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Research rethinks disposal of nuclear waste

Long term solutions for one of the major challenges of the modern world

The safe disposal of high level nuclear waste is a global issue. Temporary storage facilities exist around the world, but Cardiff University sought to develop a longer term solution recognised by multinational governments and nuclear authorities. Researchers in the School of Engineering’s Geoenvironmental Research Centre, backed by the European Commission’s EURATOM programme, developed a model to simulate the behaviour of a nuclear waste repository over time, helping to understand how barriers perform in nuclear waste disposal. The model’s findings went on to influence the design and build of a number of new international nuclear waste storage facilities.

The project has had significant impact on engineering design, economic investment and public policy. The software has been utilised by International Nuclear Waste Disposal Authorities, and GRC’s work has contributed to the design and construction of a new repositories in Sweden and Finland.

“This development is good news for Finland and for the world… it will offer alternatives for other nations seeking to sustainably and responsibly manage spent fuel.” Yukiya Amanom, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency

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