Research on the management of radioactive waste

Regulatory safety research is geared to current problems in supervision and those that can be foreseen over time. For the purposes of its regulatory safety research, ENSI awards and coordinates research mandates in order to determine and expand the current level of scientific and technical knowledge, and to make this knowledge available for supervisory tasks.

In the field of transport and waste management, ENSI is currently focusing on research projects to investigate suitable geological strata for the final storage of long-lived highly radioactive waste.

The geological, hydrogeological, geochemical and geomechanical properties of Opalinus clay are studied at the Mont Terri Rock Laboratory. In connection with this project, ENSI is supporting an experiment to characterise the clefts in the disturbed zone (which occur due to the redistribution of stresses when the gallery is excavated). The physical/chemical processes that take place in a deep geological repository are also being observed in order to determine the containment and retention capacity of the technical and natural barriers.

The EU’s FORGE project aims to examine the importance in relation to safety of the processes caused by gases in the near and far field of a deep geological repository. ENSI’s contribution involves collaboration on compiling an inventory of technical and scientific knowledge regarding the gas problem in a geological repository, as well as the definition and implementation of safety-relevant comparative calculations on gas transport.

ENSI supports and assists with the following research projects in the field of waste management :