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  • Writer's pictureMatt Swan

Seismic for Safe Disposal of Nuclear Waste

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

RockWave and RPS have been working together for Nuclear Waste Services (NWS), using seismic to identify suitable sites the development of a GDF.

When RockWave started up, we never envisioned that our seismic skillsets would be put to good use within the Nuclear Energy sector. But then we discovered that seismic actually plays an important role in a programme being led by Nuclear Waste Services (NWS).

nuclear waste disposal in a geological disposal facility

Did you know that radioactive waste from nuclear power stations in the UK is currently stored above ground, at various secure sites across the country? However, because of the requirement for continual maintenance, this is not the long-term solution.

The solution being worked on by NWS is to locate suitable sites deep underground for a geological disposal facility, or GDF, where the nuclear waste can be disposed of for the long term, as is already being adopted in countries such as Sweden and Finland.

To find sites suitable for the development of a GDF, data from seismic investigations are integrated within geological models to understand the subsurface at target depths shallower than would be typical for O&G exploration, so it is important that legacy seismic datasets from the North Sea Transition Authority’s NDR are reprocessed with these specific target depths in mind.

As part of NWS’ Site Characterisation Support Services Framework with RPS, RockWave are utilising modern technology that is carefully optimised for this new purpose, to extract subsurface information that facilitates an early understanding of a site’s suitability for hosting a GDF.

We also see the broader potential for these datasets to provide value to other industries (read case study), particularly those engaged with CO2 storage where understanding the overburden and leakage pathways needs to be properly assessed.

Contact us to see how we can leverage NDR data for your purpose.

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