The very deep borehole repository method as an alternative for long-term disposal of nuclear waste has received increasing attention in the past year. In November, two webinars on deep boreholes will be arranged, one on 4-5 November by IFNEC (International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation) and one on November 25 by the SITEX_Network (Sustainable Network for Independent Technical Expertise on Radioactive Waste Management).
The method that the Swedish nuclear power industry's nuclear waste company SKB wants to use for long-term disposal of spent nuclear fuel is based on emplacement of the fuel in copper canisers in mined tunnels approximately 500 m below the ground. However, studies show that it could be environmentally better to dispose the waste much deeper, for example in deep boreholes. The very deep borehole (VDH) method means that the waste is deposited at a depth of 3-5 km to be as far from the biosphere as possible and to take advantage of the long-term natural safety that comes from not mixing water at depth with water closer to the surface. A final repository in deep boreholes is also safer for threats from intrusion. With large-scale international use, the method would probably be cheaper than tunnel-based repositories.
The deep borehole method has received more attention in recent years and in November 2020 two web seminars on deep boreholes will be organised, one by IFNEC (International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation) and one by the SITEX_Network (Sustainable Network for Independent Technical Expertise on Radioactive Waste Management). More information about the web seminars can be found below.
If the next president of the United States is not named Donald Trump, there is also a possibility that the pilot project on deep boreholes that the US Department of Energy conducted under the Obama administration will be resumed.
Webinar: Understanding Deep Borehole Disposal Technology in the context of Spent Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal: History, Status, Opportunities and Challenges
Organiser: IFNEC, International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation
Time: November 4, 14:00-15:30 and November 5, 14:00-15:30
Online event: Topical Day 2020 on Deep Borehole Repository
Organiser: SITEX_Network (Sustainable Network for Independent Technical Expertise on Radioactive Waste Management
Time: November 25, 13:30-17:00