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J Environ Radioact. 2014 Dec;138:192-204. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2014.08.010. Epub 2014 Sep 22.

Influence of climate on landscape characteristics in safety assessments of repositories for radioactive wastes.

Author information

1
National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra), Switzerland.
2
Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB, Stockholm, Sweden.
3
Mike Thorne and Associates Limited, Quarry Cottage, Hamsterley, Co. Durham DL13 3NJ, UK. Electronic address: MikeThorneLtd@aol.com.

Abstract

In safety assessments of repositories for radioactive wastes, large spatial and temporal scales have to be considered when developing an approach to risk calculations. A wide range of different types of information may be required. Local to the site of interest, temperature and precipitation data may be used to determine the erosional regime (which may also be conditioned by the vegetation characteristics adopted, based both on climatic and other considerations). However, geomorphological changes may be governed by regional rather than local considerations, e.g. alteration of river base levels, river capture and drainage network reorganisation, or the progression of an ice sheet or valley glacier across the site. The regional climate is in turn governed by the global climate. In this work, a commentary is presented on the types of climate models that can be used to develop projections of climate change for use in post-closure radiological impact assessments of geological repositories for radioactive wastes. These models include both Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models and Earth Models of Intermediate Complexity. The relevant outputs available from these models are identified and consideration is given to how these outputs may be used to inform projections of landscape development. Issues of spatial and temporal downscaling of climate model outputs to meet the requirements of local-scale landscape development modelling are also addressed. An example is given of how climate change and landscape development influence the radiological impact of radionuclides potentially released from the deep geological disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel that SKB (the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company) proposes to construct at Forsmark, Sweden.

KEYWORDS:

Climate change; Landscape development; Radioactive waste disposal

PMID:
25255485
DOI:
10.1016/j.jenvrad.2014.08.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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