, NDA has published the Geological Disposal: R&D Programme overview.
This document sets out research and development (R&D) needs in the preparatory studies phase of the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) programme. 

The document complements the R&D Strategy for a geological disposal facility which was published in 2009.

Neil Smart, Head of Research at the Radioactive Waste Management Directorate (RWMD) said: 

“In the R&D Programme overview document we focus on the R&D work that is needed in the MRWS preparatory studies phase and to prepare ourselves for the work we will need to undertake in future phases of the programme. The document also provides the context for a needs-driven R&D programme to support geological disposal in the UK and explains the high-level drivers for this work.” 

As part of the generic DSSC, we produced status reports summarising our current knowledge on each of the eight key topics. Each status report describes uncertainties associated with a particular R&D topic and identifies where there are gaps in knowledge that require further work. The status reports should be read in tandem with the R&D Programme overview.

The R&D work is driven by the needs of the programme to implement geological disposal. There are seven main drivers determining the scope of the R&D programme. They are to:

  • support the clear identification and justification of the Disposal System Specification
  • support the assessment of packaging solutions
  • support the identification and development of geological disposal facility concepts
  • further develop the Disposal System Safety Case
  • support the assessment of environmental impact and sustainability
  • support strategic decisions, and to undertake R&D to meet good practice in working with a community stakeholder partnership. 

The R&D Programme overview also describes how we work with others to ensure a co-ordinated and complementary approach to our R&D work. This includes working with other Site Licence Companies, UK Research Councils, and co-ordinating the R&D programme with those of our international sister organisations through joint-funded and EU funded programmes.

 Geological Disposal – R&D Programme Overview (1Mb)

If you have any comments or observations please let us know. Contact details are given at the front of the report or can be emailed to us at rwmdfeedback@nda.gov.uk.