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Modern2020: Development and demonstration of monitoring strategies and technologies for geological disposal

Monitoring can play an important role in enabling waste management organisations to work towards the safe and accepted implementation of geological disposal. The objective of the Modern2020 project is to provide the means for developing and implementing an effective and efficient repository operational monitoring programme.

Overview

Project Dates: 1/06/2015 – 31/05/2019

Project Status: Ongoing

Project Website: www.modern2020.eu

Long-lived radioactive waste must be safely isolated and contained for long periods.  Current radioactive waste management programmes are focused on disposal of long-lived waste in geological repositories as the most appropriate strategy for ensuring long-term safety of people and the environment.   A successful strategy for the management and disposal of used nuclear fuel and long-lived radioactive waste should address both technical and societal needs, and monitoring has the potential to contribute to both of these aspects.

Monitoring can underpin a repository safety strategy; it can contribute to verification of the performance of the disposal system and can contribute to demonstration of compliance with regulatory requirements.  Monitoring can provide better understanding of components evolution and thus allow to appreciating the optimisation possibilities.  Monitoring can contribute to public and stakeholder understanding of processes occurring in the repository, and hence, it can respond to public concerns and potentially be used to build confidence in geological disposal.  Monitoring can, therefore, play an important role in enabling waste management organisations to work towards the safe and accepted implementation of geological disposal.

The overall objective of the Modern2020 project is to provide the means for developing and implementing an effective and efficient repository operational monitoring programme, that will be driven by safety case needs, and that will take into account the requirements of specific national contexts (including inventory, host rocks, repository concepts and regulations, all of which differ between Member States) and public stakeholder expectations (particularly those of local public stakeholders at (potential) disposal sites).

The Modern2020 consortium brings together 28 organisations from Europe and Japan that are committed to the common goal of promoting targeted and innovative co-operation and synergy in the field of monitoring and to respond in an efficient way to major issues and challenges of developing and implementing a monitoring system.

  • Eight radioactive waste management organisations (Andra, ENRESA, NAGRA, ONDRAF/NIRAS, Posiva, RWM, SKB, SURAO);
  • Five organisations undertaking research in their respective country on radioactive waste management (DBETEC, ENEA, NRG, RWMC and VTT);
  • One technical support organisation (IRSN);
  • Four organisations with specialist technical monitoring expertise (AITEMIN, EURIDICE, AREVA, EDF-DTG);
  • Eight academic research units (CTU, USTRAT, XLIM, TUL, UMONS, ETH) of which two are undertaking research in social sciences (UA, UGOT);
  • Two specialist consultants (GSL, NID).

Modern2020 is a four-year project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (2014–2020), co-ordinated by Andra (France).

Objective

Based on the recommendations from recent international collaborative efforts, including the outcomes of the MoDeRn Project and IGD-TP 4th Exchange Forum, the overall objective of the Modern2020 project is to provide the means for developing and implementing an effective and efficient repository operational monitoring programme, that will be driven by safety case needs and that will take into account the requirements of specific national contexts (including inventory, host rocks, repository concepts and regulations, all of which differ between Member States) and public stakeholder expectations (particularly those of local public stakeholders at (potential) disposal sites).  The work in the Modern2020 project will address the following issues:

  • Strategy: development of detailed methodologies for screening safety cases to identify needs-driven repository monitoring strategies and to develop operational approaches for responding to monitoring information.
  • Technology: carry out research and development (R&D) to solve outstanding technical issues in repository monitoring, which are related with wireless data transmission technologies, alternative long term power supplies, new sensors, geophysics, reliability and qualification of components.
  • Demonstration and Practical Implementation: enhance the knowledge on the operational implementation and demonstrate the performance of state-of-the-art and innovative techniques by running full-scale and in situ.
  • Societal concerns and Stakeholder Involvement: develop and evaluate ways for integrating public stakeholder concerns and societal expectations into repository monitoring programmes.

Modern2020 will focus on monitoring of the near-field during repository operational phases.