Posted: May 22nd, 2023
The security challenges connected with the problem of storing nuclear wastes in repository sites are (1) the presence of gases, water, and brine within the repository site; (2) the response of the repository rock to the temperature influence of the stored fuel; (3) potential threat of radionuclides migration; and (4) the packaging degradation of the waste (Okko and Hack 14). In addition, a notable challenge is increased incidence of geologic events all around the globe including sea-level rise, earthquakes, formation of continental ice sheets, subsidence, and volcanic eruptions (JRC 25).
The benefits of using deep geological repository sites for used nuclear fuel storage are multiple. First of all, the host-rocks feature high degree of capacity to absorb radiation and dissipate high temperature if they are properly chosen (Horvath and Rachlew 38). Besides, the flexibility and broad range of rock types is available (Horvath and Rachlew 38).
Next, storage of used fuels in repository sites features the higher degree of safety from the point of view of the threat of accidental or malicious intrusion than other types of storage technologies (Horvath and Rachlew 38). This type of nuclear spent fuels storage ensures full prevention from interference into human economic activity (IAEA 13). Next, repository sites are highly adaptive for constructing barriers minimizing the radionuclides migration (IAEA 15). They require minimal to no maintenance. Construction of repositories is feasible from an engineering viewpoint (IAEA 9).
Based on the rationale provided above, it is reasonable to conclude that the deep geological repositories usage is the optimal solution for storing nuclear spent fuels all over the world. This technologic solution offers both the most advantageous safety standards for keeping this hazardous type of wastes and is available for usage even in the economically-disadvantaged courtiers because its economic benefits exceed its costs considerably. Moreover, this type of nuclear waste deposits features the high degree of safety from terrorist attacks or other adversaries since the storage area is located at a depth not available for common people. The example of advanced countries in the area of geologic repositories usage such as Sweden and Finland is another proof of effectiveness of this technology.
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