Challenge. Provide technical reviews and assistance for licensing and regulatory oversight of deep geological disposal of radioactive wastes

Solution. For more than a decade, INTERA personnel have served on a number of independent technical review teams and committees to support STUK in evaluating the performance and safety of the proposed spent nuclear fuel disposal repository at Olkiluoto. We coordinated all technical reviews regarding the design, fabrication, installation, and long-term performance and safety of the engineered barrier system (EBS) as presented in Posiva’s Construction License Application for the Olkiluoto repository. As part of the Safety Assessment for Radioactive Waste Isolation (SAFARI) advisory group, we provided STUK with advice on interactions and interrelationships among engineered, natural, and radiological factors affecting long-term isolation of nuclear waste in geological repositories. The group also developed independent containment, release, and transport models incorporated into the Ecolego code to assess long-term waste isolation. Our personnel led the Assessment of Engineered Geological Isolation Systems (AEGIS) interdisciplinary team of academic and industry experts in the review of issues related to materials selection, testing, fabrication, and emplacement and safety assessment on EBS for the Olkiluoto repository. We have also led the Nuclear Waste Safety Committee (NWSC) responsible for advising STUK on technical issues associated with regulatory oversight of nuclear waste management and disposal in Finland. These issues include development of regulations, decommissioning of reactors, storage of wastes, transportation, monitoring, and disposal, as well as licensing and stakeholder communication related to these activities.