Project deliverables

EURAD Domain Insight (6.1.1) - Conceptual Planning

The final goal of siting is to find a site and confirm its suitability for the construction of a deep geological repository (DGR). A suitable site in favourable host geological formation and/or environment is essential to provide long-term safety of disposed waste: together with disposal facility it should ensure long-term isolation of waste from the human environment, containment of radionuclides within the system by the preservation of the engineered barriers, limited migration of radionuclides outside the disposal system (retention and retardation) and long-term stability of the disposal system with respect to external disturbances (seismic events and climate changes) and internal evolution of disposal system components [1, 2, 3].
The site must also be recognized as being suitable both on a national and local level and in specific cases when the site is located close to the border with neighbouring country even cross-border consent is needed [4]. Member States (MS) have different approaches how to obtain political and public acceptance of the site, but it is clear that these aspects must be considered and adequately addressed when planning the site selection process [5, 6]. 
Selection of a suitable site is a process that consists of several stages [7] with various steps and activities and may take many years before achieving its final goal. It starts with a conceptual planning taking into account international, national and local legal frameworks, and continues with area survey, site investigation and site characterisation stage before the site can be confirmed as suitable for disposal of radioactive waste. Good planning of this entire process is of vital importance for successful site selection.
The main purpose of the Conceptual planning is therefore the establishment of an overall plan for the site selection process based on national policy and strategic considerations for long term radioactive waste management, legal, regulatory and environmental requirements and also socio-political aspects and expectations in a country. During the Conceptual planning the criteria for assessing the suitability of potential site(s) should also be defined.