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Optimal Conditions for Waste Disposal


Study of State and Properties of the Continental Type of the Earth Crust in Russia with the Aim of the Defining the Optimal Conditions for Radioactive Waste Disposal (Based on Superdeep Wells and Deep Geophysical Surveys)

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-WDS/Waste Disposal/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Novozhilov V V

Leading Institute
GERS, Russia, Murmansk reg., Zapolyarny

Supporting institutes

  • VNIPI Promtechnology, Russia, Moscow\nVNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk


  • Geological Survey of Japan, Japan, Tsukuba\nRadioactive Waste Management Center, Japan, Tokyo

Project summary

The main aim of the Project is defining the optimal geological conditions for radioactive waste disposal.

In order to achieve this aim it is required to expand, justify and systematize the database on physical properties of rocks created within Project No 262 for the Russian superdeep wells, as well as to evaluate these properties in various thermodynamic and stress-strain conditions of the continental earth crust. It may be achieved as a result of fundamental theoretical and experimental studies. The result should be a created conceptual model of radioactive waste disposal in geological media. The unique opportunity is available thanks to the experience accumulated in three organizations which will perform the Project: RFT - in the area of theoretical studies; VNIIPIP - in the area of practical problems of radioactive waste disposal; GERS - in the area of fundamental theoretical and experimental Earth crust studies.

It is necessary to note that GERS possesses not only unique information about physical properties of rocks on depth obtained on core samples extracted from deep and superdeep wells, but as well as on the basis of unique complex geophysical studies of deep sections of main types of continental structure (platforms< shields and geosynclines) of various age executed along regional seismic profiles (geotraverses) with length of 2000-3000 km. Those results were obtained by means of Deep Seismic Sounding method exercised through the small-size nuclear explosion tests. Superdeep wells are located in the main points of those profiles, which were studied in details. Those facts will enable us to collect and systematize the database for the majority of geological formations in the Earth crust. Only such data will allow creating the justified conceptual model mentioned above.

IAEA requires that there should be no active tectonic faults in the sites, which receive nuclear materials such as repositories of spent nuclear fuel. Tectonic faults are the sources of enhanced seismic danger and the most possible channels of the dangerous materials filtration to the environmental media.

In connection with the above we plan: - to analyze the available data on deep structure of the Earth crust obtained through surface and downhole surveys; - to develop new methods for evaluation of tectonic faults and detection of fractured zones in the potential area of radioactive waste disposal.

The complex of the above analysis includes seismic, electro-magnetic, engineer-geological and tectonic methods for determination of the various zones on the Earth crust within the range of low velocity of seismic wave propagation (zones of waveguids).

The results to be obtained in the process of the Project performance will be useful for specialists of foreign states who are planning the disposal of nuclear fuel waste and radioactive waste (Japan, Belgia, Germany, USA and others).

The scientific importance of the planned work means defining fundamental regularity of permeability and other (including thermal) properties change for various types of rocks and their condition in-situ.


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