BGS radioactive waste research

Petrographical, microchemical and fluid inclusion studies of the most recent mineralization in hydrogeologically active fractures provide an insight into the long-term evolution of repository groundwater systems in response to Quaternary climate changes. This example is from the deep groundwater system at Dounreay, Caithness

The team carries out multidisciplinary research on a number of topics important to the future safe geological disposal of radioactive waste including

  • state-of-the-art studies on the movement of fluids (gas, water, solutes) through mudrocks
  • coupled deformation behaviour in particular the engineered damaged zone around repository openings
  • the role of biofilms and particle transport (colloids/nanoparticles) in the movement of radioactivity through the geological environment
  • understanding past and predicting future groundwater flow paths in response to drivers such as climate change, uplift and tectonics
  • impact of climate change, uplift and tectonics on the physical, hydrogeological and geochemical stability of the repository environment
  • application of natural analogue studies to process understanding and the long-term evolution of geological repository systems

We undertake work on behalf of a number of national and international waste management organisations and have provided geological data and interpretations concerning the safe storage and disposal of radioactive waste for more than 40 years.


Contact Fiona McEvoy for more information.