Institute for Risk and Reliability Research Research Projects
Risk-based Assessment of Salt Domes as Disposal Sites for Nuclear Waste (RADON)

Risk-based Assessment of Salt Domes as Disposal Sites for Nuclear Waste (RADON)

Led by:  Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Beer, Dr. techn. Matteo Broggi
Team:  Andrea Perin, M.Sc.
Year:  2022
Funding:  Federal company for Radioactive Waste Disposal (BGE)
Duration:  01/2022-01/2025


The aim of this project is to develop a platform for the probabilistic assessment of unintentional leakage of radioactive materials associated with deep repositories. This platform will consist of the following components: i. numerical modelling environment for the simulation of complex flow and transport processes; ii. probabilistic framework; iii. Bayesian networks. This platform will be developed and applied using the example of salt formations, which are in principle an option in the search for repositories. To assess the uncertainty of deep repositories, the following processes are relevant in modelling and will be included in the probabilistic assessment here: (a) density-driven (thermohaline) flow, (b) heat transport, (c), transport of dissolved salt and of radionuclides, (d) fractured-porous rocks. To assess the suitability of possible repository sites, the groundwater age also plays a role, which is also to be simulated. Since the exact rock parameters (e.g. location of fractures, permeabilities) and boundary conditions are unknown, this uncertainty enters into the creation of the probabilistic evaluation platform. The final product will be a risk-informed tool for the decision maker. 

The project is being worked on by two project partners: Institute for Risk and Reliability (IRZ) and Institute for Fluid Mechanics and Environmental Physics in Civil Engineering (ISU) at Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH). The IRZ develops the probabilistic framework and the ISU carries out the numerical simulations.