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Ann ICRP. 2012 Oct-Dec;41(3-4):286-93. doi: 10.1016/j.icrp.2012.06.026. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

Radioactive waste management in France: safety demonstration fundamentals.

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ANDRA, 1-7 rue Jean Monnet, 92298 Ch√Ętenay-Malabry Cedex, France.


The main challenge in development of the safety case for deep geological disposal is associated with the long periods of time over which high- and intermediate-level long-lived wastes remain hazardous. A wide range of events and processes may occur over hundreds of thousands of years. These events and processes are characterised by specific timescales. For example, the timescale for heat generation is much shorter than any geological timescale. Therefore, to reach a high level of reliability in the safety case, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the sequence of events and processes likely to occur over the lifetime of the repository. It then becomes possible to assess the capability of the repository to fulfil its safety functions. However, due to the long periods of time and the complexity of the events and processes likely to occur, uncertainties related to all processes, data, and models need to be understood and addressed. Assessment is required over the lifetime of the radionuclides contained in the radioactive waste.

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