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Technical Investigations of the Near-Surface Disposal of HAW from Sites in Scotland

Between June 2022 and January 2024, Eden NE led a feasibility study considering Near-Surface Disposal (NSD) in Scotland. Scottish Higher Activity Waste (HAW) Policy is that HAW should be managed in near-surface facilities, which could include NSD facilities. We were supported by our subcontractors WSP, Hydrock Ltd, Gardiner and Theobald and Cyclife UK in delivering this large project. In total, a team of around 40 people were involved in this work.

The study considered all technical areas relevant to the feasibility of NSD in Scotland, including the policy and regulatory context, design concepts, site characteristics, environmental performance of different concepts, potential Scottish inventory suitable for NSD, transport, nuclear safety and security, cost and schedule. Eight design concepts with different depths of disposal, access approach and degrees of retrievability were developed, and indicative costs and schedules were prepared for each concept. Inventory constraints were developed for each design based on environmental performance considerations and used to identify potential inventory in different scenarios.

As well as leading and managing the project, Eden NE undertook the work setting out policy and regulatory context, carried out radiological assessment calculations to derive constraints on inventory for the different NSD design concepts under consideration and applied them to the UKRWI to estimate how much of the Scottish HAW inventory could be disposed in the different concepts. We also supported and coordinated our subcontractors' work in the other technical areas and produced the technical report presenting the outcome of the feasibility study.

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