TE-1758 web

TE-1758 web
IAEA-TECDOC-1758
IAEA-TECDOC-1758
IAEA TECDOC SERIES
Techno-economic Comparison of Geological Disposal of Carbon Dioxide and Radioactive Waste
IAEA-TECDOC-1758
Techno-economic Comparison
of Geological Disposal
of Carbon Dioxide and
Radioactive Waste
International Atomic Energy Agency
Vienna
ISBN 978–92–0–110114-3
ISSN 1011–4289
@
TECHNO-ECONOMIC COMPARISON OF
GEOLOGICAL DISPOSAL OF CARBON
DIOXIDE AND RADIOACTIVE WASTE
The following States are Members of the International Atomic Energy Agency:
AFGHANISTAN
ALBANIA
ALGERIA
ANGOLA
ARGENTINA
ARMENIA
AUSTRALIA
AUSTRIA
AZERBAIJAN
BAHAMAS
BAHRAIN
BANGLADESH
BELARUS
BELGIUM
BELIZE
BENIN
BOLIVIA
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
BOTSWANA
BRAZIL
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM
BULGARIA
BURKINA FASO
BURUNDI
CAMBODIA
CAMEROON
CANADA
CENTRAL AFRICAN
REPUBLIC
CHAD
CHILE
CHINA
COLOMBIA
CONGO
COSTA RICA
CÔTE D’IVOIRE
CROATIA
CUBA
CYPRUS
CZECH REPUBLIC
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
OF THE CONGO
DENMARK
DOMINICA
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
ECUADOR
EGYPT
EL SALVADOR
ERITREA
ESTONIA
ETHIOPIA
FIJI
FINLAND
FRANCE
GABON
GEORGIA
GERMANY
GHANA
GREECE
GUATEMALA
HAITI
HOLY SEE
HONDURAS
HUNGARY
ICELAND
INDIA
INDONESIA
IRAN, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF
IRAQ
IRELAND
ISRAEL
ITALY
JAMAICA
JAPAN
JORDAN
KAZAKHSTAN
KENYA
KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
KUWAIT
KYRGYZSTAN
LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC
REPUBLIC
LATVIA
LEBANON
LESOTHO
LIBERIA
LIBYA
LIECHTENSTEIN
LITHUANIA
LUXEMBOURG
MADAGASCAR
MALAWI
MALAYSIA
MALI
MALTA
MARSHALL ISLANDS
MAURITANIA, ISLAMIC
REPUBLIC OF
MAURITIUS
MEXICO
MONACO
MONGOLIA
MONTENEGRO
MOROCCO
MOZAMBIQUE
MYANMAR
NAMIBIA
NEPAL
NETHERLANDS
NEW ZEALAND
NICARAGUA
NIGER
NIGERIA
NORWAY
OMAN
PAKISTAN
PALAU
PANAMA
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
PARAGUAY
PERU
PHILIPPINES
POLAND
PORTUGAL
QATAR
REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA
ROMANIA
RUSSIAN FEDERATION
RWANDA
SAN MARINO
SAUDI ARABIA
SENEGAL
SERBIA
SEYCHELLES
SIERRA LEONE
SINGAPORE
SLOVAKIA
SLOVENIA
SOUTH AFRICA
SPAIN
SRI LANKA
SUDAN
SWAZILAND
SWEDEN
SWITZERLAND
SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC
TAJIKISTAN
THAILAND
THE FORMER YUGOSLAV
REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
TOGO
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
TUNISIA
TURKEY
UGANDA
UKRAINE
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
UNITED KINGDOM OF
GREAT BRITAIN AND
NORTHERN IRELAND
UNITED REPUBLIC
OF TANZANIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
URUGUAY
UZBEKISTAN
VENEZUELA, BOLIVARIAN
REPUBLIC OF
VIET NAM
YEMEN
ZAMBIA
ZIMBABWE
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IAEA-TECDOC-1758
TECHNO-ECONOMIC COMPARISON OF
GEOLOGICAL DISPOSAL OF CARBON
DIOXIDE AND RADIOACTIVE WASTE
INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY
VIENNA, 2014
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IAEA Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
Techno-economic comparison of geological disposal of carbon
dioxide and radioactive waste. — Vienna : International
Atomic Energy Agency, 2014.
p. ; 30 cm. — (IAEA-TECDOC series, ISSN 1011–4289
; no. 1758)
ISBN 978–92–0–110114–3
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Radioactive waste disposal in the ground. 2. Carbon sequestration.
3. Climate change mitigation. I. International Atomic Energy Agency.
II. Series.
IAEAL
14–00946
FOREWORD
The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is an important prerequisite for sustainable
development. The energy sector is a major contributor to such emissions, which are mostly
from fossil fuel fired power plants acting as point sources of carbon dioxide (CO2) discharges.
For the last twenty years, the new technology of carbon capture and storage, which mitigates
CO2 emissions, has been considered in many IAEA Member States. This technology involves
the removal of CO2 from the combustion process and its disposal in geological formations,
such as depleted oil or gas fields, saline aquifers or unmineable coal seams.
A large scale energy supply option with low CO2 emissions is nuclear power. The high level
radioactive waste produced during nuclear power plant operation and decommissioning as
well as in nuclear fuel reprocessing is also planned to be disposed of in deep geological
formations.
To further research and development in these areas and to compare and learn from the
planning, development and implementation of these two underground waste disposal
concepts, the IAEA launched the coordinated research project (CRP) Techno-economic
Comparison of Ultimate Disposal Facilities for Carbon Dioxide and Radioactive Waste. The
project started in 2008 and was completed in 2012. The project established an international
network of nine institutions from nine IAEA Member States, representing both developing
and developed countries.
The CRP results compared the geological disposal facilities in the following areas: geology,
environmental impacts, risk and safety assessment, monitoring, cost estimation, public
perception, policy, regulation and institutions.
This publication documents the outcome of the CRP and is structured into thematic chapters,
covering areas analysed. Each chapter was prepared under the guidance of a lead author and
involved co-authors from different Member States with diverse expertise in related areas.
Participants drew on the results of earlier research, specific case studies in the relevant fields
and on the background material collected by the IAEA in preparation for this CRP. The
content of the chapters was reviewed and discussed at three research coordination meetings
and was further developed after the formal termination of the CRP. The comparative studies
on radioactive waste and CO2 disposal have shown that there are a number of differences and
some similarities in all thematic areas from which both communities can learn.
The IAEA officers responsible for this project and publication were F.L. Toth and
N. Barkatullah of the Office of the Deputy Director General in the Department of Nuclear
Energy.
EDITORIAL NOTE
This publication has been prepared from the original material as submitted by the contributors and has not been edited by the editorial
staff of the IAEA. The views expressed remain the responsibility of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of the
IAEA or its Member States.
Neither the IAEA nor its Member States assume any responsibility for consequences which may arise from the use of this publication.
This publication does not address questions of responsibility, legal or otherwise, for acts or omissions on the part of any person.
The use of particular designations of countries or territories does not imply any judgement by the publisher, the IAEA, as to the legal
status of such countries or territories, of their authorities and institutions or of the delimitation of their boundaries.
The mention of names of specific companies or products (whether or not indicated as registered) does not imply any intention to
infringe proprietary rights, nor should it be construed as an endorsement or recommendation on the part of the IAEA.
The IAEA has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third party Internet web sites referred to in this
publication and does not guarantee that any content on such web sites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.
CONTENTS
SUMMARY ........................................................................................................................... 1
1.
INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................... 5
1.1.
1.2.
1.3.
1.4.
2.
GEOLOGY ................................................................................................................. 11
2.1.
2.2.
2.3.
2.4.
3.
INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................... 11
DISPOSAL METHODS ................................................................................ 12
2.2.1. CO2 disposal....................................................................................... 12
2.2.2. Radioactive waste disposal ................................................................. 19
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES ........................................................................ 22
2.3.1. Bulgaria.............................................................................................. 22
2.3.2. Cuba ................................................................................................... 30
2.3.3. The Czech Republic ........................................................................... 34
2.3.4. Germany ............................................................................................ 40
2.3.5. India ................................................................................................... 43
2.3.6. The Republic of Korea ....................................................................... 49
2.3.7. Switzerland ........................................................................................ 56
CONCLUSIONS ........................................................................................... 60
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS ................................................................................. 67
3.1.
3.2.
3.3.
3.4.
3.5.
4.
BACKGROUND ............................................................................................. 5
TERMINOLOGY ............................................................................................ 6
OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF THE CRP ..................................................... 7
SCOPE AND STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT ............................................. 8
INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................... 67
METHODOLOGIES ..................................................................................... 68
3.2.1. Life cycle assessment ......................................................................... 68
3.2.2. Basic principles of the LCA................................................................ 68
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES ........................................................................ 70
3.3.1. Radioactive waste disposal ................................................................. 70
3.3.2. CO2 disposal....................................................................................... 73
3.3.3. LCA case study of CO2 disposal in Germany ...................................... 75
3.3.4. Country specific conclusions .............................................................. 76
COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT ................................................................. 78
CONCLUSIONS ........................................................................................... 79
SAFETY AND RISK ASSESSMENT......................................................................... 83
4.1.
4.2.
4.3.
4.4.
INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................... 83
METHODOLOGY ........................................................................................ 85
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES ........................................................................ 87
4.3.1. Czech Republic .................................................................................. 87
4.3.2. Switzerland ........................................................................................ 91
4.3.3. India ................................................................................................... 95
COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT ................................................................. 98
4.5.
5.
MONITORING ......................................................................................................... 111
5.1.
5.2.
5.3.
5.4.
5.5.
6.
6.4.
6.5.
INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................... 133
METHODOLOGY ...................................................................................... 136
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES ...................................................................... 138
6.3.1. Cuba ................................................................................................. 138
6.3.2. India ................................................................................................. 140
6.3.3. Republic of Korea ............................................................................ 145
6.3.4. Lithuania .......................................................................................... 148
6.3.5. Switzerland ...................................................................................... 156
COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT ............................................................... 160
CONCLUSIONS ......................................................................................... 162
PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE .......................................................................................... 169
7.1.
7.2.
7.3.
7.4.
8.
INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................... 111
MONITORING OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL FACILITES .... 111
5.2.1. Phases of radioactive waste disposal and related monitoring
activities ........................................................................................... 113
5.2.2. Periodic review................................................................................. 114
5.2.3. Key issues and relevant parameters................................................... 115
5.2.4. Monitoring methods ......................................................................... 117
MONITORING OF CARBON DIOXIDE DISPOSAL ................................ 120
5.3.1. CO2 disposal phases and related monitoring ..................................... 120
5.3.2. Key issues and relevant parameters................................................... 121
5.3.3. Monitoring methods ......................................................................... 123
COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT ............................................................... 126
CONCLUSIONS ......................................................................................... 128
COST ESTIMATION ............................................................................................... 133
6.1.
6.2.
6.3.
7.
CONCLUSIONS ......................................................................................... 102
INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................... 169
METHODOLOGY ...................................................................................... 169
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES ...................................................................... 170
7.3.1. Czech Republic ................................................................................ 170
7.3.2. Germany .......................................................................................... 175
7.3.3. Lithuania .......................................................................................... 181
CONCLUSIONS ......................................................................................... 189
POLICY, REGULATION AND INSTITUTIONS..................................................... 197
8.1.
8.2.
8.3.
8.4.
INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................... 197
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES ...................................................................... 198
8.2.1. Radioactive waste disposal ............................................................... 198
8.2.2. Carbon dioxide disposal ................................................................... 201
8.2.3. Country specific conclusions ............................................................ 212
COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT ............................................................... 219
CONCLUSIONS ......................................................................................... 219
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ............................................................................................. 227
CONTRIBUTORS TO DRAFTING AND REVIEW .......................................................... 233
SUMMARY
Global climate change is a major challenge for humanity. The dominant greenhouse gas
(GHG) is carbon dioxide (CO2) that contributes more than 70% to the global GHG emissions.
About 40% of the total CO2 emissions result from electricity generation, due to the
overwhelming reliance on fossil fuels, especially coal.
There is a widespread consensus that global emissions of CO2 have to be considerably
reduced in order to stabilize its concentration in the atmosphere and thereby mitigate climate
change. The required reductions can be realized by various types of measures, including:
•
Energy efficiency improvements and reduction of the energy demand;
•
Use of low carbon energy sources, such as wind, hydropower and nuclear energy;
•
CO2 capture and geological disposal.
It is recognised that energy efficiency improvements and reduction of the energy demand
alone may not be sufficient to achieve the required reductions in CO2 emissions.
Consequently, international interest in CO2 capture and disposal has risen rapidly over the
last two decades as a potential climate change mitigation strategy with significant potential.
In particular, CO2 emissions from large point sources such as fossil fuel power plants could
be captured and disposed of in geological formations, have received great attention.
Another large scale option for low carbon energy supply is the generation of heat and
electricity in nuclear power plants. However, the disposal of the generated radioactive waste
remains a major concern for society. The necessary separation of radioactive waste from the
accessible biosphere through its disposal in adequate geological formations is considered by
the nuclear community as the appropriate long term management option and it is being
investigated in many countries. The related safety and security requirements are high. So far,
the disposal of high level radioactive waste takes place only at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plan
(WIPP) in the USA that is a geological repository for permanent disposal of a specific type of
waste that is the by-product of the nuclear defence programme. Plans to dispose of long lived
intermediate level waste, high level waste and spent nuclear fuel are well advanced in several
countries and geological disposal of radioactive waste is likely to start at several sites over
the next few decades.
The emplacement of radioactive waste and CO2 in deep geological formations is considered
to be a safe method for isolating these substances from people and from the accessible
biosphere.
This report documents the results of the Co-ordinated Research Project (CRP) on Technoeconomic Comparison of Ultimate Disposal Facilities for Carbon Dioxide and Radioactive
Waste of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Research teams from Australia,
Bulgaria, Cuba, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Lithuania, Republic of Korea and
Switzerland participated in the project.
The main objective of this report is to assist existing and potential interested stakeholders in
identifying state of the art information about a range of issues in the geological disposal of
CO2 and radioactive waste relevant for participating countries in a comparative framework.
Participants have drawn on results of earlier research in the relevant fields and on the
1
background material arranged by the IAEA in preparation for the CRP. The investigations
focused on the feasibility, options and capacities for geological disposal of CO2 and
radioactive waste prevailing in participating countries to assist policymaking, particularly
energy and environmental policies.
A country case study approach was used to conduct a comparative analysis of geological
disposal facilities of CO2 and radioactive waste. The thematic areas assessed include:
geology, environmental impacts, risk and safety assessment, monitoring, cost assessment,
public perception, and policy, regulation and institutions. The main findings of the study are
summarized below:
Geology:
•
For CO2 disposal, sedimentary basins, particularly depleted oil/gas fields, saline
aquifers are mostly considered; coal beds may also be suitable;
•
For the geological disposal of radioactive waste, a range of sedimentary, igneous and
metamorphic host formations are regarded as potentially suitable;
•
Potential geological formations have been identified but no final sites have been
selected for radioactive waste disposal in countries participating in this CRP;
•
Site selection is country specific in both cases.
Environmental impacts:
•
For both disposal technologies, environmental impacts are relatively small in
comparison to impacts from the rest of the related electricity generation chain;
•
Based on assessments from two case study countries (Switzerland and Germany);
similar results can be anticipated for other European countries.
Safety and risk assessments:
•
In CO2 disposal, safe performance is based entirely on the host rock and associated
injection infrastructure;
•
In radioactive waste disposal, safe performance is based on a multibarrier system;
•
For radioactive waste disposal, an extensive series of safety standards and guidance
are provided by the IAEA. Many Member States have established organisations
responsible for the regulation of radioactive waste management, including disposal.
Safety assessment methodologies are significantly better established for radioactive
waste than for CO2 disposal.
Monitoring :
•
2
Both radioactive waste and CO2 disposal have developed particular monitoring
technologies tailored to their needs;
•
For both radioactive waste and CO2 disposal, the potential dynamic evolution of the
sites is important;
•
For radioactive waste disposal monitoring thermal and radiological processes are
important whereas for CO2 disposal the major concern is CO2 migration.
Cost assessment:
•
Lack of data in participating countries makes comparative analysis for both
radioactive waste and CO2 disposal across the countries difficult;
•
The costs of both CO2 and radioactive waste disposal per unit of electricity generated
vary significantly across the countries.
Public perception:
•
Public perception is better established for radioactive waste disposal compared to CO2
disposal;
•
The public’s perception of CO2 disposal is, in general, low but it is developing rapidly
as projects develop;
•
In general, there is a lack of systematic analysis and data of possible impacts from
information and communication on public perception for both technologies.
Policy, regulation, institutions:
•
Policy, regulatory and institutional settings are relatively well defined for radioactive
waste disposal and policies are developing rapidly for CCS in some countries, for
example in Europe. However, regulations and institutions for CO2 disposal are
undeveloped or underdeveloped in participating countries;
•
An extensive set of IAEA Safety Standards and other safety related documents are
available about radioactive waste disposal;
•
More analysis is required for CO2 disposal to support its regulation, e.g. to define the
legal status of CO2 as an industrial product vs. waste.
3
Chapter 1
1.
INTRODUCTION
F.L. TOTH
International Atomic Energy Agency,
Vienna
1.1. BACKGROUND
Mitigating anthropogenic climate change by the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions is an important prerequisite for sustainable development. The ultimate goal of the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is to stabilize the
atmospheric concentration of GHGs at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic
interference with the climate system. The Copenhagen Accord of the UNFCCC defines this
level at 2°C increase in the global mean annual surface temperature above the preindustrial
level [1.1].
The third session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 3) to the UNFCCC adopted the
Kyoto Protocol. It is the first legally binding agreement to implement the Convention, but in
its original form it had limited participation of major GHG emitters and covered only the
period 2008–2012 for GHG reductions by the participating countries. The 18th session of the
Conference of the Parties and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the
Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP 18/CMP 8) in 2012 adopted the Doha
Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol [1.2]. This includes new commitments in the second
commitment period for Annex I Parties who agreed to reduce GHG emissions by at least 18%
below 1990 levels between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2020.
Parties to the UNFCCC established the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for
Enhanced Action (ADP) at COP 17 in December 2011 and launched a “process to develop a
protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the
Convention applicable to all Parties” [1.3] for approval at COP 21 in 2015 and to enter into
force in 2020. The mitigation component of the post-2020 agreement would need to include
fast reduction of GHG emissions to achieve the target set in the Copenhagen Accord.
As the major source of GHG emissions, the energy sector will be increasingly affected by the
future international climate protection regimes. To meet the increasing energy needs of the
world in the 21st century, all energy sources will be required. Depending on the
national/regional circumstances, renewable energy sources and nuclear power are projected
to contribute at much larger scales than today as the world community moves towards low
carbon sources of energy. Fossil fuels are also anticipated to play an important role in the
foreseeable future. However, they will need to become environmentally benign by
developing and deploying at commercial scales pollutant removal technologies, including
CO2 capture and disposal (CCD). This technology involves the removal of CO2 before or
after the combustion process and its disposal in underground formations, such as aquifers or
depleted oil and gas fields. CCD allows reducing CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels, in
particular coal, considerably. The removed material will have to be disposed of in an
environmentally safe manner. Establishing ultimate disposal facilities for the captured CO2 in
suitable geological formations will pose a major challenge.
5
Another large scale energy option with low CO2 emissions is nuclear power. The radioactive
waste from nuclear power plant operation is also planned to be disposed of in deep geological
formations, such as salt domes, clay or granite. Recent discussions about national energy
strategies in many Member States of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have
raised the increasing role of nuclear power in enhancing energy security and mitigating
climate change, together with concerns over disposal of radioactive waste. In the case of
radioactive waste, principles and practices for safe geological disposal are emerging, but full
implementation still remains a challenge as well.
The simultaneously increasing interest in the geological disposal of CO2 and radioactive
waste has brought up a range of questions and opportunities in techno-economic assessments.
Following a few sporadic efforts dealing with selected topics, the first systematic
comparative assessment concerning the issues involved in the geological disposal of CO2 and
radioactive waste was organized and published by the IAEA [1.4]. It triggered considerable
interest in IAEA Member States. In response to this interest, the IAEA initiated the
Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on Techno-economic Comparison of Ultimate Disposal
Facilities for CO2 and Radioactive Waste to address these issues further. This report presents
the outcome of the CRP.
1.2. TERMINOLOGY
It is important to recognize right at the outset that there are some significant differences of
terminology between the management of radioactive waste, and CO2 capture and disposal.
For radioactive wastes, there is a clear distinction between ‘storage’ and ‘disposal’ as defined
in the IAEA Glossary [1.5]. Storage is defined as: “The holding of spent fuel or of radioactive
waste in a facility that provides for its containment, with the intention of retrieval. Storage is
by definition an interim measure.” Disposal is defined as: “Emplacement of waste in an
appropriate facility without the intention of retrieval.”
In contrast, the widely used terminology for the waste management of CO2 is to refer to
‘storage’ even though there is no intent to retrieve the CO2 once it has been injected into the
ground. If it was radioactive waste, this same process would be referred to as ‘disposal’. The
emplacement of CO2 in geological formations is widely called storage, sequestration or
disposal. In this report the term CO2 disposal is mostly used but the three terms are used
interchangeably across the chapters. Accordingly, ‘disposal capacity’ and ‘storage capacity’
are also used when referring to the ability of a geological formation to take up an estimated
volume of CO2.
Carbon dioxide will be disposed of in deep geological formations using injection boreholes
which will then be permanently sealed. In contrast, there are several ways of disposing of
radioactive wastes depending on the classification of the wastes. The options include a range
of near surface facilities for low level waste (LLW) and short lived intermediate level waste
SL ILW). The more radioactive wastes including long lived intermediate level waste (LL
ILW), high level waste (HLW), and spent fuel (SF), are typically intended for disposal in
geological repositories constructed at several hundred of meters depth below ground surface.
The report consistently refers to ‘radioactive waste’ in preference to the sometimes used
alternative of ‘nuclear waste’. ‘Radioactive waste’ is the terminology included in the IAEA
Glossary [1.5].
Throughout this report, in comparing and contrasting CO2 disposal with radioactive waste
disposal, only geological disposal – and not storage – of radioactive wastes is taken into
6
consideration. It is noted that the descriptions in the report of radioactive waste disposal in
some of the participating countries indicate that they are planning to adopt near surface
disposal for their particular waste inventories. These planned near surface disposal facilities
have not been included in the in-depth comparisons with CO2 disposal, but are mentioned as
appropriate.
1.3. OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF THE CRP
As part of the Agency’s ongoing work on sustainable energy development, this CRP was part
of the Project on Techno-economic Analysis, under the Sub-Programme Energy Economy
Environment (3E) Analysis. The objectives of this Sub-Programme include improving
decision making among Member States and international organizations about technology
choices and sustainable development strategies. The CRP provided a good platform to share
new and important information across Member States through its contribution to international
research, and hence in achieving the objectives of the 3E Analysis Sub-Programme. The CRP
also helped in creating a link between the nuclear and fossil energy communities.
The major objective of the CRP was to review the state of the art in various aspects of the
geological disposal of CO2 and radioactive waste focusing on features and issues of particular
relevance to the participating Member States; to prepare in depth comparative assessments of
the similarities and differences relevant for the country or selected regions; to identify the
already resolved issues and the remaining key challenges; and to evaluate the policy
implications emerging from the comparative study. Participants drew on results of earlier
research and specific case studies in the relevant fields and on the background material
arranged by the IAEA in preparation for this CRP [1.4]. The investigations focused on the
feasibility, options and capacities for disposing of CO2 and radioactive waste with a view to
geological conditions, potential environmental impacts and socioeconomic circumstances
(costs and benefits, legal issues, public acceptance, etc.) prevailing in the participating
countries or selected regions thereof.
The main reason for selecting the thematic areas of geology, environmental impacts,
risk/safety assessment, monitoring, costs assessment, public acceptance, and policy,
regulation and institutions was that these were the most relevant themes for the analysis of
CO2 and radioactive waste disposal in deep geological formations. Geology is fundamental to
the whole analysis because it is critical to assess the geological formation of the proposed
sites in order to understand their properties and suitability to receive and safety contain the
wastes. The possible environmental impacts resulting from the disposal of radioactive waste
and CO2 in geological formations are imperative because both waste types can lead to
potential burden on the environment and proper measures are required to control the
environmental impacts. Any geological disposal facility has to meet the prescribed safety
requirements and this necessitates thorough risk and safety assessments. Reliable and cost
effective monitoring plays a particularly important role in designing and operating geological
disposal facilities. Cost and economic performance estimates are critical in energy and
environmental policymaking and it is vital to ensure that the geological disposal facility is
financially viable and cost effective. This calls for estimations of the main cost components
of the planned repository. Another crucial issue in implementing geological disposal projects
is social perception and acceptance. Finally, policy, regulatory and institutional settings are
important for implementing geological disposal programmes according to prevailing and
newly established rules.
7
This CRP involved interactions between geoscientists, engineers, economists, safety analysts,
and experts in politics and public acceptance representing the nuclear and CCD communities
of the participating countries. The study highlighted the actual status and recent
developments in these areas and has shown that there are mostly differences, but also many
similarities between the two areas. In particular in the areas of environmental impacts, risk
and safety assessment, cost estimation and public acceptance, similar approaches and
methods are used and the two communities may learn from each other. Increased information
exchange between these two communities on a national or even at the international level
could be of mutual benefit.
The CRP built on capacity in Member States to analyse the back end of different energy
technologies in the context of the climate change problem and to evaluate the potential role of
different energy options, including nuclear power. Moreover, the CRP also built new capacity
in Member States by supporting comprehensive and systematic national level assessments of
various energy and climate protection strategies. National research teams from Australia,
Bulgaria, Cuba, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Lithuania, Republic of Korea and
Switzerland participated in the CRP. The project was implemented by regular interactions
between the national teams. Three Research Coordination Meetings in Vienna were convened
and a Consultancy Meeting was hosted by the Research Centre Juelich in Germany. These
meetings gave all CRP participants a good opportunity to exchange information regarding the
status of their research and to pursue the comparative analysis in the selected thematic areas.
The project created an international network of nine institutions from nine IAEA Member
States, representing both developing and developed countries. They continue working
together and share knowledge and experience in their respective areas on a bilateral or
multilateral basis.
1.4.
SCOPE AND STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT
This report is based on deliverables of the CRP participants. The main findings, conclusions
and recommendations of the report were elaborated at the final Research Coordination
Meeting in Vienna in September 2011 and later revised and updated in the review and
revision process. The thematic chapters 2–9 were prepared and coordinated by the respective
lead authors. The complete report was reviewed by all participants and two external
reviewers: a radioactive waste disposal and a CO2 disposal expert.
This report about the geological disposal of two waste products related to electricity
generation highlights the new knowledge that has emerged from the comparative assessments
in the selected thematic areas (geology, environmental impacts, risk/safety assessment;
monitoring; costs assessment; public perception; and policy, regulation and institutions). It
provides guidance for those who plan to undertake similar studies for exploring disposal
options for CO2 and radioactive waste in a given country for supporting national energy
policy, or for one of the waste products across several countries to provide information for
possible regional collaborative strategies. Up to now such reviews have been mostly carried
out separately by the two communities for their respective waste.
The objective of this report is to document the outcome of the coordinated research
conducted within the CRP. The core of the report comprises the thematic chapters selected in
the frame of the CRP to conduct a comparative analysis of CO2 and radioactive waste
disposal.
8
Results of the CRP reported here are expected to assist existing and potentially interested
stakeholders in identifying state of the art information about a range of issues in the
geological disposal of CO2 and radioactive waste. The investigations of the feasibility,
options and capacities prevailing in the participating countries will assist policymaking,
particularly in energy and environmental policy.
The results of this CRP, as documented in this report, indicate that there are a number of
similarities between these two options and that the two communities may learn from each
other. The results also show that useful and valuable information can be derived even from
the differences.
The report is intended for a variety of stakeholders. It is hoped to contribute to framing
energy strategies and policies at the government level in Member States struggling with the
dilemma between nuclear energy entailing radioactive waste disposal or fossil fuels requiring
CO2 disposal. Other audiences include research organizations, policy analysts, policy
advisors, regulators and utility operators in Members States.
Following this introduction (Chapter 1) about the background, objectives and scope of this
report, Chapter 2 focuses on the geological aspects of CO2 and radioactive waste disposal.
Chapter 3 provides an overview of environmental impacts by employing the life cycle
assessment (LCA) methodology. The environmental burdens and impacts from radioactive
waste and CO2 disposal are assessed in the context of the complete energy chain for
generating electricity from fossil and nuclear power plants. Chapter 4 discusses risk and
safety assessments for the disposal concepts, exposure definition, limits for safety/risk
evaluation, methodologies available and results achieved from the evaluation of certain
scenarios. Chapter 5 focuses on monitoring in both disposal concepts, before, during and after
their operation. Chapter 6 discusses disposal costs by analysing the estimated costs of
geological disposal of CO2 and radioactive waste. A comparative analysis of CO2 and
radioactive waste disposal costs is performed, specific and total costs are calculated for
selected countries. Chapter 7 examines the similarities and differences in public perception
and public acceptance between CO2 and radioactive waste disposal. Chapter 8 presents a
comprehensive analysis of the policy, regulation and institutional issues in several
participating and other major countries in a comparative framework.
REFERENCES TO CHAPTER 1
[1.1] UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE,
Report of the Conference of the Parties on its Fifteenth Session, held in Copenhagen
from 7 to 19 December, 2009, FCCC/CP/2009/11/Add.1, UNFCCC, Bonn (2010)
http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2009/cop15/eng/11a01.pdf.
[1.2] UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE, Doha
Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, UNFCCC, Bonn (2012)
https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/CN/2012/CN.718.2012-Eng.pdf
[1.3] UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE,
Establishment of an Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced
Action, Draft decision -/CP.17 UNFCCC, Bonn (2011)
https://unfccc.int/files/meetings/durban_nov_2011/decisions/application/pdf/cop17_dur
banplatform.pdf
[1.4] TOTH, F.L., (Ed.), Geological Disposal of Carbon Dioxide and Radioactive Waste: A
Comparative Assessment, Springer, Dordrecht (2011).
9
[1.5] INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Radioactive Waste Management
Glossary, 2003 edition, IAEA, Vienna (2003).
10
Chapter 2
2.
GEOLOGY
G. GEORGIEV
Sofia University St. Kliment,
Bulgaria
R. BAJPAI
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC),
India
J.-F. HAKE, J. KUPITZ
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH,
Germany
V. HAVLOVA
Nuclear Research Institute Rez plc,
Czech Republic
E. PAZ ORTEGA
Cuba Energia,
Cuba
J.H. RYU
Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute,
Republic of Korea
A. SIMONS
Paul Scherrer Institute,
Switzerland
2.1. INTRODUCTION
This chapter presents an overview of the geological issues involved in the ultimate disposal
of carbon dioxide (CO2) and radioactive waste in geological formations. It is based on the
information collected by research teams participating in this Coordinated Research Project
(CRP) in their own Member States. The chapter is intended to serve as a reference for the
thematic discussions in subsequent chapters.
The main objectives of the chapter are:
•
To present an up to date overview of the methods in geological assessments for the
disposal of CO2 and radioactive waste;
•
To review the specific geological conditions and the status of research in the countries
involved in this CRP;
11
•
To present a comparative analyses of the geological issues in the disposal of CO2 and
radioactive waste.
The countries involved in the geological component of this CRP include Bulgaria, Cuba, the
Czech Republic, Germany, India, the Republic of Korea and Switzerland.
2.2.
DISPOSAL METHODS
This chapter presents a general overview of the methods to dispose of CO2 and radioactive
waste.
CO2 disposal
2.2.1.
2.2.1.1.
Geological disposal options
There are several options for the geological disposal of CO2 (see Fig. 2.1):
•
Depleted natural oil and gas fields;
•
Deep saline aquifers (water saturated reservoir rocks);
•
Deep unmineable coal seems;
•
Use of CO2 in enhanced oil recovery;
•
Use of CO2 in enhanced coal bed methane recovery;
•
Basalts, oil shales and cavities.
So far, mostly the first three options have been considered in the countries participating in
this CRP.
FIG. 2.1. Geological disposal options for CO2. Source: based on [2.1]
12
Disposal in depleted oil and natural gas fields
CO2 disposal in depleted natural oil and gas fields offers numerous advantages, the most
significant of which is that the caprock is impermeable and its characteristics are well known.
Indeed, natural reservoirs have proven their capacity to contain hydrocarbons for many
millions of years. Moreover, CO2 disposal of this type is a practice well known to the oil and
gas industry. CO2 is injected into oil fields to reduce crude viscosity and enhance mobility,
thereby improving the recovery rate. This technique is known as enhanced oil recovery
(EOR). A part of the infrastructure already in place for the exploration and production of
crude oil (such as piles and wells) can be reused for CO2 disposal operations, thereby helping
to control costs.
However, reservoirs are not always located near the sources of CO2 production, nor are the
available disposal capacities always sufficient to meet all needs.
Disposal in saline aquifers
There are numerous aquifers located in sedimentary basins, with areas of up to several
thousand km2. They can be either offshore or onshore. Formed on porous, permeable rock
often saturated with brackish water or brine which cannot be used as drinking water, these
aquifers are potential disposal sites for considerable quantities of CO2, provided they are at a
sufficient depth (>800 m) and have overlying impermeable layers.
Although this type offers a large disposal potential, extensive work is still needed to gain
better knowledge of these aquifers.
Disposal in unmineable coal beds
In this option, the coal bed is not used as a reservoir, but it stores the CO2 by absorption of
the gas. Provided the coal bed is adequately covered by an impermeable caprock, this
technique would also allow for enhanced coal bed methane recovery (ECBMR).
However, the present understanding of this disposal type is still incomplete. It is an option for
the future, if the problem of how to inject large volumes of CO2 into low permeable coal is
solved.
Inside the layer of porous rock, there are three natural trapping processes, which increase the
safety of CO2 disposal over time. These are residual, dissolution and mineral trapping.
•
Residual trapping: some of the injected CO2 is trapped in the tiny pores of the rocks
and cannot move, even under pressure;
•
Dissolution trapping: a portion of the injected CO2 dissolves into the surrounding
water;
•
Mineral trapping: over time, some of the heavy CO2 rich water sinks to the bottom of
the reservoir, where it may react to form minerals such as those found in limestone or
sandstone.
13
2.2.1.2.
Basic criteria for site selection
For a site to be suitable for CO2 disposal, some basic geological criteria have to be fulfilled.
They include:
•
Sufficient depth of reservoir to ensure that CO2 reaches its supercritical dense phase,
but not so deep that permeability and porosity becomes too low;
•
Effective petrophysical reservoir properties to ensure that CO2 injectivity is
economically viable and that sufficient CO2 can be stored;
•
Integrity of natural seals to hinder CO2 release;
•
Sufficient disposal capacity to retain the amount of CO2 expected to be released from
the source. This will determine the economic performance and the potential
exploitation of the resource.
Depth of reservoir: The density of CO2 rich gases increases with depth as a result of
increasing temperature and pressure. Under normal reservoir conditions, there is a steep
increase in the density with an associated decrease in the volume of CO2 at depths between
600–800 m (Fig. 2.2). This is dependent on the geothermal conditions and pressure of the
formation in question. At depths of more than 800 m (~8 MPa pressure), the CO2 will be in
its dense (liquid or supercritical) phase; at depths less than this, it will be in its gas phase and
not dense enough for disposal to be economically viable. For this reason, disposal is
recommended in formations that lie at depths of 800 m or deeper.
However, with increasing depth, the permeability and porosity of the sandstone reservoir
normally decrease, due to digenetic alterations. This has a negative effect on the disposal
capacity of the reservoir and the ability to inject CO2 into the reservoir as described below
under petrophysical reservoir properties. For this reason, it is recommended, as a rule of
thumb, that the disposal depth is not greater than 2500 m, unless sufficient data are available
to validate acceptable porosity and permeability values at a greater depth [2.2].
Petrophysical reservoir properties: A reservoir must have some basal petrophysical
properties to be suitable for CO2 disposal. Here, the basic parameters are the permeability and
the porosity. High permeability values ensure that it is easy to inject CO2 into the reservoir
and high porosity values ensure that there is pore space available for the CO2 disposal.
14
•
Permeability is a measure of the ability of a material to transmit fluids. In the case of
CO2 disposal, the material is typically a rock of sedimentary origin. The permeability
is of great importance in determining the flow characteristics of the injected CO2 in
the reservoir. Permeability is commonly symbolized as κ, or k. The unit used for
describing permeability is millidarcy (mD) (1 Darcy = 10−12 m2). The permeability
needs to be measured either directly (using Darcy's law) or through estimation using
empirically derived formulas. As a general rule, the formation permeability must
exceed 200 mD for a specific reservoir to provide sufficient injectivity [2.3].
However, values greater than 300 mD are preferred.
•
Porosity is a measure of the relative volume of void space in a rock to the total rock
volume. The void may contain, for example, water or hydrocarbons (gas and oil).
Porosity is measured in percent, between 0 and 100%. Effective porosity (also called
open porosity) refers to the fraction of the total volume in which fluid flow is
effectively taking place (this excludes dead end pores or non-connected cavities).
These spaces or pores are in the juvenile state of water bearing where oil and gas
accumulate in hydrocarbon deposits. Therefore, a high effective porosity increases the
amount of CO2 that can be stored. The fraction (by volume) of a reservoir’s pore
space that can be filled by CO2 (in free or dissolved form) is called the disposal
efficiency. In the case of natural gas disposal in aquifers, a bulk gas saturation of
more than 50 volumetric percent may be reached. For trap structures, the ability to
displace pore fluids from within the trap to surrounding reservoir rocks will govern
the value of the disposal efficiency. As a general rule, porosity should be larger than
20% [2.2]. Porosity below 10% is restraining.
FIG. 2.2. CO2 volume reduction with depth. Source: based on [2.1]
15
Integrity of the natural seal/caprock: Given the buoyant nature of CO2, a reservoir must have
an overlying seal/caprock to be able to store CO2 effectively. Typical formations with good
sealing properties are rocks with low permeability values, such as lacustrine and marine
mudstones, evaporates and dense carbonates. The integrity of the seal is governed by the
thickness of the sealing formation, the absence of faults crossing the formation, as well as the
impact of geochemical interactions between the CO2 and the caprock. Parameters that have
influence on the properties of a rock as a seal are the following:
•
Permeability: in the case of a seal, the permeability should be as low as possible,
thereby hindering the transport of CO2 through the matrix of the caprock;
•
Seal thickness: a thick seal naturally has a positive effect in hindering the leakage of
CO2 through the seal. A thickness less than 20 m is deterrent, whereas thickness
greater than 100 m is preferable [2.2];
•
Faults: they may have several, partially opposing effects on the migration of CO2.
Sealing faults can constitute traps, thereby both trapping CO2 and constraining its
migration pathways. Non-sealing faults, in contrast, may enable CO2 to escape
through the seal along faults and, thereby, potentially escape to the atmosphere or the
sea. Seal integrity may also be compromised by hydrofracturing the caprock, which
occurs when the pore pressure of the reservoir is the same as the least principal stress
in the overlying unit [2.4];
•
Tectonic activity: to avoid a sudden escape of pressurized CO2 along faults, disposal
sites should not be in an area of recent seismic or tectonic activities. Pressurized CO2
ascending along faults could expand rapidly at subcritical conditions, reducing the
fault strength and opening up pathways for the gas to escape to the surface. The
injection of large quantities of CO2 may also change the local stress field, and thus
trigger seismicity. Therefore, statistics on seismic activities should be checked for
potential disposal sites;
•
Heterogeneity of the seal: a homogeneous, low permeable seal inhibits the migration
of CO2 through the seal. Abundant inhomogeneities, such as sandstone beds and
lenses in a seal of mudstone, increase the risk of CO2 leakage, as sandstone
occurrences may be connected directly or by small faults, thereby forming migration
pathways for the CO2;
•
Geochemical interactions: once CO2 dissolves into water, it forms carbonic acid. This
will acidify the formation water and potentially attack and alter the caprock and
fractures within the caprock. These chemical interactions might change the physical
characteristics of parts of the seal and thus potentially enhance CO2 migration towards
the surface.
Disposal capacity: All identified disposal sites should be capable of storing the lifetime
emissions of the selected source point(s). With respect to power plants, nominal plant
lifetimes are approximately 20–30 years. If a coal fired power plant, as an example, has an
annual CO2 emission of 4 million t (Mt), then the disposal site should, consequently, have a
minimum capacity of 80 Mt. Lifetimes will vary according to different types of industry. As a
general rule of thumb, the total disposal capacity of a reservoir should be much larger than
the total amount of CO2 from the source.
16
Geological parameters that influence the disposal capacity include: trap type, occurrence of
faults, heterogeneity of the reservoir, thickness and areal extent of the reservoir. In addition,
the petrophysical properties of the reservoir naturally have a large effect on the disposal
capacity.
•
Trap type: CO2 disposal capacity depends not only on the properties of the reservoir
itself, but also on the nature of its boundaries. As described in Chadwick et al. [2.2], very
little CO2 can be injected into the water filled porosity of a small reservoir with perfectly
sealed non-elastic boundaries, as the only space available will be that created by the
compression of the water and rock. Furthermore, this may result in an unacceptable rise in
reservoir pressure towards the seal, implying that CO2 may leak through the seal along
microfractures or faults or migrate through the matrix of the seal if the pressure overrides
the capillary entry pressure of the seal.
For efficient disposal, it is therefore necessary that a significant proportion of the native
pore fluid is displaced from the reservoir over the injection period. This may occur either
by anthropogenic production of fluids (oil and gas), by deliberate production of formation
water or by displacement of the formation water to the aquifer outside the closure by the
injected CO2.
Aquifers in which formation water is expelled by the injected CO2 may be divided into
trapped aquifers and open aquifers.
- Trapped aquifers: the majority of suitable structures that can keep CO2 over long
periods of time consist of some sort of three dimensional structural closures that form
different types of traps. The ideal convex structure is the isolated dome that dips in all
directions away from the central high;
Eventually, all kinds of different shapes of those closures will occur in nature, from
circular to elongated to complex. A common characteristic is, however, that they will be
terminated upwards by a highest point that can be measured directly (wells) or indirectly
(seismic profiles) as depth to the crest of the structure. In the case of complex shaped
closures, several crests may be present. Large structures naturally favour the disposal
capacity compared to minor structures;
- Open aquifers: CO2 disposal may also take place in open, dipping aquifers [2.2]. The
seals above these aquifers are dipping and may be incomplete; they would inhibit direct
vertical migration of the injected CO2 and deflect the migration path to or near horizontal
course, but they would not hold the CO2 permanently in situ. Ultimately, the CO2 would
likely reach a non-sealed part of the reservoir and escape into the atmosphere or the ocean
if it were not kept within the reservoir by counteracting processes. Suitable counteracting
processes that have an effect at relevant timescales (hundreds to thousands of years) are
the dissolution into formation water and residual gas trapping due to relatively
permeability hysteresis. Open dipping aquifers may, therefore, provide effective CO2
disposal options if the above mentioned processes operate and there is an adequate
distance between the injection well and the leakage point.
•
Heterogeneity and faults: internal barriers within the reservoir, such as faults or
lithological inhomogeneities, need to be considered, as these may divide the reservoir into
separate unconnected or poorly connected compartments that may behave independently
of each other. Therefore, it is easier to estimate the CO2 disposal capacity for non-faulted
17
reservoirs with a homogeneous lithology, compared to reservoirs, which are heavily
faulted and are strongly heterogeneous. Furthermore, in the latter type of reservoirs, the
injection of CO2 may require at least one well per compartment [2.5] and the dispersal
pattern of the injected CO2 is more difficult to predict. On the other hand, lithological
heterogeneity may promote additional fixing processes of CO2 within the reservoir in
addition to the structural trapping. Intra-reservoir heterogeneity is, therefore, likely to
increase effective disposal capacity in the longer term by encouraging dissolution of CO2
into the formation water, promoting ‘strati graphical’ trapping of CO2 as an immobile
residual phase and promoting geochemical reaction leading to chemical ‘fixing’ [2.2].
•
Thickness and areal extent: the size of the CO2 disposal structure will be defined by the
last closing contour at a certain depth. Below that depth, the CO2 will not be contained
within the structure and be allowed to spread uncontrollable. The areal extent of a CO2
disposal site will have an impact on the surface area, the so called ‘footprint’, which will
have to be included in further investigations once a disposal site is planned.
Reservoirs of less than 20 m of cumulative thickness of good reservoir sandstone beds are
thought not to be suitable for the disposal of large amounts of CO2 [2.2]. As a rule of
thumb, the thickness should be larger than 50 m. Naturally, a small thickness can be
compensated by a large areal extent of the reservoir. This, however, also implies a large
‘footprint’ area, making eventual monitoring of CO2 leakage to the surface more
complicated and expensive.
In addition, it requires a large area to be mapped in detail to identify potential leakage
pathways (particularly faults). Information on the probable areal extent of a ‘footprint’
can be estimated with the help of depth structure maps and seismic profiles, which can
help to define the extent of the structure in more detail, as well as for the occurrence of
possible faults.
•
Other parameters with implication on the disposal capacity: apart from the above
mentioned parameters, the CO2 volumes that can be stored in aquifers depend on many
commonly poorly determined parameters and issues as described in [2.2], including:
- Residual saturation trapping, in which capillary forces and adsorption onto the surfaces
of mineral grains within the rock matrix immobilize a proportion of the injected CO2;
- Geochemical trapping, in which dissolved CO2 reacts with the native pore fluid and the
minerals making up the rock matrix of the reservoir [2.6]. CO2 is incorporated into the
reaction products as solid carbonate minerals and aqueous complexes dissolved in the
formation water;
- The amount of CO2 that will dissolve into the saline pore fluids.
2.2.1.3.
Disposal capacity standards
Disposal capacity assessment begins with identifying sedimentary basins. Once the suitable
sedimentary basins have been outlined, the next step is to identify potential reservoir and
sealing units for CO2 disposal and characterization of their geological and physical
properties. At this point, regional CO2 disposal estimates based on the bulk volume of
aquifers can be calculated.
18
More precise estimates can be provided if stratigraphic or structural traps with suitable
reservoir and sealing properties are identified within the aquifers and the disposal potential of
the individual trap is calculated. Regional estimates can be calculated as the sum of the
disposal potential of all traps.
The disposal capacity estimates are generally regional estimates based on the bulk volume of
a deep saline aquifer or site specific estimates. In both cases, a disposal efficiency factor is
included in the calculation. Theoretical disposal capacities without any disposal efficiency
factor applied are unrealistic, useless and only lead to misunderstandings.
The disposal efficiency factor is the ratio of used space over available space either
considering a trap structure or a regional aquifer. The effective regional disposal capacity
estimates are based on the bulk volume of aquifers and the application of a disposal
efficiency factor as a supplement to regional estimates, based on the sum of capacities in
individually identified traps1.
2.2.2.
Radioactive waste disposal
2.2.2.1.
Geological disposal
This section draws on studies of Witherspoon and Bodvarsson [2.7] and [2.8], Witherspoon
[2.9], Chapman [2.10] and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) [2.11] to present up to date information
on deep geological repositories.
Geological disposal of high level radioactive waste (HLW) is now the accepted disposal
solution worldwide. A range of host geological formations has been considered for deep
repositories, including hard crystalline rocks (granite, gneiss and volcanic tuff), argillaceous
rocks (clays, mudrocks, shales) and evaporate formations (dome and bedded salts).
Disposal in a rock formation is the most likely solution for HLW. Geological disposal refers
to the disposal of solid radioactive waste in a facility located underground in a stable
geological formation (usually several hundred meters or more below the surface) that
provides long term isolation of the radionuclides in the waste from the accessible biosphere.
The Safety Guide published by the IAEA [2.12] specifies the factors to be taken into account
in national site selection programmes.
The geological environment is expected to contribute to ensuring safe disposal in three ways:
•
Providing physical isolation of the waste from the near surface environment and the
potentially disruptive processes that occur there;
•
Maintaining a geochemical, hydrogeological and geomechanical environment that is
favourable to the preservation and performance of the engineered barrier system;
•
Acting as a natural barrier to restrict the access of water to the waste and the
migration of active radionuclides.
1
The formulas for the estimation of the capacity in hydrocarbon fields, deep saline aquifers and coal fields are
given in the Appendix to this section.
19
The siting of such a disposal facility is a multistage process. The following factors need to be
considered when a site is being selected: geological setting, possible future natural changes,
hydrogeology, geochemistry, events resulting from human activities, construction and
engineering conditions, transportation of waste, protection of the environment, land use and
social impacts.
Many countries have screened their territories for suitable geological sites for geological
disposal facilities for HLW. The countries’ site selection programmes consist of four stages:
conceptual and planning, area survey, site characterization and site confirmation.
2.2.2.2.
Disposal technology
Deep geological disposal (at hundreds of metres’ depth) is the option favoured internationally
for the long term management of heat generating radioactive wastes, such as spent fuel (SF)
and HLW, and radioactive wastes with considerable content of long lived radionuclides, such
as long lived intermediate level waste (ILW) that produces only negligible amounts of heat
[2.3].
Direct experience with geological disposal of HLW does not yet exist on a large scale, as
there is only one operating repository, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New
Mexico, USA. Several countries’ disposal programmes for SF and HLW are, however,
nearing fruition (Finland, Sweden and France). Extensive programmes of site characterization
from the surface and from underground have been carried out, and considerable experience
has been gained in carrying our safety assessments, developing safety cases, research and
development, and the development of engineering designs for geological disposal. There are
also well developed regulatory systems in place for evaluating the proposals for
implementing geological disposal.
The fundamental principles involved in geological disposal are discussed in Chapman and
McKinley [2.13], Savage [2.14], Chapman and McCombie [2.15] and Alexander and
McKinley [2.16]. A key concept is the multibarrier principle, according to which long term
safety is assured by a series of engineered and natural barriers that act in tandem (Fig. 2.3).
Geological repositories are designed to make also use of passive safety. These barriers
prevent or reduce the transport of radionuclides in groundwater that is generally the most
important transport mechanism. The barrier may also influence the migration of gas produced
in the repositories by chemical and biochemical reactions and by radioactive decay [2.17].
The multibarrier system (Fig. 2.3) consists of two main elements:
20
•
The engineered barrier system comprising the solid waste matrix and various
containers and backfills to immobilize the waste inside the repository;
•
The natural barrier (also referred to as the geosphere), which is principally the rock
and groundwater system that isolates the repository and the engineered barrier system
from the accessible biosphere. The host rock is part of the natural barrier in which the
repository is located. In some cases, the host rock is effectively equivalent to the
geosphere, e.g. in the situation where the crystalline rock in which the repository is
located extends to the surface. In other cases, parts of the geosphere outside the host
formation may play an important role in contributing to the natural barriers.
FIG. 2.3. The safety barrier system for HLW. Source: Nagra [2.18].
Reproduced with permission of Nagra, NTB 08-05, fig. 4.3-5, translation by Nagra.
21
The long term safety of a deep geological repository for radioactive waste will be strongly
dependent on the performance of the geosphere. It isolates the radioactive waste from
possible future intrusions by humans, provides a stable physical and chemical environment
for the engineered barriers within the repository, insulates against external perturbations, such
as earthquakes and climate change, and prevents, delays and attenuates radionuclide transport
by virtue of its hydraulic and sorptive properties [2.12].
A safety case for a deep geological repository typically makes use of geoscientific
information within a long term safety assessment that evaluates the potential impacts of the
repository [2.12]. These studies require a conceptual model of the geosphere that quantifies,
for instance, groundwater flow rates and consequent radionuclide transport (as, eventually,
the radioactive waste will come into contact with the groundwater, although this process may
take place after many thousands of years). Geoscientific information can play a larger role in
the development of a safety case; in particular, geoscience can offer multiple and independent
lines of qualitative and quantitative evidence to support a safety case. Moreover, it can play
an important role in other repository activities that bear on safety, such as site selection and
repository design.
2.3.
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES
2.3.1.
Bulgaria
The industrial collapse in Bulgaria after the political changes in 1990 significantly reduced
the amount of CO2 emissions in the subsequent years, far below the limits specified in the
Kyoto agreement (Fig. 2.4). The closing of some larger emitters (such as the largest steel
plant), the improvement of combustion technologies and the world economic crisis have also
reduced industrial CO2 emissions.
FIG. 2.4. Industrial CO2 emissions and the limit in the Kyoto Protocol for Bulgaria.
22
FIG. 2.5. Location of large CO2 emissions sources in Bulgaria in 2002.
The regional distribution of large CO2 sources (>0.1 Mt/year) and their industrial type are
shown in Fig. 2.5. The largest CO2 emitters in the country include all thermal power plants,
two combined heat and power plants and the Burgas refinery. They produced about three
quarters of all industrial CO2 emissions in 2002. In Bulgaria, there are four zones with a high
concentration of industrial CO2 emissions sources that produced a total of about 85% of the
national emissions. They are mostly located in the southern part of the country (see Fig. 2.5).
The Kozloduy NPP, located on the Danube river bank, is the only nuclear plant in operation
at present. There are six reactors on the site. The first four units (1 to 4) are WWER-400, V230 reactors. They were shut down after Bulgaria became a Member State of the European
Union. The other two reactors (5 and 6) are WWER, V-320 reactors and are still in operation
(see Table 2.1 and Fig. 2.6).
A pool type research reactor (IRT-2000, 2 MW) is operated by the Bulgarian Academy of
Science (BAS). It was commissioned in 1961 and, at present, it is out of operation. The
construction of a new NPP in Belene started in 1987 but has not been completed yet.
About 90% of the radioactive waste in Bulgaria is from the Kozloduy NPP. The remaining
10% is from radiation sources in medicine, science, industry, agriculture, etc.
There is only one operating repository for low and intermediate level waste (LILW) in Novi
Han, which was commissioned in October 1964. The repository covers a 40 hectares site,
located at 920 m altitude in the Lozen Mountain, about 30 km from Sofia. Its operation was
temporarily suspended by the Bulgarian Nuclear Safety Authority (CUAEPP) in 1994
because of upgrading. The construction of another repository for low level waste (LLW) and
intermediate level waste near the Kozloduy NPP was completed in 2011.
23
TABLE 2.1. THE KOZLODUY NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
Unit Type
1
WWER
440/230
2
WWER
440/230
WWE
3
440/230
4
WWER
440/230
5
WWER
1000/320
6
WWER
1000/320
Thermal
capacity
(MW(th))
1350
Electric capacity Commissioning
(MW(e))
date
Lifetime
(years)
440
October 1974
30 (closed)
1350
440
November 1975
30 (closed)
1350
1350
440
440
December 1980
June 1982
30 (closed)
30 (closed)
3000
1000
November 1987
30
3000
1000
May 1989
30
FIG. 2.6. NPPs and radioactive waste repositories in Bulgaria.
2.3.1.1.
Geological opportunities for CO2 and radioactive waste disposal
Bulgaria has an extensively varied and complex geological structure [2.19] and [2.20].
Several major tectonic units are recognized, including the Moesian platform, the Alpine
thrust folded belt with Tertiary foredeep (named Kamchija depression), the Sakar and
Strandzha orogenic zones and a system of small syn- to post-orogenic Tertiary extensional
basins (Fig. 2.7). In addition, the offshore area covers some parts of the Western Black Sea
basin.
24
FIG. 2.7. Main tectonic units in Bulgaria. Sources: [2.19] and [2.20].
Two branches of the Alpine orogenic belt and their foreland are located in Bulgaria (Fig. 2.7).
The northern branch, represented by the Balkanides (Balkan and Forebalkan), crosses the
country in the middle from west to east. The Moesian platform is a foreland with a thick
Phanerozoic sedimentary succession that is 4–13 km thick. The southern branch comprises
the Rhodope Massif, Kraishtides and Srednogorie. The main tectonic units and sedimentary
basins are described in Georgiev and Dabovski [2.20].
In Northern Bulgaria (Moesian platform and Forebalkan), there is a thick Phanerozoic
sedimentary succession, with a thickness of 4–13 km. In southern Bulgaria, the sedimentary
spreading is restricted in area and thickness and related with numerous small intra-mountain
young basins. Only the Thracian depression is larger, and sedimentary thickness exceeds
1000–1500 m in some parts. The Bulgarian offshore sites have some promising sedimentary
features for the local spreading of deep saline aquifers.
CO2 disposal
The Bulgarian options for CO2 disposal in geological formations include some of the saline
aquifers, depleted gas fields and unmined deep coal beds [2.21].
Saline aquifers offer the biggest CO2 disposal potential in the country. In the sedimentary
successions of different basins and zones, the presence of reservoir strata, horizons or levels
with effective seals has mostly local or zonal spreading. The most promising potentials are
related to some karstified and fractured carbonate reservoirs in the Devonian and Upper
Jurassic-Valanginian, and some coarse grained clastic reservoirs in the Lower Triassic,
Middle Jurassic and Middle-Upper Eocene stratigraphic units. Six local zones and two
individual structures have been identified as appropriate for CO2 disposal so far (Fig. 2.8)
[2.21]. They are related to the Devonian, Lower Triassic, Middle Jurassic, Upper Jurassic-
25
Valanginian and Middle-Upper Eocene reservoirs. Four of the selected aquifers are located in
northern Bulgaria, the other two in southern Bulgaria.
FIG. 2.8. Location of saline aquifers for CO2 disposal in Bulgaria. Source: [2.21].
Hydrocarbon fields: a total of 12 oil and gas fields have been discovered in Bulgaria. All are
located in the northern part of the country in the Moesian platform and the adjacent
Forebalkan (Fig. 2.9). Most of them are already depleted or in the final exploitation stage.
Yet, most of them do not have the required depth (800–2500 m) for an effective CO2
disposal. Only in two gas fields (Tchiren and Galata) is the depth appropriate for CO2
disposal. However, the Tchiren field was converted into a subsurface gas storage in 1974 and
is still operating. For the Galata gas field, located offshore, good opportunities for CO2
disposal are expected (excellent reservoir parameters and very favourable depth). However,
there are two restrictions regarding the use of this field for CO2 disposal: its capacity is low
and there is a great interest for its conversion into a gas storage facility.
Unmined coal beds: most of the unmined coal beds occur in Bulgaria at shallow depth and
are not favourable for safe injection of CO2. Deeper coal bearing formations (>800 m),
suitable for CO2 disposal, exist only in two fields: Dobudja and Bobov Dol.
26
FIG. 2.9. Oil and gas fields in Bulgaria. Source: [2.22].
Radioactive waste disposal
The radioactive waste site selection procedure in the country is carried out by the Geological
Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. As shown in Fig. 2.10, three potential zones
have been outlined [2.23]:
•
In the north-western part of the country, located in the Lom depression and related to
the Neogene loess-clay formation, for LLW and ILW deep disposal;
•
In the southern part of central north Bulgaria, located in the Southern Moesian
platform margin and central Forebalkan, related to the Lower Cretaceous
(Hauterivian) marl formation for HLW disposal and near surface LILW repository;
•
In the southernmost part of the country, located in the Sakar zone and related to a
granite plutonic formation for LILW.
2.3.1.2.
Brief comparison of disposal options for CO2 and radioactive waste
The comparison of geological features between the selected sites for CO2 disposal (Fig. 2.8)
and nuclear waste disposal (Fig. 2.10) is shown in Table 2.2.
27
FIG. 2.10. Potential zones for radioactive waste disposal in Bulgaria.
The large spreading of a thick sedimentary succession in the whole northern part of Bulgaria
(Moesian platform and Forebalkan), in the Bulgarian offshore area and in some zones of
southern Bulgaria (Thracian depression), as well as of the igneous rocks (effusive and
intrusive) in southern Bulgaria, offer good geological opportunities for geological disposal of
CO2 and construction of an underground radioactive waste repository for LILW, which has
not yet been done.
Three options are considered for geological disposal of CO2. The first option, saline aquifers,
offers the highest CO2 disposal potential in the country. Six local zones and two individual
structures have been identified as appropriate for CO2 disposal so far (Fig. 2.8). The second
option is depleted hydrocarbon fields. Of the 12 hydrocarbon fields in the country, only two
gas fields (Tchiren and Galata) have the appropriate depth for CO2 disposal. However, the
Tchiren field was converted into a subsurface gas storage facility in 1974 and the Galata
offshore field, which has low disposal capacity, is also of great interest for conversion into a
gas storage facility. The third option is unmined coal beds, deeply buried unmineable coal
seams (>800 m) found only in two regions: Dobudja in the north-eastern part of the country
and Bobov Dol in the south-west.
The radioactive waste disposal site selection procedure in the country is carried out by the
Geological Institute of BAS. Three potential zones have been identified (Fig. 2.10): in the
north-western part of the country the Neogene loess-clay formation for LLW and ILW deep
disposal; in the southern part of central north Bulgaria the Lower Cretaceous marl formation
for a HLW disposal and near surface LILW repository; and in the south-eastern part of the
country granite plutonic formation for LILW.
28
TABLE 2.2. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF DISPOSAL FACILITIES FOR CO2
AND RADIOACTIVE WASTE IN BULGARIA
Aspects
Location
Host rock
Depth (m)
Type disposal
Form of disposal
Volume to store
Pressures
Permeability
Hydrogeology
Groundwater
Trapping
mechanism
Seismicity
(magnitude
MSK*)
Tectonic
Capacity
Compress strength
Thickness
of
isolating rock zone
Seals
CO2 disposal
Onshore & offshore
Sedimentary rocks D2, T1, J2,
J3 –K1val, Pg22-3 (karstified and
fractured carbonates, coarse
grained clastics)
Up to 2,200–2,500 m
Injection into deep saline
aquifers,
depleted
gas
reservoirs, unmined coal seams
Radioactive waste disposal
Onshore
Sedimentary (N and K1 haut) and
Igneous rocks (granite plutonic)
Different for each site
2690 Mt
Depends on selected site,
principally at least 80–100 m
Impermeable dense sediments
(Clay stones, evaporates, etc.)
Site dependent
>10 000 t to be stored (presumed)
Depends on the depth of disposal
Up to about 400–600 m
Underground disposal facility with
ventilation shafts, tunnels and disposal
chambers.
Multibarrier
disposal
concept.
Injection
SF and HLW will be disposed in
multilayer containers with stainless
steel canister and carbon steel
overpack. Chambers and tunnels will
be later sealed using bentonitic buffer
and backfill.
Yet to be specified
Yet to be specified
Above 80 bars
Close to atmospheric pressure
As good as possible
Practically no permeability
Hydrogeology is controlled by Hydrogeology is controlled by flow in
dynamics in pore space; partly fractures, as less as good. Diffusion
influenced by faults, fracture, process important for retardation.
etc.
Saline
Depends on the depth and site
Structural
and
zonal Multibarrier concept, system of
entrapment; possible sorption engineered and natural barriers placed
in coal
between the wastes and the biosphere
1–3, exceptionally 4
1–3, exceptionally 4
Combination of engineered barriers
(bentonite buffer and backfill) and
natural barriers (host rock)
Note: *The Medvedev-Sponheuer-Karnik (MSK) scale is a macroseismic intensity scale used
to evaluate the severity of ground shaking on the basis of observed effects in an area of the
earthquake occurrence.
29
2.3.2.
Cuba
The construction of the first NPP in Cuba began more than two decades ago, but it has been
temporarily stopped. The LLW and ILW is foreseen to be deposited in a geological
repository located in the central part of the country. The estimated amount of radioactive
waste and SF for two WWER-440 reactors with 40 years operation is 20 000 m3. Another
230 m3 radioactive waste comes from the utilization of radioisotopes in medicine, industry
and research.
The production of electricity in Cuba is based on the use of fossil fuels. Power plants produce
about 50% of the CO2 emissions in the country [2.24]. Total annual GHG emissions are 24.3
Mt CO2-eq. Cuba produced only 0.09% of the global CO2 emissions and occupies the 75th
position in the world ranking [2.25].
The interest in the geological disposal of CO2 from the developed oil industry is growing, but
no action has been taken. Cuba is a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol and is interested in
initiatives that contribute to the reduction of GHGs.
2.3.2.1.
Geological opportunities for CO2 and radioactive waste disposal
The geological structure of Cuba is very complex, consisting of superimposed rock
complexes of different compositions [2.26]. The adequate form to implement CCD is in
sedimentary formations, where depleted gas and oil fields are located. On the other hand, the
adequate geological formation for radioactive waste disposal is in igneous formations (Fig.
2.11).
The selected sites for CO2 and radioactive waste disposal are also shown in Fig. 2.11. Both
zones are characterized by seismic stability and there are no important geological faults.
According to the lithological formation, seismic oscillations occur in the range of 0.2–1.3 for
the limestone, 0.6–1.4 for the loam and 1.2–2.1 for clays and clay soil [2.27]. The CO2 and
radioactive waste disposal sites are located in the zone with number 18 and 15, respectively,
where the increase of the seismic intensity (∆I) is 1.3.
FIG. 2.11. Distribution of the rock complexes in Cuba.
30
CO2 disposal
The selected disposal site is a depleted gas field. The productive gas trap is in the trusted
dome scale fold. The geological formation with adequate conditions for CO2 disposal is the
Cacarajícara geological formation (K2 cmp-maa2) at an average depth of 1320 m. The
sequence consists of conglomerates in the base and top, gravelstone, marl, limestone,
calcarenite, wakestone and mudstone. The reservoir parameters are porosity of about 9% and
permeability between 0.1 and 1.96 mD, although the recovery curves show values of up to 5
mD.
The regional seal of the reservoir is the Manacas geological formation (Pg12-3 – Pg21),
presented by olistostromes type chaotic sequence with clasts of different types (loamy
siliceous rocks, serpentinites, limoareniscas, limestone), all within a clay-shale matrix with
18% water saturation.
The reservoir strata have a pressure value of 138 atm (standard atmosphere) at a depth of
1310 m, indicating a gradient of 1.05 on the hydrostatic pressure. The geothermal step is 43.8
m/°C and the geothermal gradient is 2.28°C/100 m. The reservoir water was classified as
chlorine-calcium with salinity of 32 g/l, density is 1,023 g/cm3 and pH is 7.5.
The estimation of the potential capacity of the depleted reservoir for CO2 disposal was made
by taking into account two methods of production calculations of the gas resources. The
capacity of the reservoir was estimated to be around 74.4 million m3.
Radioactive waste disposal
The geology of the Cumanayagua region is dominated by igneous rocks where the selected
radioactive waste disposal site is located. It is related to a massive igneous complex (plutonic
and volcanic) at 20 m underground surface [2.28]. The granodioritic-granitics geological
formation is crossed by a complex of dikes with a thickness less than 2 m. The rocks are
massive, although there is a system of cracks that cut in different directions. Due to high
impermeability, the drainage is largely subordinate to the existing crack network.
The disposal site is located in a foothill area of average height, 50–70 m above sea level,
which eliminates the risk from flooding or other events. This area has also favourable
conditions for its accessibility.
A groundwater Upper Cretaceous complex of igneous rocks (granodiorites) with a very low
permeability (10-2–10-3 mD) is developing throughout the area. Groundwater levels are at
depths of up to 9.24 m. The aquifer is associated with weathering and fracture zones and it is
not powerful. This aquifer does not extend through the entire area.
The main physical geological phenomena in this area are fracturing. The belt of Manicaragua
granitoids, as a whole, constitutes an independent unit separate from the neighbouring units
(amphibolites mabujina, volcanogeno-effusive complex Cretaceous) by steep dipping faults,
whose activity was apparent only during the Late Eocene.
31
2.3.2.2.
Brief comparison of disposal options for CO2 and radioactive waste
The geological comparison between the selected sites for CO2 disposal and LILW disposal is
shown in Table 2.3. The CO2 disposal site is related to the depleted natural gas reservoir,
located in the north-western part of the country. The LILW disposal site is situated in the
igneous massive spread in the central part of the country. It is noted that the proposed
radioactive waste disposal facility in Cuba is a near surface facility; therefore, the overall
comparison with CO2 disposal cannot be related to the comparative analyses presented for
other countries.
In Cuba, the construction of an underground radioactive waste repository for LILW has not
yet started, but it is an objective of the Cuban nuclear programme. The case is similar for the
geological disposal of CO2: disposal options are being considered, but have not been
implemented so far. The safe disposal of CO2 and radioactive wastes is very important to
ensure their proper management. The oil industry shows an increasing interest in the detailed
knowledge of CCD technology for possible future EOR based on CO2 injection into oil
producing fields.
The mountains, valleys, plains and adjacent seas to Cuba are based on bedrock of various
nature, with the presence of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks. The sedimentary
rocks are widespread onshore, on the islands and under the seabed of the island shelf, where
limestone predominates. Igneous rocks form the second most widespread area and they are of
effusive and intrusive nature.
32
TABLE 2.3. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF DISPOSAL FACILITIES FOR CO2
AND RADIOACTIVE WASTE IN CUBA
Aspects
Location
Host rock
Depth (m)
Type disposal
CO2 disposal
Onshore
Sedimentary
rocks
(conglomerates, marl, limestone,
calcarenite,
wakestone
and
mudstone)
1310
Depleted gas reservoir
Form of disposal
Injection
Volume to store
Pressures
Permeability
Hydrogeology
About 1 Mt
138 bar
0.01 to 1.96 up to 5 mD
Controlled by lithological and
structural process.
Groundwater
At -1270 m (chlorine-calcium,
chloride
group,
subgroup
sodium)
Trapping
mechanism
Structural entrapment
Seismicity
(magnitude MSK )
Tectonic
6.0–7.0 region
Capacity
Compress strength
Thickness of
isolating rock zone
Seals
Scale like folds (thrusted sheets
in the area adds style to alpine
tectonics)
74 million m3
45 m
Radioactive waste disposal
Onshore
Igneous
rocks
(granodioritics,
cuarzodioritics and rarely dioritics)
20
Construction and excavation is
required.
Horizontal
disposal
chamber.
LLW will be conditioned in metal
drums of 200 L and adding a
concrete container for intermediate
level.
230 m3 (+ 20 000 perspective)
Atmospheric pressure
10-2 to 10-3 mD
Aquifer associated with weathering
and fracture zones in place is not
powerful.
At depths of 0.0 to -9.24 m (its
origin is through infiltration of
water precipitation, this aquifer
does not extend to the entire area).
Multibarrier concept, system of
engineered and natural barriers
placed between the wastes and the
environment
6.0–7.0 region (expected <4.5 for
the area of the emplacement)
Internal tectonics are relatively
simple, consisting mainly of vertical
or subvertical normal faults, which
divide the massif into irregular
polygons.
620–682 kg/cm2
-
Stratigraphic
(Paleocene Natural barriers of igneous rocks
deposits) loamy siliceous rocks, from Cretaceous plus artificial
serpentinites, limestone) all formation man-made
within a clay matrix.
33
2.3.3.
The Czech Republic
In the Czech Republic, two nuclear stations are in operation: Dukovany (4 × 400 MW(e)) and
Temelín (2 × 1000 MW(e)) (see Fig. 2.12). The operating power reactors (with 3760 MW(e)
capacity) are expected to produce about 3800 tHM of SF and more than 20 000 m3 of
radioactive waste (after conditioning), which is not acceptable for the existing near surface
disposal facilities.
FIG 2.12. Nuclear facilities in the Czech Republic.
Three research reactors are in operation (10 MW) for scientific purposes at the Nuclear
Research Institute Rez plc. and at the Czech Technical University in Prague.
So far, four repositories for LLW and ILW have been commissioned in the Czech Republic:
•
Hostim repository (closed) for institutional waste;
•
Richard repository (since 1964) for waste not contaminated by natural radionuclides;
•
Bratrství repository for waste contaminated by natural radionuclides (226Ra, 210Po,
210
Pb, and uranium and thorium isotopes);
•
Dukovany near surface repository for LLW and ILW (since 1995), located near the
Dukovany NPP.
No deep geological disposal facility for radioactive waste has been commissioned in the
Czech Republic.
34
Inventories of GHG emissions in the Czech Republic are shown in Fig. 2.13. In 2006, the
total aggregated emissions reduction was almost 23.9%, compared to 1990 level [2.29],
[2.30], [2.31], [2.32]. The geographical distribution of the stationary industrial point sources
of CO2 emissions is shown in Fig. 2.14. The shares of CO2 emissions by industrials sector are
presented in Table 2.4. There is no CO2 disposal facility in operation in the Czech Republic.
FIG. 2.13. Total GHG emissions in the Czech Republic.
FIG. 2.14. Industrial CO2 sources in the Czech Republic (kt CO2- eq). Source: [2.33].
35
TABLE 2.4. SHARE OF INDUSTRIAL CO2 EMISSIONS. SOURCE: [2.33]
Sector
Power
Heat
Chemicals (other)
Refineries
Iron and steel
Paper and pulp
Cement
Other (lime, glass,
etc.)
Total
2.3.3.1.
Emissions
(t/year)
49 145 177
8 849 058
4 540 421
969 327
9 866 977
454 158
2 553 038
1 652 271
Share
(%)
63.0
11.3
5.8
1.2
12.6
0.6
3.3
2.1
Number of
facilities
25
27
7
3
7
3
5
10
78 030 427
100.0
87
Geological opportunities for CO2 and radioactive waste disposal
CO2 disposal
In the Czech Republic, CO2 disposal is only possible onshore. Several locations with suitable
CO2 disposal potential have been found. No detailed exploratory activities have been
performed up to now [2.33].
Deep saline aquifers: attention is focused on vertically closed structures with sufficient
sealing and significant pore volume capacity. Altogether, 22 potentially suitable structures
were identified, 17 of them in the Carpathians and five in sedimentary basins of the
Bohemian Massif. The geographical distribution of the considered structures is shown in Fig.
2.15. The Bohemian Massif aquifers are mainly Upper Carboniferous (Stephanian)
sandstones and arcoses, overlaid by Lower Permian (Autunian) clay stones. The Carpathian
Foredeep aquifers are Lower Miocene sandstones sealed by Upper Miocene clay stones. In
the Flysch zone, the aquifers are related to Miocene sandstones.
Depleted oil and gas fields: more than 40 oil and gas fields in the country have been
registered up to now. The depleted fields are located in the eastern part of the Czech
Republic, in the Carpathians (Vienna Basin, Carpathian Foredeep and Flysch zone). Many of
the partially depleted oil fields in the Vienna Basin and the Carpathian Flysch zone are
suitable for CO2 based EOR. Their operator shows an interest in using this technology, but
there are no available sources of CO2. Hydrocarbon fields in Czech Republic suitable for CO2
based EOR and coal measures with ECBMR potential are described in Hladik et al. [2.33].
36
Unmined coal field are another option for CO2 disposal. Some unmined pit coal measures in
the Upper Silesian basin and in the Permian-Carboniferous Central Bohemian basins are
interesting for potential ECBMR.
FIG. 2.15. Geographical distribution of suitable aquifers for CO2 disposal in the Czech
Republic. Source: [2.33].
The CO2 disposal capacity estimates for the Czech Republic are shown in Table 2.5. The
disposal capacity has been calculated according to the methodology of the Carbon
Sequestration Leadership Forum (optimistic) and the US Department of Energy
(conservative) [2.34], in the frame of the EU GeoCapacity project [2.35].
TABLE 2.5. CO2 DISPOSAL CAPACITY ESTIMATES IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC.
SOURCE: [2.35]
CO2 disposal capacity
Pyramid class Conservative
estimate (Mt)
Disposal capacity in aquifers
Effective
766
Disposal
capacity
in N/A
33
hydrocarbon fields
Disposal capacity in coal fields
Effective
54
Total disposal capacity estimate Effective
853
Optimistic estimate
(Mt)
2863
33
54
2950
Radioactive waste disposal
The territory of the Czech Republic is characterized by the Bohemian Massif in the west and
the Carpathians in the east. A significant part of the area is formed by crystalline rocks. The
deep geological repository for radioactive waste will most likely be constructed in the granite
37
massif, in a seismic stable area. Other host rocks have also been considered in the past, such
as clay formations and metamorphic rocks.
FIG. 2.16. Suitable host rock regions for deep geological repository for radioactive waste in
granitic rocks (granitic massifs shown in red). Source: [2.36].
Several potential regions were identified around 2002 (Fig. 2.16). However, no detailed
research activities have taken place so far. In 2009, several military areas were searched for
potential siting locations [2.36].
Research has been performed at test sites and in the laboratory at the Nuclear Research
Institute, Czech Technical University and other institutes. In the Czech Republic, the disposal
of radioactive waste is supposed to be final (no retrieval in the future is expected) and direct
(no reprocessing of SF). Carbon steel containers will be used as an overpack of fuel rods,
local bentonite (Rokle) is foreseen as backfill and buffer. A granite site was chosen for
disposal (depth of approximately 500 m), and a multinational deep geological repository can
be considered. Alternative technologies (transmutation, etc.) should be evaluated as well.
Safety of the disposal would be considered up to a million years.
2.3.3.2.
Brief comparison of disposal options for CO2 and radioactive waste
In the Czech Republic, some regions have been selected for radioactive waste disposal and
CO2 disposal, without any conflict for the disposal option. Their comparative analysis is
presented in Table 2.6.
38
39
Groundwater
Trapping
mechanism
Seismicity
(magnitude MSK )
Tectonic
Capacity
Thickness of
isolating rock zone
Seals
Volume to store
Pressures
Permeability
Hydrogeology
Form of disposal
Depth (m)
Type of disposal
Aspects
Location
Host rock
Combination of engineered barriers (bentonite buffer and backfill) and natural
barriers (host rock)
Stratigraphic: most probably low permeable
caprock (clay stones)
Depends on the depth and site of disposal.
Multibarrier concept, system of engineered and natural barriers placed between
the wastes and the biosphere
1–3, exceptionally 4 (both tectonic and mining origin)
Site dependent, has to be defined
Higher than 13 000 t to be disposed of (presumed)
Depends on the depth of disposal
400–600 m
Underground disposal facility, comprising access and ventilation shafts, tunnels
and disposal chambers. Multibarrier disposal concept.
SF and HLW will be disposed of in multilayer containers with stainless steel
canister and carbon steel overpack. Chambers and tunnels will be later sealed
using bentonite buffer and backfill.
7647 t spent fuel assemblies and 4300 t other waste (presumed)
According to the depth of the disposal (400–800 m)
Site specific, to be specified
Hydrogeology controlled by advective flow in fractures in crystalline rocks.
Diffusion process important for retardation.
Radioactive waste disposal
Onshore
Crystalline rock (most probably granitic ones)
To be specified
Above 80 bars
Site specific, to be specified
Hydrogeology controlled by diffusion in
pore space; partly influenced by lithological
features (faults, fracture, boreholes).
Saline
Structural and chemical entrapment; possible
sorption (coal)
1–3, exceptionally 4 (both tectonic and
mining origin)
Site dependent, has to be defined
Capacity to store 2950 Mt
To be defined
CO2 disposal
Onshore
Probably deep saline aquifers, depleted gas
reservoir, unmined coal measures (coal
seams)
Below 800 m
Deep saline aquifers, depleted gas reservoir,
unmined coal seams
Injection
TABLE 2.6. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF DISPOSAL FACILITIES FOR CO2 AND RADIOACTIVE WASTE IN THE CZECH
REPUBLIC
Several geological options have been identified for CO2 disposal. The deep saline aquifers
have the highest potential, with an emphasis on identifying vertically closed structures with
sufficient sealing and significant pore volume capacity. Altogether, 22 potentially suitable
structures were identified. Many of the partially depleted oil fields in the Vienna Basin and
the Carpathian Flysch Zone are suitable for CO2 EOR, but there is no suitable source of CO2
in the neighbourhood. The unmined pit coal measures are also interesting, especially for
ECBMR. Such structures can be found mostly in large parts of the Upper Silesian Basin and
in the Central Bohemian Basins.
For radioactive waste disposal, several host rocks have been considered: clay formations,
crystalline and metamorphic rocks. The deep geological repository for radioactive waste will
most likely be constructed in the granite massif, in a seismically stable area. The disposal of
radioactive waste will be based on the multibarrier concept, i.e. the safety function is
supported by the waste form, carbon steel container, bentonite buffer and backfill and host
rock. The concept for the radioactive waste repository is to be located in tunnels at depth
below 400 m, which will be connected by a vertical shaft for the transport of workers and
materials.
2.3.4.
2.3.4.1.
Germany
Geological opportunities for CO2 and radioactive waste disposal
Geological research for possible disposal sites for radioactive waste has been going on for
decades. The search for potential CO2 disposal opportunities started much later, but a range
of research projects were undertaken over the past 10–15 years.
CO2 disposal
The total amount of CO2 emitted in Germany in 2008 was 833 Mt, about one third of which
came from transportation and small users. Germany has several onshore options for the deep
disposal of CO2 [2.37], [2.38]:
Depleted gas fields are considered by some experts as an appropriate disposal option for CO2,
because their caprocks have successfully retained gases for several million years. This option
appears to be the cheapest for geological disposal of CO2 due to the fact that the existing gas
infrastructure and technology can be used with relatively few modifications, and also because
the use of CO2 injection will enhance recovery of residual natural gas (enhanced gas recovery
– EGR). However, there are only 66 gas fields of adequate size to dispose of CO2 in
Germany. An average German gas field would be large enough to hold roughly 3–5 years of
the CO2 emissions of a typical German large lignite power plant which emits roughly 8–10
Mt CO2 per year. Depleted gas fields are mainly located in the north and middle German
sedimentary basins in Permian and Triassic sandstones. Their disposal capacity is estimated
to be around 2.75 billion t CO2.
Depleted oil fields are, in principle, also appropriate. However, because of their limited
disposal capacity, about 130 Mt, their overall contribution to CO2 disposal is very limited.
Deep saline aquifers have the largest potential for CO2 disposal, because of their widespread
distribution in the country. Their waters have high salt content and are located at great depth;
thus, they are not suitable for drinking or agriculture purposes. During the last years, the
Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (Bundesamt für Geowissenschaften und
40
Rohstoffe) has continuously reviewed the CO2 disposal capacity of saline aquifers and has
estimated that it would be between 6.3–12.8 billion t in the three large areas of
Norddeutsches Becken, Oberrheingraben und Alpenvorland-Becken.
In the framework of the project CO2SINK in Ketsin (close to Potsdam, Brandenburg), CO2 is
injected into a saline aquifer, located in a geological dome structure at a depth of about
650 m. The aquifer is overlain by shale caprocks of about 240 m thickness, which, together
with the anticline structure, ensure limited migration of the CO2. The targeted reservoir
formation is porous sandstone. CO2 has been injected since 2008, and in October 2010, the
total injected quantity reached 40 000 t.
Research on CO2 injection and disposal in a depleted gas field was planned to take place in
the Altmark natural gas field, which is Europe’s second largest gas field. CO2 was to be
injected in the depleted natural gas reservoirs in order to test the technical feasibility. The
Altmark field is located in the state of Sachsen-Anhalt in north-eastern Germany, roughly 120
km south-east of Hamburg. The reservoir, made of red sandstone and siltstone with shale
layers, is located at a depth of 3.5 km and has a wide range of porosity and permeability.
Above the reservoir, there is the Zechstein salt bedrock with a thickness of several hundred
meters, which forms an effective caprock. The disposal capacity is estimated to be up to 508
Mt, roughly 1/5 of the total disposal potential in German gas fields. However, the project was
discontinued.
2.3.4.2.
Radioactive waste disposal
Different options have been considered for the final disposal of radioactive waste in Germany
[2.39]:
•
The Gorleben salt exploration mine, situated in the district of LüchowDannenberg in Lower Saxony, about 100 km south-east of Hamburg and about 2
km south of the Elbe River;
•
The former iron ore mine Konrad, located in Salzgitter in central Germany
between Hannover and Magdeburg;
•
The former salt mines Asse and Morsleben, located not far from Helmstedt city,
near the border between the Federal States of Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.
For waste with negligible heat generation, the heat release per waste package is in the
milliwatt range. Consequently, the temperature increase in the surrounding host rock caused
by this heat release is minor. In the case of heat generating waste, however, the heat release is
in the kilowatt range, which can cause a temperature increase in the adjoining host rock of
more than 100°C. To cool down the waste and to optimally use the available repository space
and, thus, to minimize the costs of final disposal, heat generating waste is placed in interim
surface storage facilities for several decades, which are located in Ahaus and Gorleben.
In 1963, the Federal Government of Germany issued a recommendation to use salt formations
for radioactive waste disposal. In 1973, planning for a national repository started, and, in
1976, the Atomic Energy Act was amended to make such disposal a responsibility of the
Federal Government.
41
The Federal Government, through the Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS), is
responsible for building and operating final repositories for HLW, but progress in this has
been hindered by opposition from State Governments. The German Society for Building and
Operation of Final Disposal for Waste Material (Deutsche Gesellschaft zum Bau und Betrieb
von Endlagern für Abfallstoffe mbH – DBE) is the company actually building and operating
the Konrad and Gorleben repository projects, and operating the former Morsleben Repository
for Radioactive Waste (ERAM).
For the Gorleben site, no suitability statement has been released as of mid-2014. This can
only be issued after the Lower Saxony Ministry of Environment, as the competent
government agency and licensing authority, has approved the site plan. A precondition for the
conclusion of the plan approval process is the completion of underground exploration and its
analysis, as well as the completion of a site specific safety analysis. In July 2009, new
repository criteria came into force, replacing rules dating from 1983. Authorities may now
license a HLW repository only on the basis of a scientific demonstration that the waste will
be stable in the repository for one million years. In addition, all HLW disposed of in any
German repository must be retrievable during the entire period of repository operation.
Following an exhaustive site selection process, the state government of Lower Saxony, in
1977, declared the Gorleben salt dome to be the location for a national centre for radioactive
waste disposal. It is now considered a possible site for geological disposal of HLW. This will
comprise about 5% of the total waste volume and 99% of the radioactivity. A pilot
conditioning plant is there. Some EUR 1.5 billion was spent from 1979 to 2000 for
researching the site. Work then stopped due to a political edict, but the government approved
resumption of excavation in 2009.
The two shafts, Gorleben 1 and 2, with depths of 933 m and 840 m, respectively, are situated
in the centre of the salt dome, which is approximately 14 km long and 4 km wide, and has
been explored with regard to its suitability to host a final repository for all types of
radioactive waste. The salt dome top (salt wash surface) is about 250 m below the surface, the
salt dome base lies at a depth of 3200–3400 m.
Several levels have been excavated in the Gorleben exploration mine. In addition to the
actual exploration level at 840 m below the surface (i.e. 820 m below sea level), where the
geoscientific and geotechnical exploration was carried out until the beginning of the
moratorium on October 1, 2000 (exploration suspended), additional ‘technical’ levels were
excavated at depths of 820 m (return air level), 880 m (haulage level) and 930 m (shaft
undercut). In total, about 7 km of drifts and galleries (with a volume of approximately
234 000 m3) have been excavated, and geological and geotechnical boreholes with an overall
length of about 16 km have been drilled.
Of the five exploration areas originally planned in the north-eastern part of the salt dome,
only exploration area 1 (EB 1) and the infrastructure area near the shafts (workshops, work
and disposal rooms) have been completed so far. In addition to the two shafts, hoisting plants
and their corresponding surface installations, such as the shaft hall, loading bay and personnel
walkway, the 28 ha grounds include an office building and a building housing
changing/shower facilities, a store with workshops, a drill core storeroom and further
technical installations. The salt dump for the mined salt is situated about 1 km from the mine
site. So far, about 600 000 t of salt have been deposited here.
42
The Asse salt mine repository, licensed by federal and state agencies in the 1960s and 1970s,
is now closed. It received wastes from 1967 to 1978. In 2010, the Federal Office for
Radiation Protection decided that, due to technical problems, the wastes should be removed
from it, and then rejected an alternative of filling the facility with concrete to provide a stable
matrix for the 126 000 drums there. The waste is likely to be moved to Konrad.
The former iron ore mine Konrad was originally owned by the Salzgitter AG
(Aktiengesellschaft – corporation). Mining was terminated for economic reasons in 1976 and,
due to the favourable geological conditions of the mine's site, an extensive geoscientific
exploration and investigation programme to assess the site's suitability to host a final
repository for radioactive waste with negligible heat generation was carried out.
The Konrad site was licensed in 2002 for LILW disposal, but legal challenges were mounted.
These were dismissed in March 2006 and again in April 2007. A construction licence was
issued in January 2008. Konrad will initially take some 300 000 m3 of wastes: 95% of the
country's waste volume, with 1% of the radioactivity. The DBE plans for it eventually to
accommodate 650 000 m3 of wastes. It is expected to be operational by about 2014. The two
shafts Konrad 1 and 2 are about 1.5 km apart. Their surface infrastructure has a total of 6
levels with a horizontal extension of about 1.7 × 3.0 km.
Konrad Shaft 1 is used for hoisting excavated rock, supplies and personnel. This shaft also
serves as air intake for the mine ventilation, necessary for the personnel and the operation of
more than 50 vehicles. Exhaust air is discharged to the surface via shaft Konrad 2.
The Morsleben radioactive waste repository (Endlager für radioaktive Abfälle Morsleben –
ERAM) was built in a former salt and potash mine. This LILW repository was licensed in
1981, relicensed after the reunification of Germany, and was closed in 1998. It is being
stabilized with concrete. A salt deposit with a length of 40 to 50 km and an average width of
2 km had been developed at the end of the 19th century. Potash and rock salt were mined for
about 70 years, leaving a mine with a length of 5.6 km and a maximum width of 1.4 km. The
shaft Bartensleben was sunk to a depth of 524 m and four main mining levels were excavated
underground. Mining was done by using the room and pillar method without backfill. This
produced caverns with a length of up to 120 m and a width and height of up to 40 m. The
galleries used for the final disposal of waste until 1998 are situated in the mine's periphery.
2.3.5.
2.3.5.1.
India
Geological opportunities for CO2 and radioactive waste disposal
Peninsular India spans an area of about three million km2 and has a wide spectrum of rock
types, ranging in age from Achaean to recent in varying geographic, climatic and seismic
domains. The major geological units are represented by granites, granite gneisses and
associated basement crystalline, Deccan basalts, Proterozoic meta-sedimentary basins and
Indo Gangetic alluvium plains. The large size of the country and the occurrences of a wide
spectrum of lithologies offer a large potential for the disposal of both radioactive waste and
CO2. Additionally, large areas are available that have been identified as possible locations for
CO2 disposal along the coast of India for offshore and onshore disposal.
Site selection criteria for radioactive waste disposal are very stringent, mainly due to the
required higher consideration of safety aspects as compared to sites for CO2 disposal. Hence,
the size and locations of areas being studied for radioactive waste disposal are quite limited.
43
From the seismicity point of view, only areas falling in seismic zones I and II and
characterized by very low horizontal accelerations (<0.2 g) are being considered for this
purpose. In addition, such areas should have very low groundwater and surface water
potential, lean forest covers and a low population density.
Radioactive waste disposal
India, as a policy, has selected granites as the preferred host rocks for hosting a deep
geological repository for the permanent disposal of vitrified HLW [2.40], [2.41], [2.42],
[2.43], [2.44], [2.45]. Granites cover about 20% of the total area of the country (0.60 million
km2). India undertook extensive studies on granites in an area of about 0.1 million km2 from
1990 to 2000 to generate a large database on petro-mineralogical, rock mechanical, thermal,
geochemical and radiochemical properties of these granites. During these studies, granites,
especially those associated with relatively younger magmatism (500–700 Ma), such as the
Malani Igneous Suite of north-western India and few older granites (~2500 Ma) occurring in
central and eastern India, have emerged as promising regions due to their suitability as host
rock for deep geological repository. Among these, Bundelkhand granites and Dongergarh
granites are noteworthy.
Stage I: In the initial stage, most of the information pertaining to geology, hydrogeology,
structure and aspects related to socio-political and economic factors is derived from
secondary datasets, mainly published reports. The information is integrated in a geographical
information system (GIS) environment, preferably on a scale of 1:250 000. During this
integration, ample use of satellite imageries, such as LISS III and IV, obtained from the
Indian Remote Sensing (IRS) series is made to generate information on gap areas. Such an
approach has yielded valuable information on the distribution of seismic events, lineaments,
major hydro-geological zones, geological and structural details. Close evaluation of a series
of such large scale maps helped in carving out three major regions occupied by granites in
north-western, central and eastern India, with an area of approximately 15 000, 60 000 and
15 000 km2, respectively.
During this exercise, certain specific criteria were established to undertake additional
assessments of these regions. These assessments, with the help of secondary datasets,
rendered a few zones, each measuring 100–150 km2, in area for follow-up investigations.
Among the criteria related to tectonics and instability, the location of the area within notified
seismic zones in the Indian shield along with the occurrences of major structural
discontinuities like faults, shears, etc., have been assigned the greatest importance.
Consequently, regions falling in seismic zones I and II with a maximum ground acceleration
of 0.1 and 0.2 g, respectively, were considered. Among the geological characteristics,
homogeneity of the rock mass with sufficient depth persistence (~1 km) and area extent
(minimum of 4 km2) have been considered to be essential requirements. Additionally, the
absence of intrusive chemical durability, good mechanical and thermal strength and mineral
deposits are important to consider. The criteria taken into account under hydrogeology
mainly included the absence of surface water bodies and high rain fall, lower recharge and
relief. The presence of a sparse population, distance from industrial and commercial areas,
better accessibility and favourable political climate constituted socio-economic criteria during
this stage of investigation. Based on these criteria, a total of 20 attributes were identified. The
information, generated through secondary as well as primary data sets involving the
application of satellite and selected field checks, was subsequently transformed into
numerical entities by assigning a maximum score and a suitable weighing factor to individual
44
attributes. The aggregated score points, obtained by all attributes for all the zones, reveal their
relative suitability.
Stage II: The second stage of the investigation mainly focuses on large regions in the zones
identified in the first stage of the investigations and essentially involves data generation on
scales of 1:50 000 and 1:25 000. These zones, 100–150 km2 in size, were divided into 5 × 5
km2 grids and subjected to systematic evaluation by means of studies on geomorphology, soil
thickness, rock types, weathering pattern, jointing, land use, etc. The attributes were again
transformed into numerical values, using the same procedure as in the first stage, to undertake
a comparative assessment of these zones. Sensitivity analysis was also performed to gauge
the relative importance and impact of individual attributes. One of the zones was taken up for
third stage investigations, involving geological and structural mapping with the help of a
plane table and a theodolite, pitting and trenching on a 1:5000 scale. The focus of this activity
was on outcrop mapping, correlation studies and the demarcation of heterogeneity, such as
dikes, shear zones, detailed fracture mapping and short borehole drilling. These studies
helped in demarcating an area of a few km2 wherein the geological and topographic features
are in conformity with the requirements. This zone has been explored with the help of ground
geophysics as well as borehole geophysics. The core samples retrieved from array based
boreholes have been subjected to intensive studies on fracture characteristics and other rock
mass parameters, such as core loss, rock quality designation, rock mass rating, etc.
Stage III: The third stage investigations are marked by very detailed geological and structural
surveys on a 1:1000 scale and geophysical surveys, such as resistivity, gravity, magnetic, etc.,
on 50 × 50 m grid. The data obtained through such surveys were analysed using software like
Magmod and three dimensional site models have been produced up to a depth of 1 km. These
models have been validated by deep drilling (600 m). The representative cross section of the
zones, delineated through the above investigations, is depicted in Figs. 2.17 and 2.18.
While granites are India’s preferred host rocks for permanent radioactive waste disposal,
shale also constitutes a potential option for hosting deep geological repository. Shale with
significant thickness is known to occur in some of the Proterozoic basin, namely the
Vindhyan System of central India and the Cuddapah System of Andhra Pradesh in southern
India. Among these shales, the Shirbu shales in the Vindhyan System and the Tadpatri shales
in the Cuddapah System show some degree of potential as host rocks.
45
FIG. 2.17. A 500 m deep profile.
FIG. 2.18. Very high quality, fracture free granites at depth, granites from depth of 450 m.
CO2 disposal
India has a large range of geological settings with the potential for disposal of CO2 (Fig.
2.19).
Deep saline aquifers have considerable potential, particularly offshore, and on the margins of
the Indian peninsula, particularly in Gujarat and Rajasthan in north-western India. There is
also good aquifer disposal potential in the areas surrounding Assam in north-eastern India.
The total disposal potential is in the order of 300–400 Gt. However, these formations are
located almost 750–1000 km from the five large point sources of CO2, each with annual
emissions more than 5 Mt. Therefore, CO2 disposal may prove costly, due to transport costs.
46
FIG. 2.19. Potential CO2 disposal sites. Source: [2.46].
The Indo-Gangetic foreland running along the Himalayan mountain chain is an important
potential disposal area, because it occupies almost 25% of the total geographic area of the
country. The Ganges area has a basin area of 186 000 km2, with a large thickness of caprock
composed of low permeability clay and siltstone.
The exploration in the Indo-Ganges alluvial plains has established the presence of shallow
and deep saline aquifers up to a depth of 1000 m and more in a stretch of 700 km from
Meerut to Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh in central India. The proximity of the sources to the
potential disposal site makes it a good candidate for a pilot project.
Recoverable coal reserves in India are the fourth largest in the world. However, these can be
easily mined and will be used as fuel. Thus, the potential for CO2 disposal in coalbeds at
depths above 1200 m could be severely constrained. An indicative calculation for the
International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme suggests that the disposal
potential could be on the order of 345 Mt CO2 in the major coalfields nationally, and none of
the coalfields are estimated to have the capacity to dispose of more than 100 Mt CO2 [2.46].
If CO2 disposal in coal reserves proves practical at depths greater than 1200 m, very large
47
potential (e.g. in the Cambay Basin and down dip to the east of the Rajmahal coalfields)
could be exploited.
Oil and gas fields occur in three main areas in India: Assam and the Assam-Arakan Fold Belt
in north-eastern India, the Krishna-Godavari and Cauvery basins in south-eastern India and
the Mumbai/Cambay/Barmer/Jaisalmer basin in the west-north-western part of India. The
total disposal capacity in oil and gas fields is estimated to be between 3.7 and 4.6 Gt CO2.
Many Indian oil and gas fields are relatively small for CO2 disposal. Only a few fields (e.g.
the Bombay High field, offshore Mumbai) are thought to have ample disposal capacity for
the lifetime emissions of a medium sized coal fired power plant. However, some of the recent
offshore gas discoveries may have potential.
The thick basaltic formations in India, spreading over an area of 50 000 km2, have also
emerged as attractive host for CO2 disposal, with a capacity of approximately 300 Gt CO2.
Basalts will be the caprock, the injection of CO2 will be in the underlying sedimentary rocks.
The important characteristics of basaltic formations include: (a) large and continuous areal
extent, (b) large combined thickness of the flows (>1 km in some localities), (c) favourable
interflow features, (d) reactive silicate mineral assemblages, and (e) Mesozoic sediments
containing Fe-Mg-Ca silicate mineral. They all suggest that the Deccan Continental Flood
Basalt Province could possibly constitute a large scale reservoir for CO2 that needs to be
confirmed by studies.
Ultramafic rocks, due to their high content of magnesium oxide (MgO), sodium oxide
(Na2O), calcium oxide (CaO), etc., have also been considered as potential host rocks for CO2
disposal. India has large occurrences of such rocks throughout its territory. The larger part of
the promising ultramafic rocks are found in southern India and are represented by the well
studied greenstone belts of Dharwar Craton.
2.3.5.2.
Brief comparison of disposal options for CO2 and radioactive waste
In India, several potential host rock complexes of large expansion are considered with respect
to their suitability for hosting disposal facilities for radioactive waste and CO2. A comparison
of geological features for CO2 and radioactive waste disposal is shown in Table 2.7.
Basalts are very suitable for the disposal of radioactive waste and CO2. They have very good
sorption characteristics. The thick basaltic formations have emerged as a very attractive host
for CO2 disposal with a disposal capacity of about 300 Gt.
Ultramafic greenstone belts have enormous potential for CO2 disposal, because of their
capacity for mineral carbonation. However, it has not been considered as a host rock for
radioactive waste, due to its porosity and permeability related to fracturing.
Argillaceous rocks have been under consideration as potential host rocks for radioactive
waste disposal facilities, but not for the geological disposal of CO2.
Granites are one of the most preferred host rocks for radioactive waste disposal facilities
worldwide, mainly due to superior mechanical and thermal properties. Similarly to other
crystalline rocks, they are not under consideration for the geological disposal of CO2.
48
Deep saline aquifers have a considerable potential for CO2 disposal, particularly on the coast
and on the margins of the Indian peninsula. The Indo-Gangetic foreland is an important
potential disposal site for CO2, as it occupies almost 25% of the total country area.
Coal seams: the fourth largest recoverable coal reserves in the world are found in India.
However, much of this coal is easily mined and will be used as fuel. This means that the
potential for CO2 disposal at depths above 1200 m could be severely constrained.
Oil and gas fields occur in three main areas in India: the Assam-Arakan fold belt in northeastern India, the Krishna-Godavari and Cauvery basins in south-eastern India and the
Mumbai/Cambay/Barmer/Jaisalmer basin area. The total disposal capacity in oil and gas
fields is estimated to be between 3.7 and 4.6 Gt CO2. Some of the recently discovered
offshore gas fields may also have potential.
2.3.6.
The Republic of Korea
The major emitting sources for CO2 disposal projects include power generation, steel mills,
petrochemical and cement industries. The energy sector emitted 498.5 Mt CO2 that was
83.9% of the total emission amount in 2005. For power generation by coal, the total CO2
emission by five electric power companies under the Korea Power Corporation was 118 Mt.
The next largest emitter was a steel mill company, POSCO: 30 Mt CO2 from the Pohang
factory and 35 Mt from the Gwangyang factory. In the petrochemical industry, 20 Mt CO2
was emitted from the southern part of Ulsan city [2.47].
Since 1977, the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company (KHNP), the major generator of
LILW, has been operating 20 NPPs (16 pressurized water reactors and four CANDUs) and
generated about 67 000 drums (200 L) of LILW. Korean LILW has been classified into four
categories: dry active waste, evaporator bottom, spent resin and spent filter. The accumulated
LILW can be broken down as follows:
•
Dry active waste – 36 600 drums (56%);
•
Evaporator bottom – 19 000 drums (28%);
•
Spent resin – 9700 drums (14%);
•
Spent filter – 1600 drums (2%).
This LILW is stored in temporary disposal facilities at each of the NPP sites and has been
prepared for disposal in the final repository in the Wolsong site.
49
50
Thickness of
isolating rock zone
Seals
Compress strength
Capacity
Permeability
Hydrogeology
Groundwater
Trapping
mechanism
Seismicity
(magnitude MSK )
Tectonic
Form of disposal
Volume to store
Pressures
Depth (m)
Type disposal
Aspects
Location
Host rock
~500 m
Disposal in pit mode in specifically designed disposal pits and backfilling by clay
sand admixtures
Emplacement
Geological disposal facility is being designed for 10 000 waste filled canisters
10–12 MPa lithostatic pressure, 1–2 MPa hydrostatic pressures
Radioactive waste disposal
Onshore, granites of north-western, central and eastern India evaluated
Granites
Impervious caprock
Impervious host rock and clay seals
10-9 to 10-13 mD
Groundwater flows through fractures
Site dependent, but mostly high silica and Na to retard waste glass corrosion
Multibarrier concept: Canisters to be placed in pits, clay buffers to insert between
the canisters and host rock
Regions with maximum horizontal ground acceleration of <0.2g; i.e. seismic zones I
and II of the country
Preferably away from the active Min. 200 km away from active tectonic zones like plat boundaries
zones
Multiple sites with varying 10 000 waste filled steel canisters
capacity ranging from 10 Gt to
500 Gt
Approximately 20 MPa for sandy 150–200 MPa
units, 150–200 MPa for basalts
Variable and host rock dependent 50 m
CO2 disposal
Onshore/offshore
Alluvium, mine coal seams,
depleted oil strata, basalts,
ultramafic rocks
~1000 m
Injection in porous formation,
mineral carbonation in basalts
Injection
Approximately 600 Gt
Varies from host rock to host rock
and with depth as well
Not yet known
Saline aquifers
Saline
Structural entrapment, mineral
carbonation
Not yet known
TABLE 2.7. COMPARATIVE ANALYSES OF DISPOSAL FACILITIES FOR CO2 AND RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL IN INDIA
2.3.6.1.
Geological opportunities for CO2 and radioactive waste disposal
CO2 disposal
The main reason for the slow progress in CO2 disposal in the Republic of Korea is the
perception that no good disposal site exists. The Republic of Korea established a disposal site
data bank in 2008. This showed that no onshore sedimentary basin favourable for CO2
disposal could be identified in the country since 1970. However, there are several large
sedimentary basins offshore, such as the Kunsan, Jeju and especially Ulleung basins, see Fig.
2.20 [2.48] [2.49]. However, it will take long time to calculate the precise CO2 disposal
capacity of the Ulleung basin.
Figure 2.20 also shows the major CO2 emitters. Power generation plants are concentrated in
the western coastal area to supply electricity to the Seoul metropolitan area and in the
southern coastal area to supply electricity to the second largest city of Busan [2.48]. The only
major emitter close to the Ulleung basin is POSCO, the steel mill. The power generation
plants for CCS are located more than 150–200 km from the Ulleung basin. Assuming that the
costs of CCS in Korea are almost the same as in other countries, the reduction of the
transportation costs is the main task, in order to raise the competitiveness of the project. Thus,
it is reasonable to consider selecting CO2 disposal sites near major emitters, if possible, to
minimize transport costs.
FIG. 2.20. (a) Regional CO2 emissions; (b) Potential CO2 disposal areas. Sources: [2.48],
[2.49].
Geological surveys of potential disposal sites have been carried out, including the
investigation of fundamental mechanisms of geological CO2 disposal, selection of offshore
CO2 disposal sites and development of a monitoring device for stored CO2 behaviour and
leakage.
In order to study potential disposal sites, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) plans
to perform a 217 000 km 2-D seismic survey and 20 well drillings by 2018 (Table 2.8) [2.48].
51
TABLE 2.8. SEISMIC SURVEYS AND WELLS COMPLETED AND PLANNED
OFFSHORE. SOURCE: [2.48]
Basin
Kunsan
Jeju
Ulleung
Total
Mining
Block
6
4
2
12
Seismic survey (L-km)
1970–2008
2009–2018
(planned)
57 951
67 000
95 802
74 000
137 711
76 000
291 464
217 000
508 464
1970–
2008
6
14
23
43
Wells
2009–2018
(planned)
6
6
8
20
63
The Kunsan Basin. There are several basins in the Yellow Sea. The South Yellow Sea Basin,
which is located between eastern China and the South Korean peninsula, is subdivided into
the Northern and Southern South Yellow Sea basins by a central uplifted area [2.49]. The
Northern South Yellow Sea Basin is one of a number of Mesozoic Cenozoic non-marine,
back-arc, trans-tensional rift or pull-apart basins distributed along a general north-east-southwest trend in China and the Yellow Sea. It is filled with mainly Cretaceous and Cenozoic
non-marine clastic sediments. The eastern part of it is divided by structural highs and faults
into the south-west, central and north-east subbasins. In the Republic of Korea, the eastern
part of the Northern South Yellow Sea Basin is called the Kunsan Basin [2.49].
It is clear that the depositional environment in the Kunsan Basin is fluvial and lacustrine. This
is similar to the depositional systems in other extensional Cenozoic basins. The lithological
column from the investigation indicates numerous potential reservoir-seal pairs [2.49]. An
environmental interpretation of paleogeography would better illustrate the potential for
disposal into the saline reservoir.
The Ulleng Basin, in particular, has many favourable disposal structures which show
sandstone reservoirs of more than 200 m thickness, including the Gorae-V structure of the
Donghae-1 gas field, which has been producing natural gas since 2004 (see Table 2.9).
TABLE 2.9. SUMMARY OF PROSPECTS FOR GEOLOGICAL CO2 DISPOSAL IN
BLOCK VI-1 OF THE ULLENG BASIN. SOURCE: [2.50].
Well
Dolgorae II
Gorae V-3
Gorae 7-1X
Gorae V-4
Top
Depth
MD
m
1920.0
1886.0
1675.0
1871.9
Bottom
Depth
MD
m
2437.0
2560.0
2100.0
3001.1
Gross
Interval
517.1
674.1
425.1
1129.3
Gross
sand
Net sand
Net
sand/
Gross
Porosity
216.8
466.9
319.8
482.6
214.3
417.9
303.2
339.7
0.41
0.62
0.71
0.30
0.236
0.192
0.253
0.154
Water
Saturation
0.942
0.948
1.0
0.585
It might be possible to find a large potential structure for CO2 disposal if the data base of 23
drilling wells, including several gas discovery wells and 2-D and 3-D seismic data were
utilize. In addition to reprocessing existing seismic data, new data acquisition is expected in
the near future. One deep sea drilling in the Ulleung basin is also planned in the joint
exploration activity by the Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and Woodside of
52
Australia. Although a couple of potential areas in the southern Ulleung basin would be
recommended based on our current knowledge, more work needs to be done to assess their
potential for CO2 disposal.
Radioactive waste disposal
In June 2005, the Korean government issued a Public Notice on the selection of a candidate
site for a LILW repository, and the city of Gyeongju was selected as the final candidate site
based on voting by its residents. In June 2006, a rock cavern repository was selected as the
disposal method in the first stage. In January 2007, the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power
Company, Ltd., (KHNP) submitted an application for a permit to construct and operate the
proposed LILW repository and received conditional permission at the end of August 2008.
KHNP performed site characterization from November 2005 to July 2008 for the permit for
the construction and operation of the Wolsong LILW repository. The geological
characterization, including hydrology, hydrogeochemistry and groundwater flow was
performed as part of the site characterization.
The Wolsong site is located in the south-eastern coastal area of the Korean Peninsula, about
26.5 km south-east of the city Gyeong-Ju. The area, approximately 1.1 × 1.8 km, is bounded
by a national park to north and the Wolsong NPP to south. The site area consists of a rolling
hill topography with a general eastward slope toward the East Sea.
The detailed geology of the site area mainly consists of Cretaceous sedimentary rocks (Ulsan
Fm) and Tertiary plutonic and intrusive rocks (59.8±1.8 Ma). The Ulsan Fm is predominantly
alternating strata of mudstone, siltstone and sandstones. The plutonic rocks consist of diorite,
granodiorite and biotite granite, gradually changing from basic to acidic composition away
from the contact with sedimentary rocks.
The silo location is mainly composed of granodiorite, similar to diorite, with biotite
dominance and an increase of quartz and K-feldspar. Diorite changes to granodiorite, with a
decrease in the amount of opaque minerals and an increase in grain size. Diorite, in fine
grains, is mainly composed of plagioclase, K-feldspar, biotite and amphibole. A small
distribution of biotite granite is found in the northern part of the site. Rhyolites are intruded
into the Cretaceous sedimentary rocks and the Tertiary granitic rocks. They are distributed as
the largest outcrop in the northern area and as dykes in the southern area. The trachytic
andesites are distributed on a small scale as an intermediate dyke.
The hydrogeological characterization of the site was performed from the surface and
subsurface investigations, including geological mapping and analysis, drilling investigation
and hydraulic testing, geophysical survey and interpretation [2.51]. The north-south trend of
the mountain ridge in this region leads the surface water run-off and groundwater to flow
eastward toward the East Sea, depending on its hydraulic gradient. The Wolsong site,
characterized by the hydro-structural model of Rhén et al. [2.52], consists of one hydraulic
soil domain (HSD), three hydraulic rock domains (HRD) and five hydraulic conductor
domains (HCD). The HSD shows overburdens and the uppermost fractured rock mass and its
thickness ranged from 5 to maximum of 24–28 m; the hydraulic conductivity is about 2.6–
4.5 × 10-6 m/s, and the mean bulk porosity is 0.34%. The HRD consists of small fracture
zones, discrete fractures, and a less permeable rock matrix between the fractures. The three
HRDs are primarily defined according to fracture orientation [2.52]. The effective hydraulic
conductivity of the upper regime (7.7 × 10-8 m/s), which is bounded around -120 m depth
from the ground surface, is more permeable than the lower regime (6.6 × 10-8 m/s) [2.51]. The
53
permeability of the silo regime is 4.5 × 10-8 m/s. The HCD includes the deterministic fracture
zone. The hydraulic conductivity of HCD is assumed to be 1 × 10-7 m/s [2.51].
The groundwater chemical condition at the Wolsong site were investigated by cations and
anions analyses of groundwater samples from 12 boreholes, three surface water samples and
one seawater sample. The isotopes O-18, H-2, H-3, C-13, and S-34 were also analysed to
trace the origin of water and solutes. The groundwater types of the site were represented by
Ca-Na-HCO3 and Na-Cl-SO4, which was caused by sea spray and water rock interaction. The
high concentration of sodium (Na) in the groundwater resulted from ion exchanges.
For the redox condition of the groundwater, the values of dissolved oxygen and oxidation /
reduction potential (Eh) are decreasing with depth, indicating that the reducing condition is
formed in deeper groundwater. In addition, the high concentrations of iron (Fe) and
manganese (Mn) show that the redox condition of the groundwater is controlled by the
reduction of Fe and Mn oxides. The analysis results of O-18 and H-2 show that the surface
water and groundwater originated from precipitation. The tritium concentrations of the
groundwater decreases with depth, but high concentrations of tritium indicate that the
groundwater was recharged recently.
Geochemical research on the rocks and minerals of the site was also carried out in order to
provide data for geochemical modelling and safety assessment. The identified fracture filling
minerals were montmorillonite, zeolite minerals chlorite, illite, calcite and pyrite. Pyrite and
laumontite, which are known as minerals of hydrothermal alteration, were widely distributed,
indicating that the Wolsong site was affected by mineralization and/or hydrothermal
alteration. Sulphur isotope analysis for the pyrite and oxygen-hydrogen stable isotope analysis
for the clay minerals indicate that they originated from the magma. Therefore, it is believed
that the fracture filling minerals from the site were affected by the hydrothermal solution as
well as the water-rock interaction.
2.3.6.2.
Brief comparison of disposal options for CO2 and radioactive waste
The comparative analysis of disposal facilities in the Republic of Korea is presented in Table
2.10. While details for radioactive waste disposal facilities are presented in the table, most of
the parameters for CO2 disposal facilities are not yet available.
54
TABLE 2.10. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF DISPOSAL FACILITIES FOR CO2
AND RADIOACTIVE WASTE IN THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Aspects
Location
Host rock
Depth (m)
Type disposal
Form of disposal
Volume to store
Pressures
Permeability
Hydrogeology
Groundwater
Trapping
mechanism
Seismicity
(magnitude MSK )
Tectonic
Capacity
Compress strength
Thickness
of
isolating rock zone
Seals
CO2 disposal
Offshore
Sedimentary rocks
Not determined
Injection
Radioactive waste disposal (LILW)
Onshore
Granite rocks
130
Construction and excavation is
required.
Injection
In drums of 200 L (LILW) disposed in
six silo type disposal method
Not determined
800 000 drums (x 200L)
No information available
Atmospheric pressure
No information available
4.5 × 10-8 ~ 6.6 × 10-8 m/s
Controlled by lithological and Controlled by fracture zones in place
structural process
No information available
Origin through infiltration of water
precipitation; Ca-Na-HCO3 and Na-ClSO4 type, caused by water-rock
interaction
Structural entrapment
Multibarrier concept, system of
engineered and natural barriers placed
between the wastes and the
environment
No information available
No information available
No information available
Not determined
No information available
No information available
Stratigraphic within
layers
Cretaceous sedimentary rocks and
tertiary plutonic rocks and intrusive
rocks
800 000 drums (× 200L)
No information available
No information available
a clay Natural barriers of crystalline host
rocks plus engineering sealing
It is noted that the proposed radioactive waste disposal facility is a relatively near surface, silo
option. As such, because it is not a true geological disposal facility, it has only limited value
in the formal comparison between CO2 disposal and the geological disposal of radioactive
wastes.
Progress has been slow for CO2 disposal, because of the wide perception that no good site
exists. However, good disposal sites may be present in the continental shelf and the analysis
of the large amount of geophysical and drilling data is now required. Since 1970, several large
sedimentary basins were found offshore such as the Kunsan, Jeju and Ulleung basins.
55
2.3.7.
Switzerland
Nuclear energy and waste: Switzerland currently operates five nuclear reactors located at four
sites. The total amount of radioactive waste produced by the five Swiss reactors is expected to
be almost 100 000 m3, of which 7.5% will be SF and HLW. A comprehensive approach has
led to the identification of six potential areas with suitable geological conditions for the
disposal of radioactive waste [2.18].
Fossil energy and CO2: With only a very small fraction of electricity produced in Switzerland
being from fossil fuel power plants (<5%), the necessity to identify carbon reduction
measures such as CCD in the electricity generation sector is not applicable to today’s
situation. The largest point source emitters of CO2 in Switzerland are industrial facilities. The
options for CO2 disposal are being assessed by the ongoing Carbon Management in Power
Generation (CARMA) research project [2.53], which focuses largely on future energy
options.
2.3.7.1.
Geological opportunities for CO2 and radioactive waste disposal
CO2 disposal
Within the CARMA project, a first appraisal of the potential for deep geological disposal of
CO2 in Switzerland was made by Chevalier and Diamond [2.54], also reported by the Federal
Agency for Energy (Bundesamt für Energie – BFE) [2.55]. Following a numerical scoring
and weighting scheme on a scale of 0–1, they determined that the combined volumes of the
four main candidate aquifers with potentials above 0.6 offer a theoretical, effective disposal
capacity of 2680 Mt CO2. Future fossil fuelled power stations in Switzerland would most
probably be natural gas combined cycle plants, due to the lack of inland fossil resources, the
existence of natural gas pipelines and the lower CO2 emissions per kWh of natural gas
compared with coal. A 400 MW(e) combined cycle gas power station produces approximately
0.7 Mt CO2/year (assuming 360 kg/MWh and 5000 hours/year operation). The research
concluded that more than sufficient disposal capacity for CCD from electricity generation and
other industrial activities exists to serve the needs of many decades. This is, however, only a
preliminary study based on the literature, and the actual disposal potential may prove to be
very different following more physical geological examinations of the area.
Four options were identified as potentially relevant for the geological disposal of CO2 [2.55]:
Mineral carbonation: The Swiss Alps contain large quantities of basalt and serpentinite rocks
that have suitable chemical compositions for the purpose of mineral carbonation. However, all
these rocks are highly metamorphosed, so their intrinsic permeability is virtually zero. Most
of the rocks are intensely fractured, and although these fractures could provide access for
injected CO2 to the reactive minerals, they are not sealed above by other impermeable rock
formations. Consequently, any injected CO2 would surely escape before being fixed by
chemical reactions with the nearby rocks. Moreover, the necessary temperatures are
encountered only at prohibitively deep levels (>4 km). In view of these facts, there appears to
be no potential for in situ mineral carbonation as the primary mechanism of CO2 disposal in
Switzerland.
Unmineable coal beds: Seams of coal up to 4 m thick are known at depths of 1550–1750 m,
which precludes commercial exploitation. Little direct information is available on the spatial
extent of the coal, but the geological setting suggests that the coal is likely to occur in only
small areas. From a geological point of view, it would be worthwhile to conduct a pilot study
56
at particular points, but the outcomes are unpredictable at the current state of knowledge.
While this option cannot be ruled out for Switzerland, it is likely to provide only a very small
capacity for CO2 disposal.
Natural gas reservoirs: Exploration for oil and gas has been carried out in Switzerland since
the mid-1950s, including 35 deep boreholes and over 8500 km of geophysical surveys.
However, only one small gas field, situated at Entlebuch, Canton Lucerne, has ever produced
gas commercially (74 Mm3 of natural gas, volumetrically equivalent to 1.3 Mt CO2).
Unfortunately, the Entlebuch gas trap lies more than 5000 m below the surface, so the cost of
refilling the liberated rock porosity with waste CO2 would be extremely high. Today,
exploration for gas is continuing throughout the entire Central Plateau and the Jura Chain.
Despite this activity, no potential has been indicated in Switzerland so far for this approach to
CO2 disposal.
Saline aquifers: Thick aquifers containing water of various levels of salinity are found at
several levels below the Swiss Central Plateau and the Jura Mountain Chain. Many of these
aquifers are well known to local hydro geologists and geothermal energy firms, and a certain
amount of geological information is available from boreholes and geophysical transects.
Whereas most of the aquifers lie buried deep beneath the surface, in some places of northern
Switzerland the rocks are exposed in surface outcrops, thanks to uplift caused by tectonic
activity in the distant past. Overall, these sources of information are sufficient to reconstruct
approximately the three-dimensional disposition and thickness of the aquifers down to several
kilometres depth. Hydraulic testing in boreholes and in the laboratory using core samples has
provided quantitative information on the intrinsic porosity and permeability of the rocks. The
thick sequence of sedimentary rocks underlying the Swiss Molasse Basin and the adjacent
Jura Chain contains numerous sealed aquifers that are worth evaluating for CO2 disposal. The
aquifer rocks have measured porosities between 0.5 and 22%.
The conclusion of the BFE study was, therefore, that saline aquifers are the most promising
option for CO2 disposal in Switzerland.
However, according to the BFE [2.55], the literature data on the promising saline aquifers are,
unfortunately, insufficient to quantitatively evaluate all of the geological criteria. Certain
parameters are lacking completely, whereas data related to many of the criteria are too sparse
to provide a meaningful basis for a three-dimensional evaluation. This state of affairs simply
reflects the low areal density of deep boreholes in northern Switzerland and the lack of
detailed hydraulic testing within these holes.
In view of the lack of reliable data, the assessment was based on a subset of the criteria and on
data that are, at best, semi-quantitative. Criteria concerning seismicity and stress regime of the
aquifer rocks are particularly important in view of the high population density of northern
Switzerland, so not all the criteria carry the same weight in site selection. A numerical
approach was, therefore, applied by which scores were assigned to the various attributes of
the criteria, and the criteria themselves were weighted to enable their combination into a
global estimate of disposal potential. The resulting numerical scale for CO2 disposal potential
ranges from 0 (negligible potential) to 1 (high potential). However, two features regarding the
potentials must be kept in mind: first, although the use of numerical values may convey the
impression of high accuracy, the results are based on qualitative and semi-quantitative data.
Therefore, the numbers cannot have more than qualitative or at best semi-quantitative
significance. Second, a high potential is not a guarantee that CO2 can be disposed of in a given
area. Rather, a high potential is simply a guide for exploration companies – an indication of
an area that warrants further geological investigations.
57
Disposal capacities are only meaningfully calculated for aquifers that have at least moderately
good potential, such that capacities were calculated for potentials greater than 0.6. This gave a
sum of all the effective disposal capacities of 2680 Mt CO2.
The calculated disposal capacities can be put into the local context by considering that the
current annual emission of CO2 from industrial sources in Switzerland is approximately 11.3
Mt (Table 2.11). The projected emissions are just a tiny fraction (~0.5%) of the potential
disposal capacity of aquifers beneath the Central Plateau, as estimated with the semiquantitative approach in this study. However, it is worth reiterating, here, that the disposal
estimates are merely potential values. So far, no disposal capacity has been proven within
Switzerland.
TABLE 2.11. SEALED AQUIFERS (IN STRATIGRAPHIC ORDER) BENEATH THE
CENTRAL PLATEAU AND JURA CHAIN OF RELEVANCE FOR CO2 DISPOSAL.
SOURCE: [2.55].
Aquifer / Sealing caprock
Extent of sealed aquifer
1
Regionally extensive, but only a small
zone within 800–2500 m depth interval.
2
3
4
5
6
7
Upper Marine Molasses (OMM)
sandstones / Upper Freshwater
Molasses (OSM) marls
Upper Malm – Lower Cretaceous
limestones / Lower Freshwater
Molasses (USM) marls
Hauptrogenstein limestone /
Effingen Member calcareous
mudstone
Sandsteinkeuper, Arietenkalk
limestone / Lias, Opalinus Clay
Upper Muschelkalk / Gipskeuper
evaporites
Buntsandstein and fractured
crystalline (non-sedimentary)
basement / Anhydrite Group
evaporites
Permo-Carboniferous trough
sandstones / Permian shales or
Anhydrite Group evaporites
Aquifer
porosity
5–20%
Regionally extensive below Central
Plateau.
0.5–10%
Subregional extent below north-west
Central Plateau.
≤ 16%
Local scale aquifers. Volumes are difficult
to estimate.
Regionally extensive below Central
Plateau.
Subregional extent below north-west
Central Plateau. Sporadically underlain by
water conducting fractured basement
(volumes are difficult to estimate).
Location and number of troughs and their
sandstones are poorly known. Data are
insufficient to estimate aquifer extents and
volumes.
5–15%
2–22%
3–18%
3–12%
Radioactive waste disposal
The proposed final disposal facility for ILW, HLW and SF is a series of horizontal
emplacement tunnels located at a depth of approximately 650 m in the centre of an Opalinus
Clay formation. The Opalinus Clay was deposited some 180 million years ago by the
sedimentation of fine clay, quartz and carbonate particles in a shallow marine environment. It
is part of a thick sequence of Mesozoic and Tertiary sediments in the Molasse Basin, which
runs from the north-east to the west of Switzerland and through the potential sites identified
58
for SF and HLW. There are several reasons for choosing the Opalinus Clay as the host rock
for a repository for long lived wastes:
• The geochemical environment is expected to be stable over several million years;
• The reducing, slightly alkaline and moderately saline environment favours the
preservation of the engineered barriers and radionuclide retention;
• In case radionuclides escape into water, they would be diluted and dispersed in the
layers of chalk above and below;
• The Opalinus Clay has a self sealing capacity which reduces the effects of fractures. It
also allows small and unlined, or large and lined tunnels to be built at several hundred
meters depth;
• The sediments overlying the basement in this region, and the basement rocks
themselves, are not considered to have any significant natural resource potential.
In combination, these features indicate excellent isolation potential for a repository within the
Opalinus Clay. Additionally, the so called confining units will also contribute to radionuclide
retention. There is also the likelihood of significant dilution of any such releases in
groundwater in the permeable formations above and below the confining units before they
reach surface aquifers in the biosphere, where further dilution takes place. The Opalinus Clay
is of uniform thickness over several kilometres, almost flat lying (dipping gently to the southeast) and little affected by faulting.
The geological component of the isolation concept is, therefore, as follows:
•
The absence of significant advective groundwater flow in the host formation, which is
thick enough to extend for more than 40 m above and below a repository, will ensure
that the rate of movement of radionuclides out of the engineered barriers and through
the undisturbed host rock will be extremely small;
•
The surrounding clay rich sediments are rocks of the confining units and have the
additional potential to retard the movement of any radionuclides that escape from the
host rock. Although there are thin and more permeable horizons in these clays, flows
are expected to be small, due to limited hydraulic interconnectedness. Potential
pathways to the biosphere are long (15–25 km, if they exist). Furthermore, the
surrounding formations have good sorption properties;
•
Any radionuclides that migrate through the clay rich formations (i.e. are not
transported laterally along the thin, water conducting horizons), will enter the regional
aquifers of the Malm (above) and the Muschelkalk (below). Neither of these aquifers
or permeable horizons are exploited in this region, and, with the exception of the
Muschelkalk, the waters have relatively high salinities and are non-potable. The
current discharge area for Muschelkalk aquifer is some 30 km to the west, with the
Malm discharging a few km to the north;
•
If radionuclides enter the regional aquifers, they will be significantly dispersed and
diluted. An additional stage of dilution will occur when the deep aquifers discharge to
the more dynamic freshwater flow systems of near surface gravel aquifers, or to river
waters. Groundwater directly discharging to springs is also being considered.
59
2.3.7.2.
Brief comparison of disposal options for CO2 and radioactive waste
It can be seen from the case study for Switzerland that some overlap does occur in the
geographical regions determined to be of most interest to the disposal of radioactive waste
and CO2, particularly in the Zürcher Weinland region to the south of Schaffhausen. For
radioactive waste, the selected clay rich formations must be thick enough (~100 m) to ensure
long term impermeability with respect to formation water from above and below the
repository. In effect, the combination of this depth constraint and the need for more than 30 m
of impermeable rock beneath the repository rule out a geological conflict with CO2 injection
into an underlying saline aquifer.
Two of the formations being investigated for the disposal of radioactive waste were also
considered to be potential sealing caprocks in the 2010 BFE study [2.55]: the Opalinus Clay
and the Effingen Member. Owing to the slight south-east dip of these formations, most of the
areas of interest for radioactive waste disposal lie to the north of and at shallower depths than
the areas identified to have potential for CO2 disposal.
2.4.
CONCLUSIONS
Information on the geological potential of CO2 disposal and radioactive waste disposal is
presented in this chapter for Bulgaria, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Germany, India, the
Republic of Korea and Switzerland. Data of CO2 point sources are highlighted and possible
geological disposal locations (aquifers, oil and gas fields, coal fields) are shown. Based on the
references, the estimated geological disposal capacity gives several decades or even hundreds
of years for all CO2 emissions from the point sources. These estimates may be increased as
further datasets become available in the different countries.
The results of this chapter can be summed up as follows:
60
•
There are different requirements, depending on the geological environments in which
CO2 and radioactive waste would be disposed;
•
There are obvious similarities between CO2 disposal and radioactive waste disposal
because both occur in geological media;
•
The emplacement of radioactive waste and CO2 in geological media is considered to
be a safe method for isolating these substances from the accessible near surface
biosphere;
•
Some of the participating countries are investigating the development of a geological
disposal facility for HLW;
•
For CO2 disposal, there is substantial experience available from the oil and gas
industries specifically including EOR and EGR that is now being applied to develop
this technology;
•
In Bulgaria, there already exist two radioactive waste repositories, one of which (Novi
Han) has been in operation since 1964, the other of which (Kozloduy) opened in May
2011. There are good geological conditions for CO2 disposal;
•
In Cuba, a near surface waste facility for LILW is at an early stage of planning.
Currently, there are no plans for CO2 disposal;
•
In the Czech Republic, there are good geological conditions for the disposal of CO2
and radioactive waste;
•
In Germany, several options exist for the geological disposal of CO2 and radioactive
waste;
•
India has very good and various geological conditions as well as high potential for
CO2 and radioactive waste disposal;
•
The essential problem in the Republic of Korea is the long distance between the CO2
emitting industries and the potential CO2 disposal sites. The reduction of the
transportation costs is the main task to increase the competitiveness of CCD projects;
•
In Switzerland, there are six identified potential areas with suitable geological
conditions for the disposal of radioactive waste. CO2 disposal is not considered as an
important issue for the country.
No direct conflict between the two disposal options has been revealed in any of the
participating countries in terms of competition for geological space. This follows from the
rather different characteristics of the geological formations suitable for disposing of CO2 on
the one hand, and radioactive waste on the other.
The chapter shows a considerable diversity of the perceived urgency to tackle the problems of
geological disposal of CO2 and radioactive waste across the participating countries.
Accordingly, the intensity of and the resources mobilized for the necessary geological
research vary a great deal. Research communities in the two areas greatly rely on the
accumulated geological knowledge in their own fields, but this initial comparative analysis
indicates that there are opportunities for the two expert groups to learn from each other.
Approaches and processes of geological research reported in this chapter might be useful for
other countries starting or intensifying geological research in these areas.
APPENDIX: FORMULAS
Capacity estimation in hydrocarbon fields
A simplified formula from the GESTCO project [2.56] can be used for estimates:
MCO2 = ρCO2r × URp × B
Where
MCO2
ρCO2r
URp
B
is the hydrocarbon field disposal capacity;
is the CO2 density at reservoir conditions (the CO2 density varies with depth as a
function of pressure and temperature);
is the proven ultimate recoverable oil or gas reserves;
is the oil or gas formation volume factor (for oil varies regionally depending on
the oil type: a fixed value of 1.2 can be used for the oil replacement; for gas varies
with depth as a function of pressure and temperature).
61
Capacity estimation in deep saline aquifers
The formula is slightly simplified and/or modified versions of the formulas presented in
Bachu et al. [2.57]. It is the same for aquifer traps and regional aquifers:
MCO2t = A × hef × φ × ρCO2r × Seff
Where
MCO2t
A
hef
φ
ρCO2r
Seff
is the ‘trap’ disposal capacity;
is the area of aquifer in trap (determined by contour maps of stratigraphic
horizons near or at the top of the reservoir formation);
is the average effective thickness of aquifer (evaluated by data from exploration
wells);
is the average reservoir porosity of aquifer (evaluated by data from exploration
wells);
is the CO2 density at reservoir conditions (varies with depth as a function of
pressure and temperature and can be estimated using different diagrams);
is the disposal efficiency factor (for trap volume can be assumed between 5–10%
for the different aquifers).
Capacity estimation in coal fields
The assessment methodology is based on the use of GESTCO reports on CO2 ECBMR
potential for Belgium [2.56], Germany [2.58] and the Netherlands [2.59].
The CO2 disposal capacity in coal field(s) is a function of PGIP (producible gas in place),
CO2 (gas) density and CO2 to CH4 exchange ratio (ER):
S = PGIP × CO2 density × ER
CO2 disposal capacity S denotes quantity of CO2 that could replace PGIP, to the extent
specified by ER (hard coal has usually the ratio of about 2, brown coal and lignite may have
higher ratios)
PGIP means coal bed methane reserves for CO2 ECBMR (Enhanced Coal Bed Methane
Recovery with the use of CO2 disposal). The standard approach to calculating PGIP consists
of estimation of volume and mass of (pure) coal (excluding ash and moisture, if CH4 content
refers to pure coal samples) within the seam(s), assuming methane content in coal, recovery
factor and completion factor:
PGIP = Coal Volume × Coal density × CH4 content × Completion factor × Recovery
factor
REFERENCES TO CHAPTER 2
[2.1]
62
INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE, IPCC Special
Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage, Metz, B., O. Davidson, H. C. de
Coninck, M. Loos, and L. A. Meyer, (Eds), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
(2005).
[2.2]
[2.3]
[2.4]
[2.5]
[2.6]
[2.7]
[2.8]
[2.9]
[2.10]
[2.11]
[2.12]
[2.13]
[2.14]
[2.15]
[2.16]
[2.17]
[2.18]
CHADWICK, A., ARTS, R., BERNSTONE, C., MAY, F., THIBEAU, S.,
ZWEIGEL, P., Best practice for the storage of CO2 in saline aquifers - observations
and guidelines from the SACS and CO2STORE projects, British Geological Survey,
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Chapter 3
3.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS
A. SIMONS, C. BAUER
Paul Scherrer Institute,
Switzerland
3.1. INTRODUCTION
In consideration of the possible environmental impacts resulting from the disposal of
radioactive waste and carbon dioxide (CO2) in geological formations, there will be above
ground disturbances to the land on which the surface infrastructures of the disposal facility
will be sited, and which will lead to chains of resource uses and emissions from their
construction and operation. For both waste types in question, the burdens on the environment
from these processes can largely be measured in tens of years, and measures to reduce or limit
them can be done in a reactionary and continuous manner. On the other hand, however, the
disposal and containment of these wastes must, for the purposes of repository design, either
be considered as potentially permanent in the case of radioactive waste, or ultimate in the case
of CO2. This means that, in practical terms, measures to control the environmental impacts
during the decay or the mineralization processes, which continue long after above ground
activities have ceased, can be done only once, prior to the emplacement of the waste in the
geological formation.
Both natural and engineered barriers are incorporated into the disposal schemes with the
ultimate objective of immobilizing the transport of radionuclides or CO2 within the host
geological formations, the duration of the necessary containment period being either until the
waste has reached background radiation levels or the CO2 has chemically bonded with the
host rock. Thus, potential environmental impacts occurring here would be due to a release or
transport of radionuclides or CO2 into the surrounding geology and water courses prior to the
end of the containment period, which, as described, must be guarded against from the outset.
Indeed, if the safe and effective containment of wastes cannot be assured, then the
justification for the geological disposal is, in itself, highly questionable. Therefore, with
regard to the below ground disposal phase and however long that must last, there are no
burdens or consequences on the environment (of which we are aware) from the normal
operation of a facility. Only under the analysis of failure scenarios would a consideration of
potential environmental impacts be a justified and valuable assessment. Within the precincts
of normal operation, however, the analysis is thus focused on the above ground activities, on
the preparation of the disposal and containment locations (relevant for radioactive waste,
which uses engineered barriers) and on the eventual sealing and closure of the facility. What
occurs below ground is assumed to be the safe and complete containment of the waste
substance.
The subtle concerns regarding environmental impacts the public has about, for example, CO2
leakage on human health, ecosystems, terrestrial and the marine environments, etc., are not
captured here. These aspects are discussed in West et al. [3.1]. This chapter focuses on the life
cycle assessment (LCA) approach and its application to CO2 and radioactive waste disposal.
67
3.2. METHODOLOGIES
3.2.1. Life cycle assessment
The potential environmental impacts of radioactive waste disposal and CO2 disposal are
quantified by LCA methodology, taking into account not only direct burdens during
construction and operation of disposal facilities, but also indirect burdens through energy and
material demands. The results are valid for ‘normal operation’ of all processes included,
meaning that the disposal facilities function as intended.
3.2.2. Basic principles of the LCA
LCA quantifies the environmental burdens of a certain product or service over its whole life
cycle, beginning with the extraction of resources and covering the intermediary processing
stages, the use phase, as well as final disposal. It includes fossil and mineral resource
consumptions, land uses and emissions to air, water and soil.
The International Organization for Standardization has specified international guidelines on
LCA [3.2]. Four main steps are distinguished: goal and scope definition, inventory
assessment, impact assessment and interpretation (Fig. 3.1). Due to the comprehensive
approach and the interdependent assessment steps, conducting a LCA is usually an iterative
process.
Applications:
Applications:
Goal and Scope
Definition
Inventory
Assessment
(LCI)
Interpretation
- Product
development
and improvement
- Product
development
and improvement
- Strategic
planning
- Strategic
planning
- Public
policy
making
- Public
policy
making
- Selection
of environmental
performance
- Selection
of environmental
performance
indicators
indicators
- Marketing
- Marketing
Other
usesuses
in assisting:
Other
in assisting:
Impact
Assessment
(LCIA)
- Environmental
management
systems
- Environmental
management
systems
Environmental
performance
evaluation
- Environmental performance evaluation
Environmental
labeling
- LCI- LCI
Environmental
labelling
FIG. 3.1.
Main steps and applications of the LCA.
The goal and scope define the fundamental characteristics and constraints of the LCA being
conducted. Although the definitions of these aspects can also be iterated upon throughout the
duration of a study, they provide a framework and guidelines for the collection of the
inventory data. The LCI analysis quantifies all elementary flows associated with single
processes, i.e. mass (materials and resources) and energy flows, land use, emissions to air,
water and soil and products of the processes as outputs. The Life Cycle Impact Assessment
(LCIA) is the third step within a LCA and focuses on the aggregation of specific or total
environmental burdens. The concept of category indicators for environmental impacts is the
basis for the LCIA. Each category has its own environmental mechanism, such as infrared
radiative forcing for climate change or proton release for those leading to acidification. All
mass flows taken into account in the LCI are classified and multiplied with specific
characterization factors concerning the specific environmental burden for a specific impact
68
category. Finally, the results obtained must be interpreted within the contextual setting of the
study. If an adequate interpretation cannot be made, then aspects of the previous stages should
be altered in order to achieve it.
The LCIA also contains optional elements such as normalization and weighting of the
burdens and impacts, respectively [3.3]. Normalization allows for the comparison of different
category indicators by dividing the values with a selected reference value, such as total
emissions or resource uses for a certain area (such as the whole of Europe), in order to
determine a potential impact. Weighting indicators allows for a differentiated rating of
impacts where the weighting factors depend on personal value judgments and not only on
scientific criteria. Due to the strong element of subjectivity involved in this, different
weighting schemes, as well as sensitivity analysis, may be helpful for the consolidation of
results and conclusions. The LCIA can also be used to analyse the contributions from system
parts or for use in product optimization.
3.2.2.1. Database, data collection and software
The LCA performed here uses background data from the ecoinvent LCI database [3.3]. The
ecoinvent LCA database contains more than 4,000 individual processes covering the whole
economic system with a focus on European production chains. For important globally traded
goods (e.g. energy carriers like oil, gas, coal and uranium), regions outside of Europe are also
considered. These LCI data mainly refer to conditions existing around the years 2000–2005.
Additional data specific to the comparison of the disposal of radioactive waste and CO2 are
taken from various studies conducted at the Paul Scherrer Institute. These were also done in
conjunction with the methodologies and guidelines of the ecoinvent database and could,
therefore, be used in the present study with a high degree of consistency. The construction of
specific inventories and processes determined for this chapter was done using the SimaPro
software [3.4]. With this software, a number of indicators and impact assessment
methodologies are available, which allow an iterative procedure between results and
inventory data.
3.2.2.2. Functional unit
Cumulative LCA results are given in quantity of emissions per unit of electricity from a
power plant or a mix of power plants generating the flow of radioactive waste or CO2
requiring geological disposal, i.e. kg CO2-eq/MW·h. Results could, of course, be given for the
functional unit of 1 kg radioactive waste or CO2, but these are not the useful products of the
systems of which they are a part. Instead, in order to generate 1 MW·h electricity, a given
quantity of radioactive waste or CO2 is produced and requires disposal, and this volume or
weight is different per unit of electricity generated. Therefore, although the focus of the study
is on radioactive waste and CO2 disposal, a comparison of environmental impacts should not
remove them from the context of why they are being produced.
3.2.2.3. Indicators and impact assessment methods
This chapter uses a combination of assessment methods in order to evaluate the environmental
burdens and potential impacts of radioactive waste and CO2 disposal (see Table 3.1). The first
sections address specific cumulative inventory results, characterized according to equivalency
factors to suit their particular burden on the environment. For the analysis and interpretation
of the cumulative life cycle inventories, this chapter uses selected methods as implemented in
69
the ecoinvent database [3.5]. These address the specific impacts of climate change, as well as
selected pollutants.
TABLE 3.1. INDICATORS AND ASSESSMENT METHODS USED IN LCA
Indicator
Units
Description
Main substances
Greenhouse
gas (GHG)
emissions
g (CO2-eq)
The global warming potentials (GWP)
of GHG are calculated using the CO2equivalent GWP factors for a 100 year
time period, determined by the IPCC
[3.6].
Quantification of the potentially
disappeared fraction (PDF) of flora and
fauna species per unit area and time,
due to emissions which alter natural pH
and nutrient levels [3.7].
Quantification of the potentially
affected fraction (PAF) of flora and
fauna species per unit area and time,
due to toxic emissions [3.7].
Quantification of potential impacts on
human health using the Disability
Adjusted Life Year (DALY), which
combines premature mortality and
years of life lost caused by airborne
pollutants [3.7].
CO2, methane,
dinitrogen monoxide,
fluorochlorohydrocarbons.
Acidification PDF*m2*y
and
ear
eutrophicatio
n
Ecotoxicity
PAF*m2*y
ear
Respiratory
inorganics
DALY
Ammonia, nitrous
oxides and sulphur
oxides.
Heavy metals, dioxins
and hydrocarbons.
Particulate matter,
ammonia, nitrous
oxides and sulphur
oxides.
3.3. COUNTRY CASE STUDIES
3.3.1. Radioactive waste disposal
Within the scope of this chapter, it was not feasible to collect suitable and methodologically
consistent LCI data from each country participating in the overall assessment to conduct a
LCA and to develop inventories with which to calculate environmental burdens and impacts.
However, even though most country specific radioactive waste disposal strategies are still in
the design phase, a consensus has emerged amongst the leading technical authorities that
disposal in deep underground facilities presents the best current and foreseen solution. For the
most part, the repositories are expected to be located at depths of less than 1000 m and
comprise a series of engineered emplacement shafts [3.8]. It can, therefore, be assumed that
the design characteristics, materials and energy sources used to construct and operate each
facility will not differ significantly with regard to the results of an environmental impact
assessment. For the reasons explained in the introduction, the environmental burdens
considered in this chapter are limited to land and resource uses and the emissions occurring
above ground. It is also important to bear in mind when considering such a LCA that the
disposal is just one aspect in a whole life cycle chain with the ultimate purpose of generating
electricity (Fig. 3.2). As the following analysis shows, other stages in this overall chain are far
more significant in terms of environmental burdens than the disposal of wastes. This also
means that the functional unit (the product of the system to which all burdens and potential
impacts are related) is 1 kW·h electricity at the busbar of the nuclear power plant (NPP).
70
Therefore, and considering the above arguments, the following analysis of radioactive waste
disposal will be limited to the LCA case study of radioactive waste disposal in Switzerland,
for which LCIs already exist [3.9].
3.3.1.1. System boundary of the nuclear energy chain
The system boundary of the complete life cycle of electricity production from western
European NPPs (e.g. France, Germany and Switzerland) is represented in the ecoinvent
database [3.9]. Figure 3.2 shows the main processes of uranium mining and processing to fuel
elements, the construction and operation of the NPP, reprocessing and conditioning of used
fuel and the final disposal of radioactive waste.
3.3.1.2. System boundary of radioactive waste disposal
The system boundary of the radioactive waste disposal stage encompasses the above and
below ground infrastructures and emplacement of the wastes in geological repositories.
Interim waste storage and transport of the waste to the above ground facility is not included.
Radioactive waste is disposed of in two repositories: one for spent fuel (SF), high level waste
(HLW) and long lived intermediate level waste (ILW), and one for short lived ILW and low
level waste (LLW). All forms of waste are quantified in terms of volume occupied within the
repository, which includes all the containment and encapsulation material with which the
radioactive waste was conditioned and packaged for final disposal.
3.3.1.3. Life cycle assessment case study of radioactive waste disposal in Switzerland
If the five Swiss reactors are assumed to operate for 60 years each, then this would be the
equivalent of 192 GW·year of electricity, resulting in approximately 16 000 m3 of conditioned
SF and HLW [3.10]. More specifically, this would be composed of approximately 8000 m3 of
SF, 1000 m3 of HLW and 7000 m3 of ILW. For LLW and ILW, the repository would be
designed to accommodate 75 000 m3 of waste (conditioned and packaged). The repository
would be operational for approximately 50 years [3.10]. These volumes equate to 8.6 × 109
m3 of SF, HLW and ILW and 4.7 × 10-8 m3 of LLW on a per kW·h basis. The nuclear power
mix in Switzerland is defined as being 55% from pressurized water reactors (PWR) and 45%
from boiling water reactors (BWR) [3.9].
The environmental burdens and potential impacts are shown in Fig. 3.3. For each indicator,
the contribution from radioactive waste disposal is differentiated from the rest of the life cycle
chain of electricity generation. In each case, SF and HLW account for between 60% and 70%
of this contribution.
71
FIG. 3.2. System boundary of the nuclear energy chain, as modelled in the ecoinvent database
[3.9]. Note: UCTE – Union for the Co-ordination of the Transmission of Electricity.
72
Rest of chain
RW disposal
0
1
2
3
4
5
GHG emissions - kg CO2 eq. / MWh
6
7
8
Rest of chain
RW disposal
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
Acidification & Eutrophication - PDF*m2yr / MWh
Rest of chain
RW disposal
0
1
2
3
4
5
Ecotoxicity - PAF*m2yr / MWh
6
7
8
Rest of chain
RW disposal
0.000
0.005
0.010
0.015
0.020
0.025
0.030
Respiratory inorganics - DALY / GWh
FIG. 3.3. LCIA results for electricity production from nuclear power in Switzerland. Results
are given per unit of electricity generated and differentiated between radioactive waste
disposal and the rest of the life cycle chain. Source [3.9].
Note: RW=radioactive waste
3.3.2. CO2 disposal
3.3.2.1. System boundary of the fossil energy chain
Fig. 3.4 shows the simplified system boundary of the complete life cycle of electricity
production from fossil fuel power plants with carbon capture and disposal (CCD) technology
(either natural gas or lignite, both with post-combustion capture), as modelled by Volkart
[3.11]. This figure shows the main processes of fossil fuel extraction and processing, the
construction and operation of the power plants and the different stages of the CCD process.
73
FIG. 3.4. System boundary of the fossil fuel energy chain with CCD, as modelled by Volkart
[3.11].
3.3.2.2. System boundary of geological CO2 disposal
CO2 arrives at the injection site in supercritical form, meaning that it is compressed to around
8 Megapascal (MPa) (80 bar) pressure and in liquid state. Similarly to radioactive waste, the
disposal site forms the system boundary of the evaluations so that the transport of the CO2 to
the injection site is not considered. Additional pressurization according to the depth of the
host formation is, then, a site specific variable and, as such, very much a part of the LCA.
Furthermore, as this happens at the injection site, not only the quantity used but also the form
and source of the energy used to enable CO2 injection has a significant influence on the LCA
results. For the cases studied below, the additional pressure at the injection sites is gained
using electric compressors powered by the country specific electricity supply mix.
3.3.2.3. LCA case study of CO2 disposal in Switzerland
CO2 is assumed to originate in a gas turbine combined cycle plant (GTCC) using postcombustion carbon capture. The gas turbine combined cycle plant has a capacity of 400
MW(e) and a CO2 capture rate of 90% [3.12], equivalent to 0.36 kg CO2 per kW·h of
electricity exported to the grid, or approximately 39.5 kg CO2/s. For the Swiss case, CO2 is
assumed to be stored in a saline aquifer 1000 m below ground level [3.13]. The pressure of
the CO2 is increased to approximately 200 bar [3.11] and uses medium voltage electricity
from the Swiss supply mix. The results of the LCIA can be seen in Fig. 3.5.
74
Saline
Aquifer
Rest of chain
0.4
CO2 storage
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
Acidification & Eutrophication - PDF*m2yr / MWh
3.5
Saline
Aquifer
GHG emissions - kg CO2 eq. / MWh
Rest of chain
CO2 storage
0.07
Saline
Aquifer
0.0
Rest of chain
CO2 storage
Saline
Aquifer
0
1
2
3
4
Ecotoxicity - PAF*m2yr / MWh
5
6
Rest of chain
CO2 storage
0.00
0.01
0.02
0.03
0.04
0.05
0.06
0.07
Respiratory inorganics - DALY / GWh
FIG. 3.5. LCIA results for electricity production with CCD in Switzerland. Results are given
per unit of electricity generated and differentiated between the CO2 disposal and the rest of
the life cycle chain. Sources: [3.9], [3.10], [3.11].
3.3.3. LCA case study of CO2 disposal in Germany
CO2 is assumed to originate from the combustion of lignite in an integrated gasification
combined cycle (IGCC) plant using post-combustion carbon capture. The IGCC plant has a
capacity of 450 MW(e) and a CO2 capture rate of 90% [3.12], equivalent to 0.934 kg CO2 per
kW·h of electricity exported to the grid or approximately 117 kg CO2/s. For the German case,
two disposal scenarios are assessed based on reference [3.11] (see Fig. 3.6). The first is a
saline aquifer of 1000 m depth and permeability of 500 to 1000 mD (millidarcy), requiring an
injection pressure of almost 180 bar and, therefore, additional compression at the injection site
of 10 MPa (100 bar). The second is a depleted gas field 3300 m below the surface with
permeability of 10 to 100 mD. These factors mean that disposal in the latter requires a much
higher injection pressure of around 420 bar (compression from 8 to 42 MPa, or 80 to 420 bar,
at the injection site).
75
Saline
Aquifer
Depleted
Gas Field
Rest of chain
CO2 storage
Rest of chain
CO2 storage
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
Depleted Saline
Gas Field Aquifer
GHG emissions - kg CO2 eq. / MWh
Rest of chain
CO2 storage
Rest of chain
CO2 storage
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
350
400
Depleted Saline
Gas Field Aquifer
Acidification & Eutrophication - PDF*m2yr / MWh
Rest of chain
CO2 storage
Rest of chain
CO2 storage
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
Depleted Saline
Gas Field Aquifer
Ecotoxicity - PAF*m2yr / MWh
Rest of chain
CO2 storage
Rest of chain
CO2 storage
0.00
0.02
0.04
0.06
0.08
0.10
0.12
Respiratory inorganics - DALY / GWh
FIG. 3.6. LCIA results for electricity production with CCD in Germany. Results are given per
unit of electricity generated and differentiated between the CO2 disposal and the rest of the
life cycle chain for a saline aquifer and a depleted natural gas field. Sources: [3.9], [3.10],
[3.11].
3.3.4. Country specific conclusions
3.3.4.1. Switzerland
For Switzerland, it was possible to determine potential environmental burdens and impacts of
the geological disposal of both radioactive waste and CO2. Site location, engineered barriers
and design concepts of radioactive waste repositories have been extensively researched and
76
developed, due to the implicit need for this kind of facility. On the other hand, the relatively
small contribution of fossil fuels to the Swiss electricity mix has meant that the research and
development commitment to CCD is only recently being approached as Switzerland considers
potential future generation possibilities.
Based on the indicators used, the results show that the potential environmental burdens and
impacts from radioactive waste disposal form only a very small fraction of the cumulative
burdens and impacts from the complete life cycle of generating electricity at a NPP). As can
be seen in Table 3.2, this fraction is, at most, a little more than 3% in the case of GHG
emissions. The results given in this table are per unit of electricity generated and
differentiated between the radioactive waste disposal and the rest of the life cycle chain [3.9].
For CO2 disposal, the data has been generated through scenario analyses and similar or
analogous processes outside of Switzerland. This analysis also shows that the specific stage of
CO2 injection into the geological formation (saline aquifer) accounts for only a small fraction
of the overall cumulative burdens and impacts, being, at most, just over 4% in the case of
ecotoxicity. Here, the contributions largely stem from the electricity sources constituting the
Swiss electricity mix. Table 3.3 shows the results of LCIA for electricity production in
Switzerland with CCD. Results are given per unit of electricity generated and differentiated
between the CO2 disposal and the rest of the life cycle chain [3.9], [3.10], [3.11].
TABLE 3.2. LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT RESULTS FOR ELECTRICITY
PRODUCTION FROM NUCLEAR POWER IN SWITZERLAND
Swiss nuclear mix
Rest of chain
Radioactive waste
disposal
Total
Radioactive waste
disposal as % of total
GHG
emissions
kg CO2-eq /
MW·h
7.56
0.25
Acidification and
eutrophication
PDF*m2*year /
MW·h
0.22
0.00434
PAF*m2*year /
MW·h
7.22
0.148
0.0284
0.000236
7.81
3.20%
0.224
1.94%
7.37
2.00%
0.0286
2.74%
Ecotoxicity
Respiratory
inorganics
DALY/GW·h
TABLE 3.3. LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT RESULTS FOR ELECTRICITY
PRODUCTION WITH CCD IN SWITZERLAND
Disposal in saline
aquifer
Rest of chain
CO2 disposal
Total
Disposal as % of total
GHG
emissions
kg CO2-eq/
MW·h
126
0.442
126
0.35%
Acidification and
eutrophication
PDF*m2*year/
MW·h
3.36
0.0071
3.37
0.21%
Ecotoxicity
Respiratory
inorganics
PAF*m2*year DALY/GW·h
/ MW·h
5.55
0.0648
0.246
0.000318
5.80
0.0651
4.23%
0.49%
77
3.3.4.2.
Germany
For Germany, it was possible to generate LCA results for different CO2 disposal scenarios, as
well as cumulative for the rest of the energy chain in electricity production. The two disposal
scenarios are a saline aquifer (as for Switzerland) and a depleted gas field, and the use of
these highlighted the possibility for the injection stage to vary significantly in its level of
contribution to the cumulative burdens and impacts per unit of electricity. This was most
predominant for GHG emissions where the contribution varied from almost only 2% in the
case of the saline aquifer to more than 11% in the case of the depleted gas field. Injection is
an energy intensive process, due to the need to compress the CO2 above the level of that
which arrives at the injection site in the pipeline. In the case of the depleted gas field, the
further increase in pressure above the pressure in the pipeline is more than three times that for
the saline aquifer (36 MPa as opposed to 10 MPa). Compression is performed by using an
electric compressor fed by the Union for the Co-ordination of the Transmission of Electricity
(UCTE) electricity mix representative of 2005. Table 3.4 shows LCIA results for electricity
production with CCD in Germany. Results are given per unit of electricity generated and
differentiated between the CO2 disposal and the rest of the life cycle chain. Two disposal
scenarios of saline aquifer and depleted natural gas field are presented [3.9], [3.10], [3.11].
TABLE 3.4. LIFE CYCLE IMPACT ASSESSMENT RESULTS FOR ELECTRICITY
PRODUCTION IN GERMANY
Disposal in saline
aquifer
Rest of chain
CO2 disposal
Total
Disposal as % of
total
Disposal in depleted
gas field
Rest of chain
CO2 disposal
Total
Disposal as % of
total
GHG
emissions
kg CO2eq/MW·h
135
2.54
138
1.84%
Acidification and
eutrophication
PDF*m2 year/MW
·h
4.01
0.0343
4.04
0.85%
Ecotoxicity
PAF*m2*year/MW
·h
353
0.709
354
0.20%
135
17.8
153
11.60%
3.98
0.235
4.22
5.57%
352
4.64
357
1.30%
Respiratory
inorganics
DALY/GW·h
0.103
0.00137
0.104
1.32%
0.102
0.00934
0.111
8.42%
3.4. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT
Whilst maintaining the context of complete energy chains, the comparison of the results for
just the radioactive waste and CO2 disposal stages allows the contributing factors, which are
illustrated in Tables 3.2 and 3.3, to be shown relative to each other and across countries. In
Fig. 3.7, radioactive waste disposal is shown to cause the lowest environmental burdens,
showing, overall, around half the amount of burdens caused by CO2 disposal in a saline
aquifer in Switzerland. The burdens from radioactive waste disposal are spread across several
factors, such as energy uses and materials processing, whereas for CO2 disposal, the main
78
contributing factor is the energy source and energy demand for the compression of CO2 at the
point of injection. Here, the fossil fuel intensity of the electricity mix available in Germany
and the higher pressure required cause the burdens and impacts to be many times larger than
for CO2 in Switzerland, or for radioactive waste disposal, in general. Table 3.5 shows the
details of the electricity mixes used for CO2 disposal, as well as their GHG emission
intensities.
TABLE 3.5. PRIMARY ENERGY SOURCES AND GREENHOUSE GAS INTENSITY OF
THE SWISS AND UCTE ELECTRICITY MIXES. Source: [3.14]
Switzerland
(based on 2005)
UCTE
(based on 2005)
Nuclear
Fossil
Hydro
Others
GHG intensity
49.3%
8.1%
35.4%
7.2%
140 g CO2-eq / kW·h
31.6%
51.2%
11.4%
5.8%
590 g CO2-eq / kW·h
Note: UCTE – Union for the Co-ordination of the Transmission of Electricity
3.5. CONCLUSIONS
This chapter has focused on specific stages in the life cycle of electricity generation which are
not yet practiced on industrial scales in any of the countries participating in this Coordinated
Research Project. As a consequence, and despite applying up to date findings from the
literature and from first experiences in other countries, the results inherently contain some
degree of uncertainty. The LCA is a key tool in the assessment of technology options, because
it sheds light on both the up and downstream stages of a product life cycle, and, therefore,
includes both direct and indirect contributions into an overall quantification of burdens and
potential impacts of radioactive waste and CO2 disposal. In the case studies presented in this
chapter, the LCA has been critical to confirming the very low contribution of radioactive
waste and CO2 disposal strategies to the overall burdens and potential impacts of electricity
generation via nuclear or fossil power plants.
For radioactive waste disposal, the factors contributing to the burdens and impacts are very
diffuse, occurring in the use of fossil fuels, but also in the extraction and processing of
materials, as well as from the overall distribution of energy. There are no individual stages
that stand out as being dominant and where efforts could be focused in order to reduce the
environmental consequences. For CO2, on the other hand, the main contributions to the
environmental burdens come from the energy sources used to generate electricity for
powering compressors at the injection sites. Therefore, depending on the electricity mix and
the demand per kg CO2, the effect can be either negligible, as in the case of disposal in a
shallow saline aquifer in Switzerland, or highly significant, as in the case of disposal in a deep
depleted gas field in Germany. For the latter, a very high compression requirement and a
fossil fuel intensive electricity mix leads to environmental burdens from this stage which can
be 40 times that for the Swiss case and 70 times that of radioactive waste disposal. The results
were determined based on a functional unit of 1 MW·h or 1 GW·h electricity from the power
plant producing the radioactive waste or CO2 for disposal.
79
RW
SF & HLW - CH
Depleted gas field - DE
CO2
Substance requiring disposal
LLW - CH
Saline aquifer - DE
Saline aquifer - CH
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
RW
LLW - CH
SF & HLW - CH
Depleted gas field - DE
CO2
Substance requiring disposal
GHG em is sions - kg CO2 e q / MWh
Saline aquifer - DE
Saline aquifer - CH
0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
2
RW
LLW - CH
SF & HLW - CH
Depleted gas field - DE
CO2
Substance requiring disposal
Acidification & Eutrophication - PDF*m yr / MWh
Saline aquifer - DE
Saline aquifer - CH
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
4.5
5.0
2
RW
LLW - CH
SF & HLW - CH
Depleted gas field - DE
CO2
Substance requiring disposal
Ecotoxicity - PAF*m yr / MWh
Saline aquifer - DE
Saline aquifer - CH
0.000 0.001 0.002 0.003 0.004 0.005 0.006 0.007 0.008 0.009 0.010
Respiratory inorganics - DALY / GWh
FIG. 3.7. LCIA results for the disposal of radioactive waste and CO2 per unit of electricity
generated from respective energy chains. Sources: [3.9], [3.11], [3.12], [3.13].
Note: CH – Switzerland, DE – Germany
80
The group of LCA researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute is continually involved in
improving and extending the body of LCI data modelling the disposal of radioactive waste
and CO2. Within the frameworks of current projects, this mainly focuses on Swiss case
studies, but the wide applicability of the technologies assessed and the groups’ awareness of
the critical issues involved mean that data can be readily adjusted to suit different conditions.
The global energy sector is currently under considerable pressure to change its strategy and is
exploring a very broad spectrum of technologies for electricity generation. In consideration of
the advantages and disadvantages of each option, it is almost certain that nuclear and fossil
power will continue to be significant sources of electricity for the coming decades on the
global scale. The methods and examples presented in this chapter will be important elements
of analysing their environmental performance of existing and future radioactive waste and the
CO2 produced.
REFERENCES TO CHAPTER 3
[3.1]
[3.2]
[3.3]
[3.4]
[3.5]
[3.6]
[3.7]
[3.8]
[3.9]
[3.10]
[3.11]
WEST, J.M., SHAW, R.P., PEARCE, J.M., Environmental Issues in the Geological
Disposal of Carbon Dioxide and Radioactive Waste, in F.L. Toth (Ed.) Geological
Disposal of Carbon Dioxide and Radioactive Waste: A Comparative Assessment,
Springer, Dordrecht (2011) 81–103.
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR STANDARDIZATION, ISO 14044:
Environmental Management - Life Cycle Assessment - Requirements and
Guidelines, ISO, Geneva (2006).
ECOINVENT CENTRE, The ecoinvent LCA database – ecoinvent data v2.0, Swiss
Centre for Life Cycle Inventories, Dübendorf (2007) www.ecoinvent.org.
GEODKOOP, M., DE SCHRYVER, A., OELE, M., DURKSZ, S., DE ROEST, D.,
Introduction to LCA with SimaPro 7, PRé Consultants B.V, Amersfoort (2008).
FRISCHKNECHT, R., JUNGBLUTH, N., Implementation of Life Cycle Impact
Assessment Methods, ecoinvent report No. 3, v2.0, Swiss Centre for Life Cycle
Inventories, Dübendorf (2007).
SOLOMON, S., QIN, D., MANNING, M., ALLEY, R.B., BERNTSEN, T., et al.,
Technical Summary, in: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis.
Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge (2007).
GOEDKOOP, M., SPRIENSMA, R., The eco-indicator 99: A damage orientated
method for life cycle impact assessment: Methodology Report, Third edition, PRé
Consultants B.V., Amersfoort (2001).
INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, The long term storage of
radioactive waste: Safety and Sustainability, A position paper of international
experts, IAEA, Vienna (2003).
DONES, R., Kernenergie, in: Dones, R. (Ed.), Sachbilanzen von Energiesystemen:
Final report ecoinvent v2.0 No. 6–VII, Paul Scherrer Institut, Villigen and Swiss
Centre for Life Cycle Inventories, Dübendorf (2007).
NATIONAL COOPERATIVE FOR THE DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE
(NAGRA), Effects of post-disposal gas generation in a repository for low- and
intermediate-level waste sited in the Opalinus Clay of Northern Switzerland,
Technical Report 08–07, NAGRA, Wettingen (2008).
VOLKART, K., Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) in Germany: A
technology assessment in consideration of environmental, economic and social
aspects, Masters thesis, ETH, Zürich (2011).
81
[3.12]
[3.13]
[3.14]
82
BAUER, C., HECK, T., DONES, R., MAYER-SPOHN, O., BLESL, M., Deliverable
no 7.2 - RS 1a: Final report on technical data, costs and life cycle inventories of
advanced fossil power generation systems, New Energy Externalities Developments
for Sustainability (NEEDS) Integrated Project, EU 6th Framework Programme, EC,
Brussels (2008).
DIAMOND, L.W., LEU, W., CHEVALIER, G., Potential for geological
sequestration of CO2 in Switzerland, Swiss Federal Office of Energy, Bern (2010).
FRISCHKNECHT, R., TUCHSCHMID M., FAIST EMMENEGGER M., BAUER
C., DONES R., Strommix und Stromnetz, in: Dones, R. (Ed.), Sachbilanzen von
Energiesystemen: Grundlagen für den ökologischen Vergleich von Energiesystemen
und den Einbezug von Energiesystemen in Ökobilanzen für die Schweiz, ecoinvent
report No. 6, v2.0, Paul Scherrer Institut, Duebendorf (2007).
Chapter 4
4. SAFETY AND RISK ASSESSMENT
V. HAVLOVA
Nuclear Research Institute Rez plc,
Czech Republic
R. BAJPAI
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC),
India
A. SIMONS
Paul Scherrer Institute,
Switzerland
4.1.
INTRODUCTION
The disposal of waste/hazardous substances is an important issue concerning toxic substances,
such as spent fuel (SF), high level waste (HLW) or carbon dioxide (CO2). Radioactive waste
disposal considers the long term emplacement of radioactive material until its activity and
(radio)toxicity decreases below acceptable levels or until the species decay to the levels
similar to those of natural uranium ore bodies. The main goal of CO2 disposal in the
geological environment is to contain large volumes of the gas in a safe and permanent way in
order to avoid its release in the atmosphere. The main difference between CO2 and radioactive
waste disposal is the form of the matter to be disposed. While disposal considers the
allocation of small amounts of highly radioactive and radiotoxic material, CO2 disposal
presumes the injection of large volumes of gas into rock structures.
The evaluation of safe disposal performance is an inevitable part of any such disposal
programme. The geological disposal facility is considered safe if it meets the relevant safety
standards that are internationally recommended and then defined by the national regulator
[4.1]. Based on the waste character, all the possible effects and impacts on system
behaviour/evolution have to be assessed in order to specify potential risks that might
negatively influence members of the critical inhabitant group and biota. The
system/subsystem behaviour and its performance during defined timescales have to be
assessed and collated towards defined safety constraints. All the activities of either direct
mitigation during the operational phase or passive system behaviour evaluation during the
post-closure period should provide proof ensuring as low an impact on human and the
environment as possible [4.2]. Such a declaration is usually a crucial requirement for licensing
by responsible authorities.
The terms ‘risk’ and ‘safety’ sometimes mingle. Risk can be defined as a “product of the
probability that a specified hazard will cause harm, and the consequence of that harm” [4.3].
Risk can also be defined as a product of the probability that some event will occur, and as the
consequence of that event if it does occur [4.4]. Each site for geological disposal should be
characterized for safety and integrity in the short and long term, including an assessment of
the risk of leakage under the proposed conditions of use, and of the worst case impacts on the
environment and human health [4.5], [4.6]. Furthermore, risk assessment can be defined as an
assessment of the safety of a certain activity. Risk management is, then, the identification,
assessment and prioritization of risks, followed by coordinated actions in order to monitor,
minimize and control the probability and/or impacts of irregular events.
83
The goal of safety assessments is usually defined as an assessment of disposal system
behaviour and its effect on safe performance of disposal facilities [4.2]. The safe performance
of a deep geological disposal facility is usually evaluated for the post-closure period, where
disposal system evolution depends mainly on environmental passive control. The results can
also be presented as the risk, namely in relation with human health and the environment [4.3].
A safety assessment of a radioactive waste disposal facility can be also stated to be a
systematic analysis of the hazards associated with geological disposal facility development
and the ability of the site and designs to provide the safety functions and meet the technical
requirements that are usually levels of individual dose and/or radiotoxicity. A safety
assessment must identify and evaluate potential deviations from so called scenarios, i.e.
evolution without important perturbations [4.7], [4.8], [4.9]. The results of the safety
assessment are compared against criteria for safety and performance indicators (limits; see
above) or, possibly, other performance measures or possible consequences of radionuclide
release from the disposal system.
The periods considered for radioactive waste disposal safety assessments are long timescales
of up to one million years, due to the presence of long lived radioisotopes. In most countries,
national regulations directly establish a temporal limit [4.8], [4.9], [4.10], [4.11], [4.12].
Safety during the operational period is usually governed by radiation protection and health
requirements, based on national legislations.
The evaluation of safe performance of CO2 disposal has to be considered on two timescales:
the short term timescale of up to several tens of years, when the effect on the global
environment is considered in the event that CO2 escapes into the atmosphere and hampers the
main reason for disposal; and the longer term timescale, from a few hundreds of years up to
several thousands of years [4.3], [4.6], [4.13]. [4.14]. If operational safety during CO2
injection has to be taken into account, the local effects of CO2 on humans and biota due to
potential leakage must also be considered. The long term effects usually consider a gradual
escape of CO2, causing a local impact on health, safety and the environment in the injection
region, being, however, mostly indirect.
The local extent of impacts of radioactive waste and CO2 disposal during system evolution
differ. Radioactive waste disposal usually considers local consequences, i.e. the migration of a
limited amount of substances into the surrounding host rock environment and their transport
towards the biosphere, with a possible influence on humans and the environment. Radioactive
substances are usually considered to be trace contaminants that need not necessarily affect the
surrounding environment. Therefore, only direct effects, due to radioactivity and
radiotoxicity, are usually considered. The risk is usually related to the individual effective
dose of critical inhabitant group members (Sv/year) or the individual risk (fatal cancer yearly
risk) [4.1], [4.8]. The acceptable limits are usually strictly defined in national legislations.
CO2 leakage can have two potential consequences: a local effect and a global effect. Local
effects usually influence the local region close to the injection well. The large volumes of
injected CO2 can have either a direct impact on biota and humans as a suffocating gas, or an
indirect effect, influencing, e.g. groundwater mass movement, potable water quality, etc.
Furthermore, as mentioned above, escaping CO2 could globally influence greenhouse gas
levels, as their decrease has been the main goal of CO2 disposal [4.13], [4.14], [4.15]. On the
other hand, CO2 can change the geological environment, due to either direct reactions
(dissolution of host rock and caprock, biogeochemical reactions), or due to indirect influence
(micro-seismic events, etc.). Life processes could also be influenced by altering physiological
processes of micro- and macro-fauna, such as respiration, which will be important for
84
subsurface and surface ecosystems. Additionally, injection can cause the mixing of saline
water mass originating from the injection well area with other groundwater mass being used
for domestic or potable purposes. Moreover, CO2 could cause a release of elements harmful to
health that might influence the quality of potable water.
CO2 effect limits are defined according to the resulting impact. Limits for human exposure to
CO2 are usually defined by occupational health limits, e.g. permissible exposition limits
(PEL) and the highest acceptable concentrations. The definition of CO2 effects on the
environment (e.g. animals, plants) is still not well established [4.16]. Limits for CO2
concentrations in surface and subsurface waters are not used, as CO2 is generally not
considered as a harmful substance. The trace component (metal and toxic substances) content
in potable water that might be influenced indirectly by CO2 injection is usually defined in
national legislations and health limits.
4.2.
METHODOLOGY
Safety assessment methodology for radioactive waste disposal is presented in many IAEA and
OECD NEA documents [4.1], [4.2], [4.8], [4.9], [4.10], [4.11], [4.12], [4.15], [4.17]. The first
step of safety analyses comprises the assessment context specification. Furthermore, the
disposal system must be characterized on the basis of field and lab research and natural
analogue information. The following steps include scenarios formulation and justification,
using, for example, a features, events and processes (FEP) list [4.10], safety functions for all
system components, safety indicators, etc. The model for the consequence analyses then has
to be formulated and implemented [4.8]. The interpretation of consequence analyses results
and their comparison with assessment criteria results in the development of the safety case
(see Fig. 4.1). The safety case can then be accepted or rejected, depending on the relevance
and the degree of characterization. In any case, further measures must be taken afterwards. An
example of a comprehensive approach can be found in [4.12]. The choice of safety
assessment methodology is not simply based on the selection of a host rock formation. Most
radioactive waste disposal programmes used the previously mentioned approach, modifying
the procedure in order to develop a safety case. However, similar approaches have been
chosen by the most of the implementing organizations all over Europe (e.g. France, Sweden,
Finland, Switzerland, Belgium and France [4.12].
Compared to radioactive waste disposal, there are fewer international recommendations for
CO2 disposal risk/assessment methodology. The 2009 European Union (EU) Directive on the
geological disposal of carbon dioxide [4.5] considers that the assumed behaviour of a CO2
disposal site presumes that the rock environment provides permanent containment for the CO2
stream as intended. This Directive assumes that the regulatory framework for geological
disposal should be based on an “integrated risk assessment for CO2 leakage, including site
selection requirements, designed to minimise the risk of leakage, monitoring and reporting
regimes to verify disposal and adequate remediation of any damage that may occur” [4.5].
Any potential deviation from the reference scenario should be identified and evaluated by
detailed analyses.
85
FIG. 4.1. Relation between different components of the safety case. Source: [4.10]
Safety/risk assessment methodologies for CO2 disposal have recently developed rapidly
[4.18], [4.19], [4.20], [4.21], [4.22], [4.23], [4.24], [4.25], [4.26]. In some cases, these
procedures use similar schemes as those used in radioactive waste disposal (e.g. [4.6], [4.25],
[4.26]) and implement some of the common features from the field of radioactive waste
disposal (e.g. FEP list, scenario identification, scenario analyses, safety assessment modelling,
86
what-if scenarios). However, the safety case, as one of the most effective approaches used in
RW safety assessment, has not been used for this purpose in CO2 disposal.
In contrast, some publications present differing approaches:
•
A strictly mathematical approach for the determination of leakage risk [4.15];
•
The Certified Framework (CF) method, based on the calculation of CO2 Leakage Risk
(CLR) for each compartment of the system. The Effective Trapping Threshold (ETT)
has to be met for the site to be considered safe [4.17];
•
The Vulnerability Evaluation Framework (VEF), which identifies a number of
important criteria, such as attributes of the system which may lead to increased
vulnerability to adverse impacts, potential impact categories and thresholds that may
indicate low versus elevated vulnerability [4.27].
However, some of these approaches were criticized for the lack of understanding of chemical
and physical processes and for simplifying geological models of the CO2-groundwater-rock
systems [4.13]. Thus, naturally occurring CO2 systems can be used in order to gain additional
useful information [4.27], [4.28], [4.29], [4.30], [4.31], [4.32].
4.3.
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES
This chapter has been prepared on the basis of the information from the countries
participating in the CRP that contributed to the topic of safety/risk assessments, i.e. the Czech
Republic, India and Switzerland. Each of these countries had previous experience with
radioactive waste disposal, though they are at different levels of programme development.
Although the disposal of intermediate level waste (ILW) and low level waste (LLW) is also
important, this CRP focused only on high level radioactive waste.
CO2 disposal is still considered a ‘new’ technology in the countries involved in this study.
Unfortunately, none of the countries with an advanced CO2 capture and disposal (CCD) status
participated in this component of the CRP. Therefore, this chapter compares the state of the
art in safety/risk assessment for a segment of the field based on the experience of the
countries that share a similar vision that both technologies can exploit the knowledge and
know-how of the other.
4.3.1. Czech Republic
The disposal of radioactive waste in geological formations has been studied in the Czech
Republic for almost 20 years. Research and assessment of the safe and contained disposal of
radioactive waste is the responsibility of the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority
(RAWRA). The comprehensive approach, including desk, laboratory and field research and
laboratory and natural analogue studies, resulted in the preparation of a preliminary safety
case in 2010 [4.33].
On the other hand, the CO2 disposal programme in the Czech Republic only made the very
first steps in the beginning of the 21st century. The potential disposal options were identified,
along with the evaluation of potential rock formation disposal capacities [4.34]. Since 2000,
only a few projects, focused on general laboratory and field studies for disposal environment
characterization, have been launched. Neither a pilot project nor any other CO2 capture
facility has been planned for the near future.
87
4.3.1.1. Basic concepts
Radioactive waste disposal
All radioactive waste that cannot be stored in near surface disposal facilities (NSDF) in the
Czech Republic has to be considered for deep geological disposal. The disposal of radioactive
waste relies on the so called multibarrier system that consists of the waste (SF), corrosion
resistant canisters and an efficient sealing system. The canisters are embedded in an
appropriate host rock formation at a depth of at least 400 m. In the Czech Republic, six
potential sites were pre-selected in 2002, all in a crystalline host rock formation.
The safety of the repository would rely on the combined performance of engineered and
natural barriers for long term periods of up to one million years. Based on the knowledge of
the site where the repository is planned to be built, safety analyses shall clearly and plausibly
assess the potential risks, including the period when the repository is closed. The operational
safety of a deep repository must meet the same standards as those required of the nuclear and
mining industry of the Czech Republic. Post-operational safety is based on the multibarrier
principle that should ensure the long term isolation of the waste.
CO2 geological disposal
In the Czech Republic, CO2 disposal is likely to be in deep sedimentary aquifers. Some
disposal in potential enhanced oil recovery (EOR) fields and injection into coal mines can
also be expected [4.34]; however, no site has been selected. Risk assessments will have to be
undertaken for both the operational phase and the post-closure phase (considered to be about
1000 years). The monitoring is presumed to be included after closure, as stated in the 2009
EU Directive on geological CO2 disposal [4.5]. Repository safety would rely on well casing
integrity, borehole lining and the surrounding rock. Monitoring would be an inseparable
component of the disposal facility life cycle.
4.3.1.2. Definitions and limits
Radioactive waste disposal
The radioactive waste management legislation in the Czech Republic follows the
recommendations of IAEA Safety Standards [4.15], according to which one of the main
objectives of deep geological disposal is to “isolate spent fuel and high level radioactive
wastes from the human environment”. Furthermore, according to Czech legislation, the
releases from a repository due to ‘gradual’ processes or disruptive events shall be less than the
dose or risk specified. The terms ‘radioactive substance’ and ‘radioactive waste’ are firmly
embedded in Czech legislation.
The dose constraint for the safe disposal of radioactive waste, defined in Regulation No.
307/2002 Coll., shall be an effective dose of 0.25 mSv per calendar year for an individual
from the critical group of the population. For comparison, the general limit defined in this
Regulation is the following: 1 mSv per calendar year for the sum of effective doses from the
external exposure and the committed effective doses from internal exposure or exceptionally
5 mSv for a period of five consecutive calendar years.
88
CO2 disposal
In the Czech Republic, CO2 disposal is based on Directive 2009/31/EC of the European
Parliament and of the Council on the geological disposal of carbon dioxide [4.5]. The
implementation of this Directive into the Czech Republic legislation was accomplished
in 2012 with the new Act on CO2 disposal. The change of other laws was accepted (Act
No. 85/2012 Coll.).
CO2 is not defined in Czech legislation as a dangerous species or as industrial product. In the
‘chemical law’ REACH, Act No. 356/2003 Coll. in 371/2008c Coll. Version it is stated, that
if somebody intends to produce or to import a chemical species, that species must be
registered. If it is not registered, it cannot be produced or used in the EU (this became
effective on 1 January 2009). According to the authors’ opinions, this will be the case for CO2
produced as part of any technology involved in the production/disposal of CO2.
The collective release of CO2 is monitored for the entire Czech Republic (climate protection,
Act. No. 695/04 Coll. 12/09 Coll., Act. 351/02 Col. in 417/Coll. Version). However, the limits
for CO2 effects are only partially defined. In the case of the direct CO2 influence (gas
concentration), limits for CO2 exposure levels for humans in the air are limited by occupation
health limits. According to Act No. 178/2001 Coll., the permissible exposition limits are 9000
mg/m3 and the highest acceptable concentration in the air is 45 000 mg/m3 (approximately
2.5%). Considering air releases, limits are defined only for carbon monoxide. Moreover, the
Act states that the composition and amount of gases released from any waste disposal site or
cleaning facility (waste dump) should also be checked. However, parameters and limits are
defined individually by the authorized environmental protection authorities, and CO2 is not
usually included in these definitions. No other limits for the quantification of effects of CO2
on living organisms have been defined in the Act.
The limits for CO2 content in surface and underground water have not been defined directly in
any Czech legislative act. Therefore, they have not been monitored and have not been treated
for CO2 as a parameter influencing human health, the water ecosystem or water sources
chemistry. These measures exist only for drinking water, and the CO2 content only has to be
considered for drinking water treatment if the CO2 content is high. The water is treated by
decarbonization. CO2 may influence the release of substances (tracer metals, etc.) that can
directly influence human health and the environment where they can get in drinking water or
bath water. This is subject to control in Regulation No. 252/04 Coll.; here, tracer metal
content limits for drinking water and hot waters have been defined, including control
frequency. The limit values for trace metals in drinking water are on the level of µg/l or the
first tens of µg/l.
4.3.1.3. Safety/Risk assessment methodologies
Radioactive waste disposal
A conceptual safety assessment was developed in 2010 [4.33] for a hypothetical site based on
analyses of several granite sites in the Czech Massif, including both a geological and a
hydrogeological model. The safety assessment started with function analyses of a proposed
disposal system. The safety functions were defined as a role through which a repository
component contributes to safety, e.g. [4.8], [4.9], [4.10]. The main safety objective of the
disposal system was based on legislation requirements (Regulation No. 307/2002 Coll.) “to
provide protection for humans and environment in that way, that effective dose of 0.25 mSv
per years for a member of critical inhabitant group was not exceeded with concern to all risks
89
in operational and post-closure period.” There, the primary safety function for the proposed
disposal system was then formulated as follows: “to isolate all the radionuclide wastes in the
Czech Republic, which cannot be accepted in near surface repositories, in disposal packages
and slow down radionuclide migration into the environment after their failure in the way that
the limit of 0.25 mSv /year for a person from a critical group of population is not exceeded”
[4.33]. In addition, the following top support safety function was formulated, “to provide
stability for the disposal system against all features, events and processes that can threaten
the primary function of the disposal system". The further derived functions for all system
components are site and concept specific.
The next step used in the safety case was scenario development. First, the comprehensive FEP
list was collected on the basis of [4.12]. Scenarios developed on the bases of relevant FEP
analyses were then defined as follows: the normal scenario that includes all the FEPs with a
high probability of occurrence in the repository; the alternative scenario that can be initiated
by FEPs with a low probability of occurrence, which can cause sudden barrier failure and
radionuclide release into the environment; and the intrusive scenario, in case of unintentional
human breakage into the system and direct human contamination or contamination of
inhabitants from contaminated materials.
All of those scenarios, some of which were divided into sub-scenarios, were analysed, and
some of them were quantified. The potential release of radionuclides through specified
pathways under specific conditions was quantified using mathematical tools, namely the
GOLDSIM programme [4.35]. The results of all calculations were then compared with
defined limits (0.25mSv/y) and evaluated.
CO2 disposal
Only basic steps were performed for the safety/risk assessment methodology in the field of
CO2 disposal, but the knowledge of safety assessment methodology for radioactive waste,
developed in the last decade at ÚJV Řež, a.s. (formerly the Nuclear Research Institute Řež),
will enable the transfer of experience to CO2 disposal assessments. The very first attempt was
undertaken within the Czech research project FR–Tl1/379. To date, the following basic steps
have been accomplished: (1) potential CO2 disposal options have been evaluated [4.34] and
information about the systems has been collected, and (2) on the basis of rock system property
information, a list of FEPs has been compiled and evaluated [4.34], [4.35], [4.36], [4.37],
[4.38], [4.39]. Furthermore, scenarios were developed for both normal and alternative system
evolution. The normal scenario involved the evolution of the rock-injection borehole system,
keeping the main purpose of CO2 injection, i.e. to retain CO2 for the time sufficient to
contribute to the decrease of GHG atmosphere content. Moreover, alternative scenarios,
including the following cases of non-standard system development, were developed [4.36]:
90
•
CO2 escape along injection borehole due to rapid pressure increase;
•
CO2 escape along injection and monitoring boreholes – technical accident;
•
CO2 escape along old abandoned boreholes;
•
formation and activation of structural faults;
•
CO2 escape along faults;
•
CO2 penetration into the overburden rock;
•
CO2 penetration into the overburden and potential influence on drinking water
supply.
Some of the mathematical codes that can be used for the quantification of radionuclide release
(e.g. PHREEQC, TOUGH2/TOUGHREACT, GOLDSIM [4.35], [4.36], [4.38]) were tested
for both laboratory and real scale tasks. However, neither the safety case nor any other
advance safety assessment approach was adopted. Moreover, there are no direct limits for
CO2 effects defined in the legislation, except occupational limits, that would be able to be
used for comparison with results of exposure calculations.
4.3.2. Switzerland
Research and assessment of the safe and contained disposal of radioactive waste is the
responsibility of the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (NAGRA),
which was founded in 1972 and represents the Swiss nuclear energy industry and others using
radioactive material (industry, research and medicine). The findings and proposals of the
NAGRA are then assessed by the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI), which is
the national regulatory authority with the responsibility for nuclear energy, including
radioactive waste disposal.
A comprehensive approach, including desk, laboratory and field research and natural
analogue studies, has led to the identification of six potential sites and the identification of the
relevant safety issues [4.40].
The options for CO2 disposal are being assessed within the ongoing Carbon Management in
Power Generation (CARMA) research project. With only a very small fraction of electricity
produced in Switzerland coming from fossil fuel power plants (<5%), the objectives of
CARMA focus largely on future energy options and knowledge export. The largest point
source emitters of CO2 in Switzerland are industrial facilities, particularly cement production.
The current annual emission of CO2 from industrial sources in Switzerland is approximately
11.3 Mt [4.41].
4.3.2.1. Basic concepts
Radioactive waste disposal
The concept of the deep geological radioactive waste repository is based on the so called
multibarrier system that consists of a stable waste form, corrosion resistant canisters and an
efficient sealing system being embedded into an appropriate host rock. The safety of the
repository relies on the combined performance of both engineered and natural barriers for
long term periods of up to about one million years. The NAGRA identified six potential
locations for the siting of radioactive waste repositories, three of which are suitable only for
LLW and short lived ILW, and three of which are suitable for SF, HLW and long lived ILW,
and also, therefore, for LLW.
The proposed final disposal facility for radioactive waste is a series of horizontal
emplacement tunnels located at a depth of approximately 650 m in the centre of the Opalinus
Clay formation. The Opalinus Clay has a self sealing capacity that reduces the effects of
fractures.
91
CO2 disposal
A first appraisal of the potential for deep geological disposal of CO2 in Switzerland was made
by Chevalier and Diamond [4.42]. Following a numerical scoring and weighting scheme on a
scale of 0–1, they determined that the combined volumes of the four main candidate aquifers
with potentials above 0.6 offer a theoretical, effective disposal capacity of 2680 Mt CO2.
Future fossil fuelled power stations in Switzerland would most probably be natural gas
combined cycle plants, due to the lack of inland fossil resources, the existence of natural gas
pipelines and the lower CO2 emissions per kW·h of natural gas compared with coal. A 400
MW combined cycle gas power station produces approximately 0.7 million t CO2/year
(assuming 360 kg/MW·h and 5000 hours/year operation), and the research, therefore,
concluded that more than a sufficient capacity for CCD from electricity generation and other
industrial activities exists to serve the needs of many decades. This is, however, only a
preliminary study based on the literature, and the actual disposal potential may prove to be
very different following more physical geological examinations of the area.
4.3.2.2. Definitions and limits
Radioactive waste disposal
The basic regulations for radionuclide disposal in Switzerland are the Swiss Nuclear Law
(KEG) and the Swiss Regulatory Guideline HSK-R-21. The overall objectives of radioactive
waste disposal and the principles to be observed, which are stated in the HSK-R-21 guideline,
are derived from the requirements. As a specification of the overall objective and the
associated principles, the safety requirements are expressed in the form of three protection
objectives [4.43]:
•
The release of radionuclides from a sealed repository, subsequent upon processes and
events reasonably expectable to happen, shall, at no time, give rise to individual doses
which exceed 0.1 mSv per year;
•
The individual radiological risk of fatality from a sealed repository, subsequent upon
unlikely processes and events not taken into consideration in (1), shall, at no time,
exceed one in a million per year;
•
After a repository has been sealed, no further measures shall be necessary to ensure
safety. The repository must be designed in such a way that it can be sealed within a
few years;
•
For the identification of suitable potential locations for a geological repository, the
ENSI [4.43] has defined three safety criteria categories, as shown in Table 4.1.
A more comprehensive explanation of each of the criteria can be found in the ENSI report
[4.43].
The dose constraint for safe disposal of radioactive waste shall be an effective dose of 0.1
mSv per calendar year for an individual from the critical group of the population.
92
TABLE 4.1. SAFETY CATEGORIES AND CRITERIA FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF
PROPOSED DEEP GEOLOGICAL REPOSITORIES FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE IN
SWITZERLAND [4.42]
Safety categories
Properties of the host rock
Long term stability
Reliability of the geological
conclusions
Safety criteria
Spatial dispersion
Effectiveness of hydraulic barriers
Geochemical conditions
Release pathways
Stability of the location and rock layer properties
Influence of erosion
Disposal specific influences
Use conflicts
Ability to characterize the rock layers
Ability to examine the special conditions
Ability to predict the long term changes
CO2
The definitions and limits of CO2 in Switzerland have not yet been defined.
4.3.2.3. Safety/Risk assessment methodologies
Radioactive waste disposal
The Swiss safety assessment approach was demonstrated, e.g. in a safety report on the
demonstration of disposal feasibility for SF, vitrified HLW and long lived ILW [4.43]. The
safety case was constructed for the case of the long term safety of a repository for SF, HLW
and ILW located in the Opalinus Clay.
The safety case, in this reasoning, is the set of arguments and analyses used to justify the
conclusion that a specific repository system will be safe. It also includes a presentation of
evidence that all relevant regulatory safety criteria can be met. Moreover, it includes a series
of documents that describe the system design and safety functions, illustrate the performance
and present the evidence that supports the arguments and analyses. Also discussed is the
significance of any uncertainties or open questions in the context of decision making for
further repository development.
The preparation of the safety case involved several steps [4.44]:
•
Definition of disposal system;
•
System concept development;
•
Safety concept derivation;
•
Scenario development, concerning different radiological consequences;
•
The safety case that is compiled from the arguments and analyses.
93
Safety assessments of the proposed radioactive waste disposal will be carried out by the ENSI
in the second stage of the radioactive waste disposal plan. The ENSI will evaluate the
proposed sites (a minimum of 2) based on the safety criteria described in Table 4.1.
CO2 disposal
Safety/risk assessment methodologies have not yet been applied to potential CO2 disposal
sites in Switzerland. The risks related to CCD, in terms of accidents with human health
consequences, were analysed and reviewed by [4.45]. Due to the lack of long term experience
and comprehensive baseline data, the frequency of occurrence of hazardous events and
accidents with CO2, in relation to the injection and disposal of CO2, had to be approximated
by:
•
Industrial experience with CO2 injection and disposal in CCD components (CO2
disposal projects, data on accidents with CO2 at offshore platforms, CO2 EOR well
failures, CO2 EOR well blowouts);
•
Industrial experience with analogue technologies (e.g. leakage experience from natural
gas storage, acid gas injection well failures, etc.). Additionally, the estimates from
offshore activities are considered;
•
Experience with natural events (volcanic eruptions, natural CO2 fields, etc.).
The Swiss conceptual model consists of a generic capture unit, transport by pipeline, injection
plant and two injection wells. Injection well failures and leakage during disposal were also
considered, and from these, a cumulative ‘event rate’ for one such concept operating for one
year was determined (see Table 4.2). Two scenarios were analysed:
•
200 km pipeline without recompression, 2 injection wells;
•
400 km pipeline including 1 recompression, 2 injection wells.
TABLE 4.2. FREQUENCY OF HAZARDOUS SITUATIONS FOR THE CCD PROCESS
IN A GENERIC SWISS CCD MODEL SOURCE: [4.45].
Module
CO2 capture
Pipeline convergence (100 m)
Pipelines
Injection plant
Injection pipe (× 2)
Post-closure injection pipe failure
Geological disposal
Failure rate per year of CCD
Scenario 1
1 × 1.6 × 10-1
1 × 4.6 × 10-1
40 × 2.5 × 10-1
1 × 1.8 × 10-1
2 × 2.1 × 10-4
2 × 4.0 × 10-2
1 × 1.9 × 10-4
0.52
Scenario 2
1 × 1.6 × 10-1
1 × 4.6 × 10-1
40 × 7.4 × 10-1
1 × 1.8 × 10-1
2 × 2.1 × 10-4
2 × 4.0 × 10-2
1 × 1.9 × 10-4
0.72
The results of the analysis showed that a hazardous situation could occur as frequently as
every 1.4 years. The injection plant can have one of the highest frequency rates among the
above ground operations, equating to one hazardous situation every 5.6 years.
94
4.3.3. India
In India, all types of radioactive waste are managed in a manner that ensures compliance with
the fundamental principles of radiation protection and environmental safety [4.46]. The
country has extensive experience, spanning over more than four decades of disposal of LLW
and ILW in NSDFs (seven operating). The studies on deep geological disposal of HLW have
also been carried out at a moderate pace over the last four decades.
The study of geological disposal of CO2 in India has been performed at a modest pace, with
few institutes and universities conducting isolated and independent studies. Most of the
reported studies focus on the estimation of CO2 disposal potential in various geological
formations in India. A few experimental studies, dealing mainly with mineral carbonation in
basaltic rocks, are also available. Recently, Bajpai et al. have completed a comparative study
on disposal facilities for radioactive waste and CO2 [4.47].
4.3.3.1. Basic concepts
Radioactive waste disposal
In India, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) acts as an independent regulator and
is responsible for defining the specific basic requirements for the safe management of
radioactive waste from nuclear and radiation facilities. Waste management and disposal is
carried out in line with the principles defined by [4.46].
The general philosophy for radioactive waste management being followed in India is as
follows:
•
Retention and gradual decay of short lived radionuclides;
•
Concentrate and contain activity as practicable;
•
Dilute and disperse LLW within the authorized limits.
The reference disposal system adopted in India relies on a multibarrier system, i.e. waste form
being inserted into stainless steel canisters, clay buffer and surrounding overpack. The
thickness of clay buffers has been optimized, based on heat flux dissipation capacity and the
ability to retain fission products over the entire span of the thermal phase of the geological
repository, i.e. 500 years [4.48]; that is to say, the system fulfils its safety function. The site
selection campaign, involving detailed geological, hydrogeological, rock mechanical and
socioeconomic studies, has rendered about 22 promising zones with good homogeneous
granites in different part of the country in 2000 [4.49].
CO2 disposal
Currently, there is no pilot or commercial scale CCD project going on in India; therefore,
technical, social and economic data are unavailable. Additionally, few researchers have
compiled geological and geographical data on the geological disposal of CO2 in India. Initial
studies indicate that there are potential disposal sites on the subcontinent and along the
immediate offshore regions on the Arabian Sea (south-west coast) and Bay of Bengal (southeast coast, [4.50]. In 2006, Singh et al. made initial attempts to evaluate the disposal potential
in India and estimated that roughly 5 Gt CO2 could be stored in unmineable coal seams, 7 Gt
CO2 in depleted oil and gas reservoirs, 360 Gt CO2 in offshore and onshore deep saline
aquifers and 200 Gt CO2 via mineralization in basalt rocks [4.51]. A recent study conducted
for the International Energy Agency Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme has revised the
95
estimates first made by [4.51]. Their study concludes that more realistic disposal capacities
for saline aquifers need to be quantified, most likely with the aid of oil and gas exploration
information, such as seismic and well data.
4.3.3.2. Definitions and limits
Radioactive waste disposal
In India, radioactive waste is defined as, “Material, whatever its physical form, left over from
practices or interventions for which no further use is foreseen: (a) that contains or is
contaminated with radioactive substances and has an activity or activity concentration higher
than the level for clearance from regulatory requirements, and (b) exposure to which is not
excluded from regulatory control” [4.52]. There are extensive guidelines, in the form of safety
codes, standards and guides, issued by the AERB concerning NSDFs for LLW and ILW.
However, the preparation of similar regulatory standards and guides in respect of deep
geological repositories is in progress.
The effective dose limit defined by the sum of effective doses from external as well as
internal sources, as set by the AERB [4.53], for occupational workers is 20 mSv/year
averaged over five consecutive years, with an effective dose of 30 mSv/year in any single
year. The limit of effective dose to members of the public has been set as 1 mSv/year. The
radiation dose to the critical group or the general public from all exposure pathways should
not exceed the limits prescribed by the AERB (0.5 mSv/year). However, dose limits for deep
geological repositories have yet to be defined.
CO2 disposal
CO2 is not classified as dangerous in the Indian air quality standard; rather, limits are defined
only for carbon monoxide in industrial and public areas by the Indian Standard (IS). Such
limits are not in direct relation with CO2 disposal.
4.3.3.3. Safety/risk assessment methodologies
Radioactive waste disposal
Extensive expertise in a safety assessment for evaluating the performance of a disposal
facility, as a whole and its components individually, to predict the potential radiological
impact on the public and environment has been developed in India over the last four decades
to demonstrate safety offered by operating waste disposal facilities, i.e. NSDFs. The safety
assessment methodology considers the disposal facility and its environment as a system. This
takes into account the waste inventory, the features of engineered and geological barriers, the
time frame, the uncertainty in the parameters and modelling. The main components of such
assessments are as follows:
96
•
Compilation of a FEP list;
•
Generation of scenarios, their screening and analysis;
•
Potential pathways identification (excavation damage zone, fractures, etc.);
•
Site geological and hydrogeological data acquisition;
•
Model and software development, validation and verification;
•
Presentation of the analyses results.
Important data used for safety assessments include waste and container characteristics,
disposal facility details, site characteristics, biosphere characteristics, demographic and
socioeconomic characteristics and monitoring data.
In the case of all seven operating NSDFs, while complete safety cases have not been
generated, the identification of FEPs, scenario generation, site geological and hydrogeological
data acquisition and pathway detection have been carried out, as in the case of a potential
deep geological repository. The doses to members of the public from NSDFs, through
groundwater pathways as well as marine exposure pathways, have been estimated well below
the regular limits. The typical dose to members of the public located at 800 m distance from
the waste disposal facility NSDF through drinking water in the case of a coastal facility is
shown in Table 4.3 [4 54]. The general three dimensional, time dependent advection diffusion
equation of a radionuclide through a porous medium has been used for these calculations. The
methodology is applicable in the same way for deep geological repository.
The dose limit and dose estimations for radioactive waste deep geological repository are
under development. The assessment of the possible dose to members of the public from a
deep geological repository through groundwater pathways under various scenarios has yet to
be taken up. Nevertheless, a similar approach is expected to be used in this case, as well.
TABLE 4.3. ESTIMATED DOSES TO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC FROM THE WASTE
DISPOSAL FACILITY (SV/YEAR)
Pathways
Groundwater
drinking
pathway
Ingestion
Ingestion
Inhalation
External
Dwelling
inhalation
Excavation
inhalation
137
Cs
-
2.60 × 10-20
2.66 × 10-26
7.50 × 10-20
1.26 × 10-10
1.88 × 10-10
90
Sr
1.82 × 10-28
2.55 × 10-7
4.17 × 10-12
8.25 × 10-12
4.82 × 10-11
7.27 × 10-11
N
Marine exposure pathway
(Sv/year)
Human intrusion pathway
(Sv/year)
CO2 disposal
No specific safety assessment cases have been reported with respect to CO2 disposal in India.
However, safety assessment methodology and mathematical models developed for dual phase
(liquid and gas) transport modelling, currently used for the radioactive waste disposal facility,
could be applicable to CO2 injections. It can also be envisaged that the development of the
safety case would involve scenario development, identification of FEPs operating over the
disposal site, etc. The potential use of relevant natural analogues, as utilized in assisting the
understanding for the disposal of radioactive waste, will also assist understanding the
processes involved in the geological disposal of CO2.
97
4.4.
COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT
The results of this case study sum up and compare the national experiences of the Czech
Republic, Switzerland and India in the field of safety/risk assessment of radioactive waste and
CO2 disposal. The practical information is confronted with a general basis for both fields,
finding useful information that can be used later in other comparative studies for other
countries. All the countries involved had previous experience in radioactive waste disposal,
though they are at different levels of programme maturity. Although ILW and LLW disposal
are important, the focus here was specifically on long lasting radioactive waste.
On the other hand, CO2 disposal technology is still considered a ‘new’ technology for all the
countries involved in this study. Unfortunately, none of the countries with advanced CO2
disposal status took the part in this part of the CRP; therefore, this chapter compares the state
of the art in safety/risk assessment for a segment of the field based on the experience of
countries that share the similar vision that both technologies can exploit the knowledge and
know-how of each other.
Both technologies are used to dispose of the products of anthropogenic energy production into
the geosphere. Moreover, their goals are the same: to find a safe, effective approach to
keeping the waste material deep underground until its properties would not endanger humans
or the environment. Nuclear power stations have been in operation for more than 40 years.
The disposal of radioactive waste seems to be an inevitable problem to be solved in the near
future, so as not to shift the nuclear burden to the next generations. Fossil fuel energy
production has been facing the problem of climate change, due to the greenhouse effect to
which specific gases contribute. Even though CO2 disposal technology is still under
development, a fast and rapid progress might enable its early employment. Having similar
goals, both technologies might, therefore, exchange experiences and progressive approaches
from one to the other. On the other hand, there are also many differences between the
geological disposal of radioactive waste and CO2.
Any geological disposal facility has to meet relevant safety standards that are specified and
approved in order to get licenced. Barrier system behaviour and performance during defined
timescales have to be assessed and evaluated against defined limits. During the operational
period and shortly after the closure of the repository, mitigation actions can be undertaken in
case of unfavourable disposal system performance. However, long term safe performance in
the post-closure period has to be carefully predicted for any case in order to fulfil the
regulator and licence provider requirements concerning repository safety.
In the Czech Republic, India and Switzerland, radioactive waste disposal is managed by the
responsible state authorities. Each of these countries has more extensive experience with
radioactive waste management than with CO2 disposal management, though the maturity of
the radioactive waste programmes differs between countries. Nuclear power stations have
been in operation in these countries for decades and they are planned to be built in the Czech
Republic and India, but not in Switzerland. In these countries, the disposal concept is based
on the multibarrier concept, i.e. container, engineered barrier and host rock, which has safety
functions that ensure the safe performance of the facility over a long period of time. Different
host rock concepts already exist in the world, varying between clay rock (Switzerland) and
crystalline rock (Czech Republic, India) for the involved countries (see Table 4.4).
98
99
CO2
Radioactive
waste
Czech Republic
Switzerland
Geological
Geological
Direct
SF
disposal
into Processed HLW and direct disposal of
crystalline rock
conditioned SF
500 m depth
650 m
Multibarrier concept
Multibarrier concept
Granite
Clay rock
6 potential sites pre-selected
6 potential sites for LLW and ILW
4 different formations
3 potential sites for radioactive waste, all
Opalinus clay formations
Onshore CO2 disposal only
Onshore CO2 disposal only
Saline aquifers
Ongoing feasibility assessment of geological
Hydrocarbon fields and coal disposal of CO2 in Switzerland
measures: minor
No selection of overall geology
or site undertaken to date
TABLE 4.4. DISPOSAL CONCEPTS AND SITE SELECTION
Both onshore and offshore disposal possible
Inland alluvium planes of major river systems
Unmineable coal measures
Offshore saline aquifers
No pilot studies to date
India
Geological
Processed HLW
600–700 m
Multibarrier concept
Granite
22 promising regions selected; one potential
site studied in detail
The countries taking part in this comparative study have implemented the definition of
radioactive substances and wastes into their national legislations. Without any exception,
these countries have included the definition of the reference value (limits) in their legislation.
The reference value is the key parameter to which a safety indicator should be compared in
order to evaluate repository safety and performance [4.2]. All these countries used the
effective dose constraints as a reference value in their reference documents (see Table 4.5).
According to this approach, the effective dose provides a practicable approach to the
limitation of radiation risk in relation to both occupational exposures and exposures of
members of critical inhabitant groups [4.8]. The values are 0.1 and 0.25 mSv/y for members
of the critical group for Switzerland and Czech Republic, respectively, i.e. they are at similar
levels as those identified in [4.8]. However, precise safety limits values have not yet been
defined for safe radioactive waste disposal in India. Therefore, the value of 0.5 mSv can be
considered as a preliminary one.
The most recommended procedure for both radioactive waste and CO2 disposal facilities
includes the following steps [4.10]: concept and system description, scenario development
and evaluation, model development and employment, consequence analyses and evaluation
towards safety constraint. The time period is usually defined for the safe performance of
radioactive waste disposal (one million years in the Czech Republic and Switzerland), but it is
not strictly defined for CO2 geological disposal (usually assumed to be one thousand years).
The previously mentioned safety assessment methodologies for radioactive waste disposal
were available in the Czech Republic, India and Switzerland. Those approaches were based
on the safety functions of all barriers present in the disposal system. All three countries
involved in this study have undertaken at least a preliminary safety assessment study for
LLW, ILW or radioactive waste. The most advanced stage was reached in Switzerland, where
disposal feasibility was demonstrated for both ILW and HLW [4.44].
Studies on CO2 geological disposal have recently advanced at a decent pace in the countries
of this study. However, none of these countries plan to open a CCD facility in the near future.
Essentially, the EU countries (the Czech Republic) should base CO2 geological disposal on
Directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the geological
disposal of carbon dioxide [4.5]. According to this document, the disposal could be performed
by individual operators that would obtain a license from the regulatory body after declaring
the safe performance of the disposal system. Therefore, no central disposal agency is
supposed to exist. The requirements for safety assessments are included in the 2009 Directive
[4.5] and in the respective guidance documents [4.55], though they are defined rather loosely.
The safety of CO2 disposal is generally supposed to rely on well integrity and the rock
formation safety function (see Table 4.4). No specific requirements regarding CO2 stream
composition were found for condensed or supersaturated injection, either in national
legislations or in international requirements or recommendations. The supersaturated state is
presumed for injection below 800 m from the surface. According to the countries’ respective
available rock environments, CO2 disposal would be performed either onshore (the Czech
Republic, Switzerland, India) and/or under the sea bed (offshore; India) – see Table 4.4. The
appropriate rock formations varied between deep saline aquifers, hydrocarbon fields, unmined
coal seams and basalts. However, neither a final formation nor a final site has been selected in
any of the countries in question.
100
101
CO2
Switzerland
of Exposure
definition: Limits
for
safety/risk
evaluation
Operational: safety Dose
during construction (0.1 mSv/year)
and disposal
Post-closure:
106 years
Periods
safety/risk
assessment
Periods
safety/risk
assessment
Operational:
safety
during
construction and
disposal
Post-closure: yet
to be defined
of
Major and trace metals
concentration in water
CO2 concentration in Operational:
the air
during
injection
and closure
CO2 concentration in Post-closure:
the water
Yet to be defined
Dose
(0.5 mSv/y) for NSDF
For
geological
disposal, limits yet to
be defined
India
of Exposure definition: Periods
Limits for safety/risk safety/risk
evaluation
assessment
Post-closure:
The
required
functional lifetime
of a HLW container
is 104 years
Multibarrier system:
106 years
CO2 concentration Operational:
CO2 concentration Operational:
in
the
air during injection and in the air
during injection and
(occupation
closure
closure
exposure)
CO2 concentration Likely to be
Likely to be
CO2 concentration 103 years
in the water
103 years
in the water (not
fully defined)
Major
species,
Major and trace
trace metal and
metals
hazardous
concentration
in
compound
water
concentration in
water
(potable
water
requirements)
Czech Republic
Exposure
definition: Limits
for
safety/risk
evaluation
Radioactive Dose
waste
(0.25 mSv/year)
TABLE 4.5. EXPOSURE DEFINITION AND PERIODS OF SAFETY/RISK ASSESSMENT
There is a clear lack of strict limited safety constraint levels for the impact of CO2 on
surrounding humans and biota. Moreover, there is no definition of CO2 as a material to be
disposed of. This part seems to be most problematic in the assessment of both local and global
impacts for possible irregularities after CO2 injection in all the countries. Partially, such a CO2
leakage might be limited by occupational exposure values defined by legislations, namely for
the short term assessment period (the operational period and the monitoring period).
However, the limits for long term CO2 influence, namely the gas and dissolved gas content in
water, are not strictly defined, as the substance is not considered as a hazardous one. The
effect associated with potential trace metal release or brine displacement can be loosely
compared to the limits for acceptable trace metals in the composition in drinking water.
However, such regulatory steps towards the legislative definitions of appropriate limits have
not been made either at the national or at the international level. The comparison of the Czech
Republic, Switzerland and India is given in Table 4.5.
For CO2 disposal, the involved countries assume that a similar safety/risk assessment
methodology to that used for the radioactive waste safety/risk assessment approach will be
used. However, a specific safety/risk management programme has not been established in any
of these countries. The methodology would, presumably, consider borehole integrity and host
rock safety functions. Furthermore, only a few laboratory experiments have been performed
in the participating countries, so far, that have aimed to study the migration and interaction of
CO2 in potential host rock environments. A summary is given in Table 4.6.
4.5. CONCLUSIONS
The results of this study are the outcome of a cross national intercomparison of safety/risk
assessment methodologies of disposal facilities for radioactive waste and CO2 in the Czech
Republic, India and Switzerland. The main aims were as follows:
•
To identify the state of the art of the safety/risk assessment for both disposal options in
the countries involved;
•
To identify the status of the safety/risk assessment for both disposal options in the
countries involved;
•
To identify what lessons can be learnt from their intercomparison, though they are at
different levels of programme maturity.
A safety/risk assessment can be defined as a systematic analysis of the hazards associated
with a geological disposal facility, and the ability of the site and design to provide the safety
functions and meet technical requirements so that the facility performs safely for defined time
periods. Clearly, the disposal facility for any type of waste or hazardous substance should
prove to be safe in order to receive the licence. In order to fulfil such requirements, the safety
requirements have to be clearly defined in order to be comparable with results of the disposal
system evolution assessment over defined timescales. Hereby, we can find one of the major
differences between radioactive waste and CO2 disposal: strictly defined safety constraints are
lacking for CO2 disposal.
102
103
Czech Republic
Radioactive Based on evaluation of safe
waste
performance of multibarrier system
components.
Based on Swedish SKB approach:
System description, safety function
analyses for system components, FEP
list collection, scenario development,
modelling. Safety case (arguments,
evidence, analyses).
CO2
Most probably to follow radioactive
waste approach, however not fully
specified
India
Based on evaluation of safe performance
of system components.
Well established safety assessment
methodology for NSDF exists. Same to
be extended to geological repository
involving fracture flows over very large
time periods
Not fully specified
Switzerland
Base on safety function analyses for all system
components,
Modelling, safety case (arguments, evidence,
analyses).
Not fully specified
TABLE 4.6. SAFETY/ RISK ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGIES
The safety, safety requirements and recommendations, including safety indicators and safety
assessment procedures for radioactive waste disposal, have been broadly defined in above
mentioned IAEA and NEA/OECD documents. These form the global basis that has been
implemented into the national legislations. An additional approach that should unite
radioactive waste management framework in EU Member States, such as the Czech Republic,
is the 2011 EU Directive on the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and
radioactive waste [4.56].
Such an approach differs from CO2 disposal. While nowadays there exist a rather broad range
of scientific results and documents for CO2 safety/risk assessment methodologies, one cannot
find so many unifying official documents that would clearly define basic steps and
constraints for such procedures. One of such rare documents is the 2009 EU Directive on CO2
disposal [4.5]. However, the requirements on the risk analyses procedures are rather generally
defined here, even though the risk analyses is stated to be an inevitable part of the licence
application [4.5].
Moreover, the definition of reference levels (constraints) is less straightforward for CO2
disposal risk assessments, as CO2 hazard levels are not usually directly defined in national
legislations. CO2 levels in the air usually refer to occupational exposures. Even indirect CO2
effects (groundwater quality, tracer metal content) usually have to refer to occupational levels
or to groundwater quality measures. A more global unifying process would help during the
process of safety/risk assessment and decision of procedures and tools. We also have to take
into account that the injection of enormous volumes of CO2 into deep located underground
rock horizons would not always be only a national case, namely onshore. The threshold
definition of the following safety indicators should be considered, according to different
timescales to be taken into account during system performance evaluation:
•
CO2 level in the air (operational safety, short term safety);
•
CO2 level in water/pH (short term safety and long term safety: groundwater and
potable water quality);
•
Concentration of defined species in the groundwater/potable water (short term and
long term safety: increased salinity – Na+, Cl- trace metals).
Some of the safety/risk assessment methodologies are used for both radioactive waste and
CO2 disposal, following the schemes outlined in international recommendations of the IAEA
and NEA. Essentially, the following items would be included in safety/risk assessment for
both fields:
•
System description;
•
Scenario development;
•
Model development;
•
Consequence analyses.
The system description and scenario development, followed by consequential analyses, are
the most common tools for both fields. FEP lists and scenarios for disposal system
development also often used. However, most of the CO2 disposal safety assessments
performed have not launched the safety case approach.
104
On the other hand, other safety assessment approaches have also been used for CO2 disposal
risk evaluation, even using the experience from other CO2 using technologies (e.g. EOR).
The outline of these assessments usually have intuitively fulfilled general scheme, outlined in
Guidance Document 1 for implementation of the 2009 EU Directive on CO2 disposal [4.55]:
•
Risk identification and assessment;
•
Risk ranking;
•
Risk management measures.
As stated above, the cross national comparison included countries that were willing to
participate due to their involvement in IAEA CRP project. Therefore, the case study cannot
include information from a wide range of countries with different level of programme
maturity. These countries are considering the disposal of radioactive waste on their territory.
All of these countries have undertaken experience with safety assessment projects in the past,
at least for LLW and ILW repositories (India) or even for radioactive waste disposal
(Switzerland, the Czech Republic). Following the statements above, each of these countries
in the cross national comparison have implemented the global requirements for radioactive
waste into the national legislations, where safety constraints, usually the effective dose for a
member of the inhabitant critical group, can then be found. The values surely differ, as they
are based on national legislations and national safety requirements. Additional safety
indicators in radioactive waste safety assessment have been recommended, namely due to the
long timescales in which disposal performance system is evaluated.
In all of the countries involved in this study, CO2 disposal programmes have reached only the
very first steps of development. These countries have identified potential regions where the
CO2 disposal would be possible, including, in one case, offshore disposal (India). Only the
basis for further safety procedures was laid out.
Having experience with radioactive waste disposal safety assessment, the participants from
the Czech Republic, India and Switzerland presumed that the experience from this field
should also be used for CO2 disposal and that safety case development procedures should be
followed. However, this can be considered only as an opinion of the authors and need not to
be valid in the future. As CO2 can be injected by an independent operator and central
governance is missing here, it would be the responsibility of each individual implementer to
declare the safe performance of a CO2 disposal facility [4.5]. Additionally considering the
lack of strictly defined safety/risk procedures, each permit applicant could use any procedure
that would lead to the required proof of safe repository performance.
Summing up the results of cross national comparison and taking into account general
information about state of the art, it seems that the CO2 disposal field would benefit from
having a definition of such a straightforward concept of safety requirements such as those in
the radioactive waste field. Such requirements could be, consequently, implemented into
national legislations, enabling easier evaluation of long term repository performance. The
limits for CO2 levels or any other complementary indicator are not directly defined, even in
the 2009 CO2 Directive [4.5], obligatory for EU Member States (the Czech Republic). A
unified procedure for both a defined CO2 limit and safety/risk assessment procedures would
be useful, namely in the case of small countries, for example the Czech Republic or
Switzerland, as mentioned above.
105
However, further experience has arisen during the cross country intercomparison. There is
another topic that can be transferred from the radioactive waste disposal field to the CO2
disposal: the communication of safety/risk assessment results with civil society. This topic is
discussed in Chapter 7 of this report.
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accident risks within the main components of the CCS System: carbon dioxide
capture, transmission, injection & (long-term) storage in geological formations, Paul
Scherrer Institute, Villigen (2010).
[4.46] INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Principles of Radioactive Waste
Management, IAEA Safety Standards Series No. 111–F, IAEA, Vienna (1995).
[4.47] BAJPAI, R. DADHICH, P., Comparative studies on geological disposal of nuclear
wastes and CO2 sequestration in India, Proceedings of International seminar on
carbon management and climate change, ISAG, 12 4 (2009) 549–554.
[4.48] BAJPAI, R.K., Geochemical perturbations induced by radioactive waste emplacement
in host rock and its implication on environmental safety, Journal of Applied
Geochemistry, 10 2 (2008) 1–10.
[4.49] BAJPAI, R.K., Characterization of Natural Barriers of Deep Geological Repositories
for High-level Radioactive Wastes in India, Quarterly Newsletter of Indian Nuclear
Society 5 4 (2008) 40–47.
[4.50] INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE, IPCC Special Report
on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
(2009).
[4.51] SINGH, A.K., MENDHE, V.A., GARG, A., CO2 sequestration potential of geologic
formations in India, in 8th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control
Technologies, Elsevier, Trondheim (2006) 598–619.
[4.52] ATOMIC ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD (AERB), Management of Radioactive
Waste, AERB/NRF/SC/RW, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India, Mumbai
(2007).
[4.53] ATOMIC ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD (AERB), Near Surface Disposal of
Radioactive Solid Waste, AERB/NRF/SG/RW–4, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board
of India, Mumbai (2006).
[4.54] RAKESH, R.R., YADAV, D.N., NARAYAN, P.K., NAIR, R.N., Post Closure Safety
Assessment of Radioactive Waste Storage and Management Site, Internal Report, No.
BARC/2005/I/010, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Trombay (2005).
[4.55] EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Implementation of Directive 2009/31/EC on the
Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide, Guidance Document 1, CO2 Storage Life
Cycle Risk Management Framework, European Union, Brussels (2011).
[4.56] COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, Council Directive 2011/70/EURATOM
of 19 July 2011 establishing a Community framework for the responsible and safe
management of spent fuel and radioactive waste, European Union, Brussels (2011).
109
Chapter 5
5.
MONITORING
J.H. RYU, Y.K. KOH, J.-W. CHOI, J.-Y. LEE
Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute,
Republic of Korea
5.1.
INTRODUCTION
A reliable and cost effective monitoring programme is an important part of making
geological disposal a safe, effective and acceptable method for radioactive waste and carbon
dioxide (CO2) disposal. Monitoring is necessary to demonstrate that the disposal project
meets these requirements. Regulatory agencies require the verification that the practice of
geological disposal is so safe that it does not have significant, adverse, local environmental
impacts. Thus, monitoring is required as a part of the licensing process for geological
disposal of radioactive waste and CO2.
For radioactive waste disposal, monitoring is required to examine the protection and safety of
the repository. Monitoring programmes need to cover several important issues, such as the
degradation of repository structures, waste packages and buffer materials. The programmes
need to monitor chemical and physical interactions between introduced materials,
groundwater and host rock near field, as well as the surrounding environments. In addition,
the programme needs to monitor the releases of radioactive substances in the environment
from the repository.
Monitoring in CO2 disposal is required to demonstrate that CO2 is safely and successfully
contained within the disposal zone. The requirements for CO2 monitoring need to cover two
critical issues. The programme should monitor the location of the plume of separate phase
CO2, either as supercritical fluid or gas in the subsurface. If there is evidence that significant
leakage has occurred from the primary disposal structure and CO2 has migrated to the land
surface, methods for monitoring the concentration and flux of CO2 at the land surface are
highly desirable. Monitoring is also required to ensure effective injection by tracking the
condition of the injection well, injection rates, wellhead pressures and formation pressures.
The main objectives of monitoring radioactive waste and CO2 disposal facilities depend, to a
large extent, on the stage of development of the disposal site. These objectives include
providing information to ensure that operations are conducted in a safe and environmentally
acceptable manner. The monitoring programme aims to enhance public acceptance and assist
in the decision making process by providing data. In addition, information from the
monitoring programme can be used in safety assessment calculations. CO2 disposal projects
provide an analogy to radioactive waste disposal, which is the removal of material from the
surface of earth and the disposal in the subsurface with isolation and containment of the
waste surrounded by the host rock. Monitoring the evolution of CO2 injected into the subsurface provides an analogue to the monitoring of radionuclides, gas and the introduced
materials following the emplacement of radioactive waste in the underground repository.
5.2.
MONITORING OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL FACILITES
International guidance on repository monitoring has been prepared by the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) [5.1], [5.2]. The IAEA defines the monitoring of geological
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repositories for radioactive waste as follows:
“Continuous or periodic observations and measurements of engineering,
environmental or radiological parameters, to help evaluate the behaviour of
components of the repository system, or the impacts of the repository and its operation
on the environment.” ([5.1], p.1)
Most countries that are developing radioactive waste disposal programmes need to adopt this
guidance and develop their own monitoring programmes. The IAEA suggests that Member
States adopt the standards for the protection of health and minimization of danger to life and
property in the following statement:
“A programme of monitoring shall be carried out prior to, and during, the construction
and operation of a disposal facility and after its closure, if this is part of the safety case.
This programme shall be designed to collect and update information necessary for the
purposes of protection and safety. … Monitoring shall also be carried out to confirm
the absence of any conditions that could affect the safety of the facility after closure.”
([5.2], p. 40)
An additional role of the monitoring programme is to build confidence in the long term safety
case and demonstrate that the facility is evolving as expected. Monitoring is necessary to
build confidence in the construction and operation of the facility and to demonstrate its
appropriate environmental performance. Thus, information provided by monitoring supports
public acceptability and management decisions of radioactive waste disposal.
The requirements of the monitoring programme for a radioactive waste disposal facility
include collecting and updating information to confirm the conditions affecting the safety of
workers and members of the public and the protection of the environment during the
operation of the facility, and to confirm the absence of any condition that could reduce the
post-closure safety of the facility.
The IAEA also recognizes that:
“The extent and nature of monitoring will change throughout the various stages of
repository development, and monitoring plans drawn up at an early stage of a
programme will need to reflect this. It may also be expected that the plans will be
revised periodically in response to technological developments in monitoring equipment,
modifications to the repository design and changing societal demands for information.”
([5.1], p. 1)
The IAEA defines the primary objectives of monitoring geological radioactive waste disposal
systems as follows [5.2]:
1) to provide information for making management decisions;
2) to understand a repository system behaviour and develop the safety case for the
repository;
3) to test further models to predict these aspect;
4) to provide information to give society the confidence to take decisions on the major
stages of the repository development;
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5) to strengthen confidence that the repository is having no undesirable impacts on
human health and the environment;
6) to accumulate an environmental database on the repository site and its surroundings
for future decision makers;
7) to address the requirement to maintain nuclear safeguards.
The IAEA also recognizes operational reasons for monitoring, common to any nuclear
facility [5.2]:
8) to determine any radiological impacts of the operational disposal system on the
personnel and the general population;
9) to determine non-radiological impacts on the environment surrounding the
repository, such as impacts of excavation and surface construction on local water
supply and water quality;
10) to satisfy non-nuclear industrial safety requirements for an underground facility,
such as dust, gas, noise, etc.
5.2.1.
5.2.1.1.
Phases of radioactive waste disposal and related monitoring activities
Pre-operational phase
The extent and nature of the monitoring programme change through various stages of
repository development. During the planning of the repository, the potential site is studied to
determine its ability to confine the radioactive waste and to protect people and the
environment. Monitoring plans need to be set up at an early stage of the repository
development programme. It is important to collect, as early as possible, good baseline data
which are representative of undisturbed conditions during the pre-operational phase.
During pre-operational monitoring, data are collected and evaluated at and around the
proposed site. The frequency of data measurements should be high enough to identify
characteristics that are subject to temporal variations, if there are any.
Pre-operational monitoring should be performed to establish the baseline of environmental
conditions, including geological, hydrogeological and geochemical parameters and radiation
levels, to determine the impacts of the source by measuring the same parameters. At this
stage, environmental monitoring is designed to measure existing activity concentrations and
radiation dose rates in the environment. It is also necessary to investigate local factors that
might affect the doses received by individuals in the population, such as meteorological,
hydrological and geochemical characteristics in the aquatic environment, population
distribution and land use [5.3].
The expected inventories of radionuclides during operation of the facility should also be
made in the pre-operational assessments. These assessments should consider the possible
discharge pathways and the expected amounts of radionuclides discharged into the
environment from the facilities. The monitoring network and the environmental sampling
regime should be established on the basis of this information [5.4].
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5.2.1.2.
Operational phase
Monitoring activities during the operational phase are similar for all nuclear facilities. Such
monitoring is designed to demonstrate that there is no significant release of radioactive
materials, which could impact humans or the environment. In case of significant releases, the
monitoring programme offers an early indication for corrective actions.
During the operational phase, various data, such as meteorological, geological, hydrological
and geochemical parameters, are collected. A periodic monitoring of all relevant parameters
allows the detection of any change that may occur. Water quality is monitored during the
operation of waste disposal facilities. Groundwater and surface water at and around the
disposal facility site are monitored to detect radioactive materials above the baseline levels.
Additionally, the direction, rate and velocity of water flow around the site are periodically
updated. Soils, crops and animals are also tested for changes in the levels of radioactive
materials present [5.3].
In the early operational stages of the facility, frequent and detailed environmental
measurements are necessary to confirm the prediction of the behaviour and transfer of
radionuclides to the environment. Any decision to change the frequency of sampling or the
scope of the environmental monitoring programme should be reviewed carefully to cover
changing discharge area or unexpected releases, as well as any existing concerns raised by
the public.
5.2.1.3.
Post-operational phase
The post-operational phase begins when the radioactive waste disposal facility is closed and
no longer accepts waste. The monitoring programme must be continued for a certain time
period after the facility’s closure, and it should be continued for as long as required by the
host community to provide public confidence, or to ensure that the predicted integrity of the
disposal facility is maintained.
After the closure of the disposal facility, groundwater is the likely route for migration of
radioactive materials from the disposal site. As a result, monitoring activities concentrate on
groundwater during the post-operational phase. Air, soil and vegetation are monitored as
well. The data collected during this phase are compared with the information collected during
the pre-operational and operational phases.
Monitoring programmes should be designed and implemented to maintain the overall level of
safety of the facility after closure. Monitoring during the post-operational phase should
provide the assurance of post-closure safety. The IAEA has indicated that the monitoring
programme relating to the post-closure safety of the geological disposal facilities should be
planned before construction of the geological facility [5.5]. The programme aims to provide
assurance of post-closure safety, but it should also remain flexible. If necessary, it needs to be
revised and updated during the development and operation of the facility. Once the repository
is closed, monitoring should be restricted in general.
5.2.2.
Periodic review
Generally, all monitoring programmes should be subject to periodic review to ensure that
measurements continue to be relevant for their purposes. Monitoring programmes should be
reviewed to make sure that no significant route of discharge or exposure pathway has been
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overlooked. In case of changes in the manner of operation of the facilities or in the nature of
the discharges, the monitoring programmes should be re-evaluated to ensure their continuing
validity. The facility and/or the monitoring bodies should consider involving the public in
designing and reviewing monitoring programmes to help eliminate any concerns raised. In
addition, the monitoring programme is expected to be revised periodically in response to
technological development in equipment, modifications of the repository design and
changing social demands.
5.2.3.
Key issues and relevant parameters
In general, monitoring programmes contain many common issues, as discussed by the IAEA
[5.1]. They include degradation processes from construction, the behaviour of waste
packages, chemical interactions near field and in the surrounding geosphere and possible
releases of radioactive substances.
5.2.3.1.
Degradation processes from the construction of the repository
A number of processes are expected to occur in response to the construction of a geological
repository. During construction, the excavated space filled with air at atmospheric pressure is
a significant perturbation to the natural condition of the geological environment. In terms of
hydrology at depth, inflow of water continues and causes complete saturation of the
backfilled repository. In general, the inflow can cause a change in groundwater geochemistry.
For example, exposure to atmospheric oxygen and CO2 in a repository and possible
infiltration of shallow meteoric groundwater causes carbonation and oxidation of the
groundwater, as well as the decrease in pressure to degassing of other gases, like methane
[5.6].
5.2.3.2.
Behaviour of the waste package and its associated buffer material
The evolution processes of the engineered barrier system and the migration processes of
substances within it are important items in the monitoring programme, because they are
closely related to the performance of the engineered barrier system. Some processes, such as
the swelling of bentonite, are required to fulfil the performance requirements of the
engineered barriers [5.7]. Observing the behaviour of the waste package and the engineered
barrier system is a necessary part of monitoring.
Monitoring activity for the transfer of heat generated by the spent fuel is important to secure
the performance of the engineered barrier system. The thermal expansion of the rock
increases mechanical stress and causes the deformation of the wall of deposition holes, where
heating is the most intense. Moreover, temperature is a crucial factor in geochemical
processes. The development of the temperature field depends on the heat produced from each
canister, the repository layout and the capability of various components to conduct heat into
the surrounding rock mass [5.8].
5.2.3.3.
Near field chemical interactions between introduced materials, groundwater and
host rock
Hydrogeochemical conditions are an important aspect to consider for the durability of the
engineered barriers and for the solubility and migration of radionuclides. Engineered barriers
include the canister, bentonite buffer, deposition tunnel backfill and auxiliary components,
such as plugs, seals and backfill of other excavated spaces. The goal of monitoring
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engineered barriers is to produce useful information for long term analyses and simulations of
their behaviour and evolution.
Engineered barrier system evolution and migration processes are included in the monitoring
programme, in general. The degradation of engineered barrier system components comprises
a variety of issues, which should be covered by the monitoring programme. Water uptake into
the buffer and backfill is one of the key processes affecting the performance of the
engineered barriers, especially among those processes that are expected to occur during the
operational period.
Mineralogical alteration within the bentonite buffer and tunnel backfill can safely be assumed
to occur too slowly to be detected within any conceivable monitoring period. Meanwhile,
water uptake and the resulting swelling are essential processes that affect the barrier system at
times scales for which monitoring is possible. The deposition tunnel plugs are special among
the components of the engineered barrier system, because they remain exposed and
accessible along the central tunnels for years after installation. Thus, the plugs will be readily
available for direct long term monitoring. The physical condition and stability of the plugs
provide direct information on achieving their performance targets during the operational
phase.
Currently, the presented targets are considered possible to monitor continuously in a
demonstration facility or in actual deposition tunnels. These processes include the corrosion
of the copper overpack and deposition of material onto it, chemical changes in buffer and
backfill materials and corrosion of steel in tunnel plugs.
The chemistry of groundwater around the repository and within the engineered barrier system
is influenced by foreign materials that, although not belonging to the engineered barriers, are
introduced into the repository, either on purpose or inadvertently. The amounts of foreign
materials, such as cementitious materials, additives, explosives, organic materials, metallic
support bolts, etc., should be monitored in the monitoring programme. During the
construction and operation of the repository, several types of foreign materials are used,
mainly for engineering purposes. These foreign materials are not part of the engineered
multibarrier system (e.g. copper canister, bentonite) or the natural environment (e.g. bedrock
and groundwater). When the repository is closed, those foreign materials are usually
removed. Monitoring of foreign materials should be continued during the operational phase.
The migration of radionuclides is also a crucial issue for the safety of the repository within
the near field. In addition, the presence and mobility of other substances that facilitate the
corrosion of a canister are important to monitor. Most migration processes can occur in all
components of the engineered barrier system. In general, most released radionuclides are
effectively retained by sorption on solid surfaces, precipitation and co precipitation. It is also
conceivable that gas phases cause gas transport, which can either facilitate or inhibit the
migration of radionuclides or other significant substances. Colloid mediated transport occurs
as a consequence of excessive flow of groundwater in contact with bentonite. Processes
occurring inside the copper canister are difficult to monitor, because the overpack must be
kept intact. Moreover, it is reasonable to assume that few canisters will be breached within
100 years; thus, the migration processes starting after the loss of canister can be ignored in
the monitoring programme. According to assumptions, heat generation from radioactive
decay is the only canister process relevant to the monitoring programme.
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5.2.3.4.
Chemical and physical changes in the surrounding geosphere
Geochemical and physical changes in the surrounding geosphere are closely related to the
target properties of a host rock. A significant part of the processes and target properties of a
host rock concerns the chemical compositions of groundwater. It is evident that
hydrogeochemical monitoring must continue to have an important and well defined role in
the programme. Relevant chemical characteristics to be monitored include processes like
chemical rock-water interaction, such as concentrations of various ions and major
geochemical elements.
To understand the physical changes in the surrounding geosphere, a monitoring programme
concentrates on the assessment of potential tectonic movements and the stability of the
bedrock, although the construction of a repository is not expected to induce a large scale
movement of the bedrock block. However, the evaluation of any tectonic event or possible
instabilities is important for the safety assessment.
5.2.3.5.
Monitoring of releases of radioactive substances in the environment of a
repository
In order to fulfil the legal responsibility in the operational phase of a repository, it is
necessary to establish the baseline of natural radiation and concentrations of important
radionuclides in the environment during the pre-operational and operational phases. It should
be noted that this programme does not cover radiation monitoring within the disposal facility.
The protection of personnel from any radiation hazard is an issue of occupational safety.
From the point of view of long term safety, it is necessary to monitor the migration and effect
of radionuclides in the biosphere. They are considered significant for modelling radionuclide
migration and calculating the exposure of humans and animals to radiation.
5.2.4.
5.2.4.1.
Monitoring methods
Rock mechanics
Monitoring rock mechanics includes continuous microseismic measurements [5.9],
measurement of relative movement of bedrock blocks by GPS [5.10], electronic distance,
precise levelling techniques [5.11], as well as extensometer, temperature and convergence
measurements in excavated spaces [5.12]. In programmes for seismic monitoring, GPS
measurements and precise levelling should continue during the construction of a repository.
The extension of networks for monitoring methods is needed to cover the operational volume,
both on the surface and underground. The programme for rock displacement (extensometer,
convergence), fracture/fracture zone displacement, load cell, temperature and visual tunnel
monitoring needs to be continued during the operational phase.
5.2.4.2.
Hydrology and hydrogeology
Hydrological monitoring is based on groundwater pressure and flow measurements in deep
and shallow boreholes drilled in bedrock, wells and groundwater tubes in the overburden and
measurement weirs in a disposal site. The main expected hydrological effect of the
construction of a repository is changes in hydraulic pressure [5.13[, [5.14], [5.15]. The
construction of underground facilities causes leakages of groundwater into the tunnels.
Leakages cause disturbances to pressure head and flow conditions around a repository.
117
Disturbances in hydrology also cause changes in hydrochemical conditions, such as an
intrusion of saline water along local fractures or zones into the repository level.
In many cases, hydrological monitoring is carried out in selected drill holes. The network of
selected boreholes needs to be developed again for the new phase of the project. Fracture
properties within the hydraulic network in terms of hydraulic conductivity or transmissivity
are measured by using the Posiva Flow Log (PFL) [5.16] and by the Hydraulic Testing Unit
(HTU) [5.17] in deep drill holes, and using the slug test method [5.18] in shallow boreholes.
The Posiva Flow Log tool is applied to measure flow conditions as well as saline
groundwater distribution (electrical conductivity). In addition, groundwater salinity is
measured by groundwater sampling and indirectly by geophysical Gefinex 400S (SAMPO)
measurements [5.19].
In a completed borehole, geophysical loggings, such as radiometric, electric, magnetic and
acoustic methods, can be performed, as well as radar and seismic surveys, depending on the
investigation targets. After the geophysical logging, the borehole wall is videotaped using the
Borehole Image Processing (BIP) system [5.20]. For example, the borehole radar is a useful
tool for locating and determining the orientation of local major and minor fracture zones and
dikes from a borehole. Seismic methods are usually used to locate similar structures at even
greater distances, although they have poorer resolution. Vertical seismic profiling is an
effective method in connection with seismic reflection surveys to indicate the occurrence and
extent of major fracture zones in a relatively large rock volume [5.21]. Through multiple
applications of these methods with different ranges and resolutions, the results become more
reliable and accurate. In addition, the methods identify different properties of the rock, such
as electrical and mechanical, respectively [5.21].
5.2.4.3.
Evolution of groundwater flow
For a long period of monitoring, the groundwater table level enables a good basis for the
assessment of possible changes in the evolution of groundwater table. The groundwater table
level is monitored with groundwater observation tubes and shallow drill holes. Changes in
flow conditions provide information on hydraulic connections between the drill holes and the
tunnels. Changes in the direction of flow cause geochemical changes in the groundwater
composition. Flow conditions in open drill holes are monitored by difference flow logging
measurements (PFL DIFF). Cross-drill hole flow is measured by a transverse flow meter
(PFL TRANS).
5.2.4.4.
Evolution of hydraulic network and fracture properties
The study of the evolution of hydraulic properties in the bedrock (hydraulic network and
fracture properties) is based on long term monitoring in packed-off drill holes and different
types of hydraulic measurements (Posiva Flow Log, Hydraulic Testing Unit and slug tests).
In general, hydrological and hydrogeological monitoring continues during the operation of a
repository with the same programme as before the operation. The programme can be revised,
if necessary, based on the results from data collected before the operation. The focus of the
drill hole measurements (difference in flow and cross flow measurement, as well as hydraulic
conductivity) is in the areas where the construction of repository tunnels is located. The
packed-off sections in the drill holes are planned to cover the areas assumed to be influenced
by the construction.
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5.2.4.5.
Evolution of hydrogeochemical characteristics of groundwater
Hydrogeochemical monitoring includes regular groundwater samplings from selected
sampling locations, such as drill holes, groundwater stations, groundwater observation tubes,
etc. The results of monitoring contribute to the detection of possible changes in chemistry due
to the construction of the repository. The selection of sampling locations varies for each stage
of the repository development.
In general, the chemistry of shallow groundwater is monitored by regularly analysing basic
chemistry and isotopes from groundwater samples from yearly selected groundwater
observation tubes and shallow drill holes. The groundwater sampling method from a deep
drill hole on the surface depends on whether the drill hole is open or packed off. For example,
in a multi packered drill hole, samples have been collected using various methods, such as a
Vesitin pump, while in an open drill hole, pressurized water sampling equipment is used
[5.22]. The pressurized water sampling equipment collects dissolved gases and microbial
samples in situ. In addition, a new sampling tool has been developed for sampling in situ
water along a targeted fracture.
The evolution of deep and shallow groundwater should be studied for a long period of time.
The most critical chemical parameters in groundwater with regard to long term safety are
salinity, pH, and oxygen and dissolved sulphide concentrations [5.23]. In general, the
monitoring of hydrogeochemistry should be continued before and during the operational
phase.
5.2.4.6.
Monitoring programme for the biosphere
Monitoring of the surface environment focuses on forest ecosystems (biosphere). The major
concern of the monitoring programme is to generate data for biosphere modelling applied in
the safety assessment and to establish the baseline for the monitoring of radioactivity in the
environment.
For surface monitoring, water and soil samples are collected in priority areas and analysed in
the laboratory for chemical, geological, hydrological and biological compositions. Sample
series are collected over a long period of time to see their patterns over time. Data on
precipitation, temperature, air pressure, snow depth, drainage basins and stream flows are
acquired either from recordings in the vicinity or by measuring these parameters. Monitoring
atmospheric conditions includes direct meteorological parameters, such as temperature,
precipitation, snow depth and ground frost, primarily needed when modelling surface and
near surface hydrological conditions. Meteorological observations are also needed to
determine the dispersion of releases into the air in various other modelling and data
interpretation tasks. It is necessary to perform soil solution sampling for determining the
chemical composition and the amount of percolating water.
The infiltration of groundwater and land uplift are processes related to the evolution of the
geosphere affecting long term safety. Monitoring related to the biosphere generates data that
requires long timescales or other extensive studies for biosphere assessment. To complement
the information gained on the vertical movements of the bedrock within the rock mechanics
monitoring programme, laser scanning of the ground surface elevation can be a useful tool
for the surface environment programme. The interaction between the surface environment
and the groundwater in the bedrock is related to the infiltration, and the discharge of the
groundwater is controlled by the water balance of the overburden and the vegetation.
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5.2.4.7.
Engineered barrier system
For monitoring purposes, the canister can be divided into several areas of interest. The main
components are the copper canister, cast iron insert and heating elements which represent fuel
rods. The overall temperature distribution is measured by using temperature sensors at many
locations of each component. The purpose of temperature monitoring is to investigate the
possible thermal induced effects, such as movement, strain and deflection.
The movement of components can be measured with different types of deflection transducers
and strains by strain gauges and optical fibres. The overall movement and deformation of the
canister can be analysed with inclinometers and displacement sensors.
5.3. MONITORING OF CARBON DIOXIDE DISPOSAL
Monitoring plays an important role in qualifying and quantifying the risks involved in
underground CO2 disposal to ensure that it is safe, effective and acceptable. The purposes of
monitoring are to assure the safety of the facility, and that there are no local environmental
problems or CO2 leakage into the atmosphere. These requirements provide a framework for
monitoring programmes. To ensure the safe and effective disposal of CO2, it is important to
understand the reservoir properties and the nature of how the injected CO2 spreads and
interacts with the rock matrix and reservoir fluids. The monitoring programme is aimed to
observe the physical and chemical effects of the CO2 injection on the state of the reservoir
system. In addition, the chemical reactions that form the predicted mechanisms for long term
disposal of CO2 within the reservoir are evaluated throughout the programme.
Monitoring also observes the dynamic response of the reservoir to CO2 injection and plume
movement within and outside of disposal areas. Additionally, the injection of CO2 should be
monitored to control injection well completion, injection rates and wellhead and formation
pressures. After the injection of CO2, the monitoring programme should be continued to
ensure the CO2 remains trapped and does not leak out of the intended disposal reservoirs. For
the monitoring programme, simulations are also important to test and improve geologically
based simulator predictions of how the CO2 flood will progress. Field monitoring methods
over a wide range of scales are applied to monitor subsurface CO2 movement and associated
in situ stress variations during the injection process. Monitoring methods have been evaluated
to establish the underlying basis for the sensitivity of these methods to CO2 induced
subsurface changes. Ultimately, the comparison is made between the monitoring results and
reservoir simulations in order to improve the accuracy of reservoir simulations and verify the
monitoring results.
5.3.1.
CO2 disposal phases and related monitoring
The purposes of monitoring are different for each phase of a CO2 disposal project.
Monitoring is required as a part of the licensing process for underground CO2 injection. It is
also used for a number of purposes, such as tracking the location of the plume of injected
CO2, ensuring that CO2 is not leaking, and verifying the quantity of CO2 injection. The
concept of three distinct phases in the life cycle of a CO2 disposal project was introduced by
Benson et al. [5.24]. Monitoring activities vary across these phases that are defined as
follows.
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5.3.1.1.
Pre-operational phase
In the pre-operational phase, the project design is carried out and baseline conditions are
established. During this phase of the project, the geology of the site is characterized. The
primary purposes for monitoring are to obtain baseline data and to assess the integrity of
shut-in, plugged or abandoned wells. Additionally, the disposal efficiency and processes are
identified and confirmed.
5.3.1.2.
Operational phase
During the operational phase, CO2 is injected into the disposal reservoir, which is expected to
take place over a period of 30 to 50 years. During CO2 injection, surface facilities and
injection rates are monitored. Additionally, the location of the plume is tracked and other
monitoring activities are conducted, as required by the regulatory permit.
5.3.1.3.
Post-closure phase
After CO2 injection, the wells are abandoned and plugged. Equipment and facilities are
removed, and site restoration is accomplished. Only the necessary monitoring equipment is
retained in the post-closure phase. During this period, results from monitoring are used to
demonstrate that the disposal project is performing as predicted by modelling, and that it is
safe to decrease or discontinue further monitoring. The duration of the closure phase varies,
depending on factors such as the regulatory requirements and the expected level of project
performance. The post-closure phase could last from several decades up to several centuries.
A limited monitoring programme over several decades may be sufficient to demonstrate that
the CO2 will remain safely underground and that monitoring is no longer required. However,
a disposal project in a very large saline formation, where CO2 may continue to migrate even
after injection, may require hundreds of years to demonstrate that the project is performing as
expected and that the CO2 is safely contained.
Once it is satisfactorily demonstrated that the site is stable, monitoring is no longer required,
except in the event of leakage, legal disputes or other matters that may require new
information about the status of the disposal project, such as other ongoing environmental
impacts.
5.3.2.
5.3.2.1.
Key issues and relevant parameters
Establishing baseline condition
CO2 is everywhere in the air, water and soils. The concentrations of CO2 in these media vary
on daily, seasonal or longer periods of time, depending on the sources, sinks and long term
processes. It is important to have a well defined baseline for CO2 concentrations, although it
is not an easy task to carry out. Many of the parameters that can be used to monitor a CO2
disposal project are not directly indicative of the presence of CO2, but the changes in these
parameters over time and their reaction products can be used to detect and track its migration.
For these reasons, the baseline should be established not only from the average value of these
parameters, but also from the variation in space and time before the project begins. This time
lapse approach is the foundation for monitoring CO2 disposal projects. Without an adequate
baseline, it is impossible to separate disposal related changes in the environment from the
natural spatial and temporal variations in the monitoring parameters. For most disposal
projects, the monitoring baseline is obtained during the pre-operational phase.
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5.3.2.2.
Effective injection controls
To ensure effective injection well controls, it is critical to monitor the condition of the
injection well by measuring injection rates, wellhead pressures and formation pressures. For
example, if the injection pressure is too high, injection is known to cause seismic events
created by micro-fracturing the reservoir rock or by small movement along existing fracture
surfaces.
5.3.2.3.
Detecting leakage
Previous experience from CO2 disposal and injection of liquid wastes into deep geological
formations has shown that shut in, plugged or abandoned wells that are ineffectively sealed
are the most probable leakage pathways [5.25]. Therefore, at disposal sites with old and
abandoned wells, monitoring is needed to verify these wells do not provide any leakage
pathway from the deep and shallow subsurface. Pre-injection testing should be completed
before a CO2 disposal project is initiated if the locations of the abandoned wells are
identified.
Monitoring is needed to track the location of the CO2 plume as a supercritical fluid or gas in
the subsurface. This is fundamental for ensuring that the CO2 remains in the disposal
reservoir. Monitoring is also needed to detect leakage and leakage pathways. If there is
evidence that significant leakage has occurred from the disposal formation and CO2 has
migrated to the land surface or ocean floor, monitoring methods to detect the location of
seepage and the concentration and flux of CO2 are needed. Monitoring methods to detect and
quantify seepage are different, depending on the location of the disposal site. For example, at
onshore disposal sites, seepage monitoring requires a combination of soil gas CO2
concentration measurements, CO2 concentrations in air and surface flux measurements using
eddy flux towers or flux chambers. On the other hand, for offshore sites, detecting and
monitoring seepage to the ocean floor require a combination of measurements, including
ocean water chemistry, the detection of hydrate formation and other factors. If significant
leakage occurs, monitoring is needed to assess the consequent environmental impacts,
including groundwater contamination and possible human health impacts.
5.3.2.4.
Disposal efficiency and processes
Geological disposal uses four processes to keep CO2 from returning from the atmosphere: (1)
physical trapping (or hydrodynamic trapping) below a low permeable caprock, (2) residual
gas trapping, (3) dissolution into the in situ reservoir fluids (solubility and ionic trapping) and
(4) conversion to minerals that become part of the reservoir itself (mineral trapping) [5.26].
The dominance of these mechanisms changes over time, based on the evolution from physical
trapping and residual gas trapping, to solubility trapping and, finally, to mineral trapping. The
timescale and degree of evolution vary depending on the condition of the disposal site, such
as the type of formation used for disposal and the fluids in the formation. In many cases,
physical trapping may be the most important process to monitor.
5.3.2.5.
Comparing model predictions with monitoring measurements
One of the most important purposes of monitoring is to confirm that the project is performing
as predicted by modelling. The comparison between modelling and monitoring validates that
the disposal project performs as anticipated. This is particularly valuable in the early stages of
a project, when there is an opportunity to alter the project. Moreover, monitoring data
122
collected early in the project is often used to refine and calibrate the predictive model further.
The refined model then forms the basis of predicting the longer term performance of the
project [5.27], [5.28].
5.3.3.
Monitoring methods
The monitoring programme aims to detect the responses of the reservoir as CO2 is injected.
Baseline characterization of the reservoir, such as porosity, permeability, fracture systems
and fluid distribution prior to injection, is important to plan the monitoring of the CO2 plume
and anticipating processes. In addition, baseline measurements provide the reference with
which all subsequent monitoring surveys can be compared. After CO2 injection, the goal of
monitoring is to track the saturation and distribution of CO2 within the reservoir. The
interaction of the CO2 with other reservoir fluids is monitored to determine pressure
variations and identify off-trend flow so that the injection process can be adjusted
accordingly. Consequently, monitoring ensures the security of CO2 within the reservoir.
Finally, monitoring provides a means of verifying the volume of CO2 that resides within the
reservoir. Efficient and complete access to the reservoir volume and avoidance of premature
flow through of CO2 to producing wells is important.
5.3.3.1.
Modelling
Initial predictions of CO2 plume movements are based on flow simulations using a reservoir
model based on a dense network of wells in the CO2 disposal site. A variety of seismic and
geochemical sampling methods are subsequently used to monitor the CO2 injection process
and characterize the response of the reservoir between monitoring boreholes. Models, such
as numerical reservoir flow simulations and geochemical simulations, can predict several
reservoir attributes, including fluid pressure, reservoir production and injection rates.
Information used for calibration and performance confirmation include downhole pressure,
actual injection and production rates, 3-D seismic data, tracer data (reservoir and near
surface), geophysical logging data, geochemical data from cores and reservoir fluid test data.
An evaluation of environmental and safety related factors is completed based on the results
from geo-mechanical modelling [5.29].
5.3.3.2.
Atmospheric monitoring
For any geological CO2 disposal project, it is necessary to identify CO2 leakage long before it
reaches the surface. Geologically disposed CO2 encounters multiple barriers in its flow path.
CO2 leakage from a disposal reservoir may create significant CO2 fluxes at the surface. The
magnitude of CO2 leakage fluxes depend on a variety of factors, such as the mechanism of
emission, wind and density driven atmospheric dispersion. Anomalous surface CO2 fluxes
may be detected using several techniques, such as CO2 detectors, laser systems, Eddy
covariance, etc. [5.24].
5.3.3.3.
Soil gas and vadose zone monitoring
Near surface geochemistry methods can be used to detect short term rapid loss or long term
intermittent leakage of CO2 from gas disposal formations. These techniques are routinely
employed in the environmental industry and include the monitoring of soil gas and shallow
groundwater. In general, both consist of purging the monitoring point and collecting a sample,
followed by analysis and interpretation. Soil gas collection is performed to measure the
123
natural background concentrations and to check any leakage of CO2 or associated tracer gases
as the direct result of the solvent plume occurring at the disposal site.
The use of magnetometers is a possible near surface geophysical technique. Magnetometers
measure the strength and/or direction of the magnetic field in the vicinity of the instrument.
In an effort to develop comprehensive monitoring techniques to verify the integrity of CO2
reservoirs, airborne and ground based magnetometry, in conjunction with methane detection,
can be used to locate abandoned wells that can be a source of leakage from a potential CO2
disposal reservoir. Magnetotelluric surveys (soundings) are a natural source electromagnetic
geophysical method that utilizes variations in the Earth’s magnetic field to image subsurface
structures [5.30].
5.3.3.4.
Geochemistry of production fluids and gases
The methodology employed in the geochemical monitoring phase of the project is to sample
produced fluids before and during the injection of CO2. Samples of produced brines, gas and
oil need to be collected and analysed. The monitoring provides changes in the chemical and
isotopic parameters to interpret the chemical processes in a disposal reservoir as a result of
CO2 injection. The geochemistry of produced fluids and gases has also been monitored and
analysed for chemical and isotopic parameters to track the path of injected CO2.
As CO2 is injected into the reservoir, a number of important processes are expected to occur,
including CO2 dissolution, carbonate mineral dissolution and, eventually, carbonate
precipitation in the form of calcite or other carbonate minerals. Observing the resultant
variations in calcium and magnesium concentrations, total alkalinity, pH and carbon isotope
ratios in the produced fluids and gases provides a measure of the degree of interaction taking
place between reservoir fluids, injected CO2 and reservoir rocks [5.6].
5.3.3.5.
Seismic methods
The injection of CO2 into a reservoir affects its seismic properties through a number of
mechanisms. In the saturated porous rock, the seismic characteristics of the rock are
generally controlled by the characteristics of the rock matrix, including matrix stiffness,
density and porosity. The injection of CO2 modifies both the pore fluid and the pore pressure
within the rock. Thus, it should change the associated seismic properties.
The fluid with a smaller range in density has a secondary effect on the seismic properties.
Thus, the observable variations in the seismic properties of a reservoir are apparent in
regions where the molar per cent of CO2 exceeds 40% [5.31]. The displacement of oil by
water results in significant changes in seismic properties. The implication of this behaviour
causes the seismic measurements to be highly sensitive to reservoir situations where a CO2
rich phase exists. This sensitivity of the seismic reflection response to gas is well known
[5.31]. The characteristics of reservoir rock core samples provide the primary source of
information to determine the effects of the CO2 plume on the seismic properties of a disposal
site. The properties of rock cores can also be used for modelling. A common rock physics
model [5.32] is applied to predict seismic changes over the broader range of porosities
observed in the reservoir.
124
A variety of seismic imaging methods have been applied to monitor the CO2 plume. In each
case, baseline data are collected prior to the start of the CO2 plume movement to provide a
reference for comparison. Subsequently, the monitoring of seismic data is required during the
first two years of the CO2 flood to determine changes in the seismic properties of the
reservoir relative to the baseline measurements.
This methodology is commonly referred to as time lapse imaging, or in the case of 3-D
seismic data, 4-D imaging, where time represents the fourth dimension. Time lapse seismic
data include: 1) surface 3-D 3-component seismic reflection surveys for the entire area, 2)
surface 3-D 9-component seismic reflection surveys for 4-patterns within the area and 3) 3-D
3-component vertical seismic profiles (VSP) for a single well within the area. In addition,
horizontal and vertical cross-well tomography surveys and vertical seismic profiles can be
used. Single or multi component 2-D and 3-D surface seismic surveys are widely deployed
technologies in oil and gas exploration that utilize surface sources to generate downward
propagating elastic waves that are reflected from subsurface features and return to the
surface, where they are recorded by ground motion sensors (geophones). In the case of a 3-D
survey, a regular 2-D grid of surface sources and sensors is deployed. The data recorded in
this manner is combined to produce a 2-D or 3-D image of the subsurface [5.9]. VSP
techniques provide seismic measurements that obtain high resolution images near a borehole
[5.10]. VSP techniques utilize sensors deployed within a borehole and sources located at the
surface, whereas crosswell tomography uses sources and receivers both deployed in
boreholes. The advantage of VSP, crosswell seismic and other high resolution methods is to
obtain more precise estimations of the CO2 induced effects on seismic properties.
One of the disadvantages of seismic techniques is the difficulty of quantifying the amount of
CO2. It will be possible to quantify leakage rates only by combining geophysical
measurements with other techniques, such as formation pressure measurements and reservoir
simulation [5.11], [5.12]. For a more accurate estimation, additional researches and field tests
are required.
Pre-injection seismic measurements
The geological horizons are identified in this data set, generated from pre-injection seismic
measurements and the subsequent monitoring surveys. In general, the top of the reservoir
horizon is indicated, along with several other horizons of interest. The identification of the
various geological horizons with seismic events is based on the correlation of the seismic
data with well log generated synthetic seismic data.
Time lapse seismic measurements
The seismic survey provides an initial baseline measurement that can be compared to
subsequent seismic surveys to create a time lapse image of CO2 plume migration. The
amplitude differences are most prominent at the reservoir level and beneath. The large
differences below the reservoir are most likely artefacts, as they are a result of the time delay
introduced by changes at the reservoir level that produce misalignment of the baseline and
monitor waveforms everywhere beneath. Significant time delay anomalies are readily
apparent around the horizontal injection wells [5.33]. The delay time represents the
cumulative travel time delay due to CO2 effects at the overlying reservoir level. Sometimes
the small thickness of the reservoir can be missed through time lapse seismic measurements.
Minimum fractional velocity changes determined from the travel time delays to complete the
125
reservoir thickness show values of up to about 10% [5.11]. Fractional velocity decreases may
actually be greater if the CO2 is restricted to a subinterval of the reservoir.
Passive seismic monitoring
Micro-seismic (passive seismic) monitoring is performed to monitor the dynamic response of
the reservoir rock matrix to CO2 injection and assess the level of induced seismicity in regard
to safety of existing surface infrastructure. Microseismic monitoring can be used as an
alternative means of mapping the spread of CO2 within the reservoir [5.15].Passive seismic
monitoring is performed using a seismic array installed close to the reservoir and cemented as
part of the normal well abandonment. An array consists of several geophones and it is
mounted in a vertical well. This method is used to monitor CO2 injection at close proximity
to the array. Background seismicity is recorded with the array prior to the CO2 injection.
Seismic sensitivity to the physical effects of CO2 injection
An objective of the monitoring programme is to track and quantify the distribution of CO2 in
the subsurface over time by using seismic techniques. A miscible flood, brine and oil within
the reservoir are partially replaced by pure CO2, a CO2 rich phase or an oil rich phase. CO2
can also dissolve in the brine. Its solubility in brine is very low (~1–2% molar fraction) as
compared to its solubility in oil. The pore fluid is partially replaced by fluids containing a
large molar fraction of CO2. Thus, if it can be demonstrated that the seismic response is
sensitive to either oil or water being replaced by fluid phases with large fractional CO2, then
the seismic images should be a proxy for the distribution of CO2 in the reservoir. The seismic
detection limits to monitor the injected CO2 volume depend on various factors, including the
porosity and fluid saturation of the injection formation. The repeatability of the seismic
measurements determined by noise, surface recording conditions, and the frequency content
of the seismic wavelet, and the seismic wave speed of the subsurface are additional factors.
Electrical resistance tomography is a technique of imaging subsurface electrical conductivity.
This method, deployed in time lapse mode, is capable of detecting conductivity changes
caused by the injection and movement of CO2. This method utilizes borehole casings as
electrodes for stimulating electrical current in the ground and measuring the electrical
potentials that are induced [5.30].
High precision gravity (microgravity) surveys are a near surface geophysical technique used
to detect changes in subsurface density [5.30]. The densities of CO2, typical reservoir fluids
and their mixtures are known or can be obtained by geochemical sampling. For most of the
depth interval for disposal, CO2 is less dense and more compressible than brine or oil, so
gravity (and seismic) methods are candidates for brine or oil bearing formations.
5.4. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT
Monitoring is an important part of developing and operating a radioactive waste or a CO2
disposal project, starting from the initial baseline data collection and continuing through to
the closure and sealing of the disposal site, and possibly even longer. In both areas, one of the
major purposes of monitoring is to ensure that the sites are not leaking and are behaving as
predicted from modelling. There are some general lessons to be learnt from a broad range of
experiences in both radioactive waste and CO2 disposal that should be useful for both,
although the types of monitoring carried out in the two areas are not always directly
126
applicable to each other. For effective monitoring, a range of standard protocols reflecting the
regulations is needed. Environmental monitoring likely becomes less important with time as
retention processes become more important. However, the decision on when to start and
cease monitoring should be based on prevailing regulation in both radioactive waste and CO2
disposals.
Important issues regarding the monitoring programme start with the need to collect the
adequate baseline data that are representative of the undisturbed site and to create public
confidence. In order to achieve the goals of monitoring, it is crucial to obtain near surface,
surface and underground measurements using a variety of ecological, chemical and physical
parameters. Subsequent operational and post-operational monitoring data can then provide
meaningful inputs to assessments.
In the case of radioactive waste, the production of heat by radioactive waste can initially
affect the environment of a repository. Any radionuclide released from the waste containers
technically act as trace contaminants. Radionuclides do not significantly affect the evolution
of the system. On the other hand, the engineered barrier system employed in a radioactive
waste repository significantly modifies the surrounding geological environment. The actual
environmental changes depend on the particular repository design that reflects the nature of
radioactive wastes. Thus, the objectives of a monitoring programme related to a radioactive
waste repository give a significant priority to the near field of waste containers and the
geosphere, as well as radionuclides.
In contrast, a CO2 disposal project relies on the integrity of the geological environment for
containment, and the leakage of CO2 is a major issue to be tested during the early postclosure phase. Additionally, CO2 injection alters the geological environment, such as microseismic events and geochemical changes. The physical form of the CO2 varies with depths
[5.34]. Consequently, it is important to develop protocols to monitor environmental changes
as the result of CO2 leakage for the CO2 disposal site, while the environmental changes
caused by the multibarrier system should be monitored for a radioactive waste disposal site.
In general, surface monitoring in a radioactive waste disposal repository is relatively less
important compared to CO2 disposal soon after the closure and during the post-operational
phase, because the release of radionuclides from the repository is unlikely due to the
engineered barrier system. However, in the case of CO2 disposal, the integrity of the
geological containment of CO2 needs to be tested soon after the closure, because there are no
engineered barriers.
The detailed pre-operational monitoring and characterization of baseline condition are
prerequisites in both areas. In the case of radioactive waste disposal, the geosphere
surrounding a repository can comprise an integral part of the barrier system utilized to
minimize radionuclide migration. In the case of CO2 disposal, geological features (for
example, caprock and sealed fractures) provide barriers to CO2 migration. During the preoperational phase, some monitoring techniques that are used to characterize the baseline
condition at a disposal site for radioactive waste disposal are similar to those used for a CO2
disposal reservoir, e.g. a variety of seismic survey techniques, borehole studies for geological
and hydrogeological data and geochemical analyses. These techniques are useful, not only to
understand a disposal site for CO2 disposal, but also to assure effective CO2 disposal when it
extends into the operational and post-operational phases.
127
There are significant differences in monitoring approaches in both areas. In the case of
radioactive waste, the underground environment hosting the waste is accessible via shafts,
tunnels or drifts. Thus, the near field in which radioactive waste is to be stored is relatively
well characterized, even if uncertainties exist in the surrounding fields. Detailed near field
rock characterization is possible, because this volume has been excavated and accessible in
situ during the construction and operational phases of the project. However, additional
barriers are added to the excavated volume to provide a multibarrier engineered system for
waste containment.
For CO2 disposal projects, in contrast, the amount of information from monitoring is much
sparser, limited to a few boreholes and indirect methods, such as seismic surveys, with no
direct access. For example, the underground disposal of CO2 relies on the intrinsic disposal
capacity of the host rock with its natural porosity and permeability, rather than in an
excavated cavern.
For radioactive waste, the engineered barriers will inevitably become less effective with time,
therefore safety assessment calculations have to consider the return of some radionuclides to
the surface environment, possibly in extremely low concentrations over very long timescales.
This might require long term monitoring to ensure the safety of the repository. While the
probability of radionuclides returning to the environment is almost zero, this is not the case
for CO2 without engineered near field barriers. In the case of CO2 disposal, wells of various
types more likely result in the leakage of CO2 to the environment compared to the radioactive
waste disposal. Thus, understanding the potential impact of wells is one of the key issues for
the geological disposal of CO2 [5.35].
In the case of radioactive waste disposal, the relatively low volume of waste is managed and
disposed of in relatively small facilities. In contrast, CO2 disposal sites are numerous and
mostly large scale. Consequently, CO2 disposal projects likely face more diverse and
challenging issues for monitoring to evaluate the post-operational phase, particularly in terms
of environmental issues.
5.5. CONCLUSIONS
The monitoring techniques used in radioactive waste disposal are based on fundamentals of
geology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, etc., which could also be applied to CO2 disposal. The
monitoring techniques in both areas can be differentiated. The parameters are measured either
directly or indirectly. The direct measurement of materials in air, water or soils can be
performed by using sensors, remote sensing, geochemical methods and tracers. Indirect
measurement methods for targeted materials include well logs, geophysical methods (seismic,
electromagnetic and gravity) and satellite and airplane based monitoring. Among these
geophysical techniques, seismic methods are by far the most highly developed and can cover
a large area with a high resolution. Various research programmes are being performed to
optimize existing monitoring techniques. While improvements can be made and are expected
in all of these areas, today’s technology provides a good starting point.
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SHERIFF, R.E., GELDART, L.P., Exploration Seismology, 2nd edition, Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge (1995).
DOLL, W.E., Reprocessing of shallow seismic reflection data to image faults near a
hazardous waste site on the Oak Ridge reservation, Tennessee, ORNL/CP–96538,
U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, TN (1997).
[5.34] PRUESS, K., Numerical simulation of CO2 leakage from a geologic disposal
reservoir, including transitions from super- to subcritical conditions, and boiling of
liquid CO2, SPE Journal 9 2 (2004) 237–248.
[5.35] NORDBOTTEN, J.M., CELIA, M.A., BACHU, S., DAHLE, H.K., Semi-analytical
solution for CO2 leakage through an abandoned well, Environmental Science &
Technology 39 20 (2005) 602–611.
131
Chapter 6
6.
COST ESTIMATION
D. STREIMIKIENE
Lithuanian Energy Institute,
Lithuania
R. BAJPAI
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC),
India
E. PAZ ORTEGA
Cuba Energia,
Cuba
J.H. RYU
Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute,
Republic of Korea
A. SIMONS
Paul Scherrer Institute,
Switzerland
6.1.
INTRODUCTION
Nuclear power and carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and disposal (CCD) are key greenhouse gas
mitigation options, which are currently under consideration in several countries. Both
technologies entail long term waste management challenges, and both options are based on
geological disposal. These technologies and the related economic calculations have much in
common, and valuable lessons can be learnt from their intercomparison. To compare these
technologies, economic, social and environmental criteria need to be selected and expressed
in terms of indicators.
This chapter analyses the costs of the geological disposal of CO2 and radioactive waste in
several countries. The range of countries considered in this chapter includes those that
contributed to the Coordinated Research Project as partners. Due to the lack of information
on CO2 disposal costs, only radioactive waste disposal costs were assessed for India, the
Republic of Korea and Switzerland. Only CO2 disposal costs were assessed for Cuba because
the country is only considering low level radioactive waste disposal. For Lithuania, both CO2
and radioactive waste disposal costs were assessed and compared. The costs of CO2 and
radioactive waste disposal are evaluated and compared in US cent/kW·h. This chapter also
compares the characteristics and locations of disposal options for CO2 and radioactive waste
in selected countries based on a comprehensive literature review.
Several studies were conducted on the comparative assessment of costs of energy
technologies. In some studies, the costs of back end technologies were assessed in terms of
life cycle costs. The most comprehensive study on a comparative assessment of CO2 and
radioactive waste geological disposal costs was conducted by the International Atomic
Energy Agency. Toth and Miketa [6.1] present in their report the in-depth review of costs of
133
geological disposal of CO2 and radioactive waste for several countries. So far only a few
countries have developed geological radioactive waste and CCD projects, and there is a lack
of comprehensive and comparable data on radioactive waste disposal and CO2 disposal costs.
Some studies compare the costs of the main energy technologies to reduce GHG emissions
from energy systems. The life cycle electricity costs were assessed for fossil fuel based
electricity generation with carbon capture and disposal and nuclear power [6.2].
Levelized costs of electricity generation options were assessed for new power plants in 2015
and 2040, including various fossil fuels with CCD options and nuclear power. However, the
costs of CO2 and radioactive waste disposal were not distinguished in these assessments
[6.3]. Levelized cost is often cited as a convenient summary measure of the overall
competiveness of different generating technologies. It represents the per kilowatt-hour
(kW·h) cost of building and operating a generating plant over an assumed financial life and
duty cycle. Key inputs to calculating levelized costs include overnight capital costs, fuel
costs, fixed and variable operations and maintenance (O&M) costs, financing costs and an
assumed utilization rate for each plant. There are several EU funded projects dealing with the
assessment of energy technologies: EUSUSTEL [6.4], NEEDS [6.5], CASES [6.6] and
PLANETS [6.7]. In these studies, advanced electricity generation technologies including
fossil fuel power plants with CCD and nuclear power plants were assessed. The economic
assessment of energy technologies is based on average levelized electricity generation costs.
Currently, the format, content and practice of cost estimates for geological disposal of
radioactive waste and CO2 vary considerably within and across countries. The reasons are
largely due to different legal requirements in different countries and to historical customs and
practices.
There are no generally accepted reference values for costs of carbon disposal facilities. In the
literature, the range for expected investment expenditures varies remarkably. Studies dealing
with this topic show that investment costs for CO2 disposal depend on the disposal concept,
geographical location and whether the disposal facility is located offshore or onshore.
According to the IPCC [6.8], these costs are between 0.5 and 8 $ per ton of CO2 disposed of,
excluding the potential revenues from enhanced oil recovery (EOR) or enhanced coal bed
methane (ECBM) recovery. The IPCC report presents different estimates of disposal costs for
saline aquifers for different regions of the world. For Europe, costs for onshore options are
between 1.9 and 6.2 US $/t CO2 and for offshore options from 4.7 to 12 $/t CO2. A JRC
Report [6.9] and a McKinsey and Company study [6.10] present similar cost estimates for
CO2 disposal: 4–12 EUR/tCO2 (5.3–15.8 $/tCO2) (for injection depth of 1500 m.). The
POYRY ENERGY CONSULTING study [6.11] presents the range of CO2 disposal in the
UK. These costs may vary between 1 and 20 £/t CO2 (1.6 – 31 $/tCO2.).
The International Energy Agency reports [6.12] that CO2 disposal costs in saline aquifers for
Europe ranges from 10 to 25 $/t CO2, depending on the disposal concept. The ECOFYS study
[6.13] presents detailed analysis of CO2 disposal costs for specific disposal concepts that
depend on the depth of disposal. The estimated CO2 disposal costs are in the range from 1.8
to 11.4 EUR/t CO2.
The Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute in Australia provides in its report an
economic assessment of CCD technologies [6.14]. According to this study, the initial site
finding and characterization costs present a significant risk to the project and can increase
disposal costs from 3.50 to 7.50 $/t CO2, depending on the site investigated. Reservoir
properties, specifically their permeability, impact on CO2 injectivity and the required number
134
of injection wells. Reservoirs with high permeability can reduce disposal costs by a factor of
2, to below 5 US $/t CO2 compared to reservoirs with lower permeability. The costs of
disposal are about 5–6 US $/kWh.
The EU GeoCapacity project [6.15] assessing European capacity for CO2 disposal provides
assessments of the CO2 geological disposal potential in EU Member States. The costs of CO2
disposal range from 0.7–0.8 EUR/kWh.
Several studies on CO2 disposal costs were conducted in the USA. The Study of the Pacific
Northwest National Laboratory presents 15 $/t CO2 costs for CO2 transport and disposal
[6.16]. McCoy [6.17] presents an in-depth analysis of CO2 capture and disposal costs and
develops a cost model based on disposal parameters for his assessment. The sensitivity
analysis indicates that the total costs range from 0.32 to 31.3 US $/t CO2 disposed.
In the EU, participants of the Zero Emissions Platform (ZEP) have undertaken a ground
breaking study on the costs of CO2 disposal based on new data provided exclusively by ZEP
member organizations from existing pilot and planned demonstration projects. The main
conclusion of the study is that CCD will be cost competitive with other sources of low carbon
power plants, including on- and offshore wind, solar and nuclear plants. The costs vary
significantly from € 1–7/t CO2 (1.3–9.2 $/tCO2) disposed for onshore depleted oil and gas
fields (DOGF) to € 6–20/t CO2 (7.9–26.2 $/tCO2) for offshore saline aquifer. The cheapest
disposal reservoirs (large, onshore DOGF) are also the least available ones. Although well
costs are about 40–70% of total disposal costs, the wide ranges in total costs (up to a factor of
10 for a given case) are more driven by (geo) physical variations rather than by the
uncertainty of cost estimates [6.18].
The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the
USA [6.19], [6.20] have developed a comprehensive model for the assessment of CO2
disposal costs for the USA [6.21]. The following disposal concepts were analysed: non-basalt
saline reservoirs, depleted gas and oil reservoirs, EOR, ECBM, shale gas and basalt
reservoirs. The following cost categories were assessed for disposal concepts mentioned
above: geological site characterization; area of review and corrective actions; injection well
construction and operation; financial responsibility; closure and post-closure care;
mechanical integrity testing and monitoring. This study can be used as reference for
developing approximate cost estimates for CO2 disposal projects in other countries.
Regarding the analysis of radioactive waste disposal costs, a wide variety of approaches was
investigated [6.22]. The cost studies were performed for the following radioactive waste
repositories: Yucca Mountain in the USA [6.23], the final radioactive waste repository
Olkiluoto and Loviisa in Finland [6.24], [6.25], [6.26], the final radioactive waste repository
Forsmark in Sweden [6.27], [6.28] and Boom Clay in Belgium [6.29]. Different options were
analysed in Japan [6.30], options based on the Swedish concept were assessed in the UK
[6.31], and cost estimations for a multinational common repository were performed in the EU
[6.32].
For the Yucca Mountain project, the total repository costs are about 96 billion $ (in 2007
dollars). The capacity for disposal is 122 100 t HM. The detailed cost structure is presented,
ranging from repository development to closure and monitoring costs. A cost study by the
DOE for a low level radioactive disposal facility in Texas [6.33] estimated the total costs to
be $ 142 million (in 2007 dollars). The total costs of radioactive waste disposal repositories in
Finland are about 4122 million $ [6.23]. The disposal capacity is 5643 t of uranium. They are
135
more than 20 times higher than for Yucca Mountain. In Sweden, total costs of radioactive
waste disposal amount to 5728 million $ (capacity is about 9296 t of uranium) and are similar
to Finland’s estimates [6.26]. In Belgium, the costs of a deep disposal facility were assessed
for the reference site (Boom Clay, beneath the Mol–Dessel nuclear zone). The total costs
amount to 2035 million $ (disposal capacity is 4860 t of uranium) and are more than 50%
lower than for Finland and Sweden [6.26], [6.28]. In Japan, the final disposal costs were
estimated for soft and hard rocks. A total of 40,000 canisters with radioactive waste will be
disposed. The average costs for both rock types are about $ 33 billion and are almost 50%
lower than for Yucca Mountain. In the UK, total costs were estimated based on the Swedish
repository concept (KBS-3) at approximately 9 billion $ [6.31]. The capacity of disposal
amounts to about 59 200 t of uranium. The SAPPIERR II project, with the participation of 14
EU Member States, developed costs estimates for a multinational common repository. Three
disposal cost assessment models were applied: the Swedish, Swiss and Finnish. The total
costs according to the Swedish and Finnish cost models are approximately 9 billion EUR
(11.8 billion $) and more than 10 billion EUR (13.11 Bill US $) according to the Finnish cost
model [6.26]. The capacity of disposal in the SAPPIERR II project is about 59 200 t of
uranium. The OECD NEA report on the harmonization of decommissioning cost estimates
[6.34] has studied cost estimation practices in 12 countries and concluded that a standard
reporting template needs to be developed onto which national cost estimates can be mapped
for easier comparison at the national and international level.
In the framework of this CRP, a comparative analysis of radioactive waste and CO2
geological disposal costs for several countries is presented. The case studies of Lithuania,
Switzerland, Republic of Korea and India were developed to assess and compare costs of
radioactive waste disposal by applying the same structure for analysis and comparison: the
concept of disposal and the main costs categories are discussed. The costs of CO2 disposal
were assessed and compared for Cuba and Lithuania by applying the same methodology. The
total costs of radioactive waste and CO2 disposal were assessed and compared by applying
the same units just for Lithuania. The assessments provided in this chapter are limited by
contributions of CRP partners.
This chapter is organized as follows: Section 6.2 presents the cost assessment methodology,
followed by country case studies in Section 6.3. A comparative assessment of disposal costs
is presented in Section 6.4. The main conclusions are summarized in Section 6.5.
6.2.
METHODOLOGY
The geological disposal of CO2 and radioactive waste is the final stage in the electricity
generation chain for both fossil and nuclear fuels. Both options have a positive impact on
GHG emission reduction because CCD significantly reduces the amount of CO2 vented to the
atmosphere and nuclear power is a low carbon technology. The comparison of electricity
generation costs for various fuel chains should include the costs of CO2 and radioactive waste
disposal.
There are several options for CO2 geological disposal available in all the countries considered
in this comparison: deep saline aquifers, depleted oil and gas fields, coal mines, etc. The
location and type of the field (available knowledge and reusable infrastructure), reservoir
capacity and quality are the main determinants for costs: onshore disposal is cheaper than
offshore; DOGFs are cheaper than deep saline aquifers; larger reservoirs are cheaper than
smaller ones and high injectivity is cheaper than poor injectivity. The regulations and legal
requirements applied in the countries (see Section 8) also have an impact on costs; therefore,
136
the comparison of costs for CO2 disposal data between countries was presented together with
technical information on the disposal site. Geological disposal can be undertaken in a number
of geological formations; the most commonly studied rock types are clay, salt, hard rocks,
etc. The depth at which the disposed material would be emplaced depends to a large extent on
the type of formation used and the isolation capacity of the overlying formations.
The disposal of radioactive waste is possible only in deep and stable geological formations
with engineered barriers. Only certain types of waste are regarded as needing geological
disposal, i.e. long lived intermediate level waste (ILW), high level waste (HLW) and spent
nuclear fuel (SNF). Many other types of low level waste can be safely disposed of in near
surface facilities. In this chapter, the focus is on deep geological disposal.
Containment and isolation of radioactive waste is provided both by the containers into which
the waste is put before being emplaced in the repository and by various additional engineered
barriers and the natural barrier provided by the host rock. The disposal concept will, thus,
vary with the type of geological environment under consideration, specifically the host rock,
and the waste forms for disposal.
The disposal concept, depth, capacity and quality have a major impact on radioactive waste
disposal costs. An important cost element in radioactive waste disposal is administration
costs. Administration costs may include safeguards and security activities, regulatory
infrastructure and management support costs. There are other costs included in cost estimates,
such as benefits paid to the state and local entities, contingency or value added tax.
The main indicator for the comparison of radioactive waste and CO2 disposal costs in this
study is the disposal costs per unit of electricity produced. The main difference in assessing
the costs is the timing of investments. In the case of CO2 disposal, almost all investments
must be completed before starting CO2 capture from power plants except long term
monitoring and site care costs, whereas investments in radioactive waste disposal can be
completed after the decommissioning of the NPPs. A comparative assessment of radioactive
waste and CO2 disposal costs will be presented by applying the indicator of disposal costs per
unit of electricity produced. The disposal costs per unit of waste products (radioactive waste
and CO2) will also be assessed per t HM and t CO2 and compared between several countries.
The following four cost categories were assessed for radioactive waste disposal: (1) the costs
of project administration, site exploration, repository development, site investigation costs;
(2) engineering costs; (3) radioactive waste handling and disposal operation and maintenance
costs; (4) site closure, post-closure and monitoring costs.
The following four cost categories were assessed for CO2 disposal: (1) the costs of project
administration, geological site characterization, area of review and corrective actions; (2)
engineering costs of injection well construction; (3) well operation costs including
mechanical integrity test and other corrective actions costs; (4) site closure and post-closure
care and monitoring. All costs items were separated into capital and operational expenditures.
The background information for the assessment of disposal costs per kW·h of electricity
produced was provided by the country teams participating in this CRP. The information
includes the amount of electricity generated during the lifetime of nuclear and fossil power
plants, the amount of radioactive waste accumulated during the lifetime of the nuclear power
plants and to be disposed of in the repository and the CO2 disposal capacity. The units for the
amount of accumulated radioactive waste were different for some countries, e.g. for India and
137
Cuba. In order to obtain cost estimates per t HM, a conversion coefficient was applied, i.e.
the average amount of SNF generated per GW/year of net electricity produced by all reactors
(39.9 t HM per GW·year) was applied to assess the amount of radioactive waste to be
disposed of.
The information on costs presented by countries was not detailed enough to assess the net
present value, and capital costs were given as overnight costs without accounting for interest
during construction and without cost escalation. Therefore, the cost data were adjusted to a
price level of 2010 and expressed in US dollars by applying prevailing exchange rates. All
cost items were separated into capital and operational expenditures. The disposal costs per
unit of electricity produced were assessed in capital and operational expenditures.
This chapter describes the main technical data on CO2 and radioactive waste disposal, the
main assumptions, costs and literature referenced for the CO2 and radioactive waste cost
estimates for specific countries (Cuba, Lithuania, Republic of Korea, Switzerland and India).
The country cost data on CO2 and radioactive waste disposal were obtained from national
case studies and other documents, and are presented in local currency for some countries. The
country cost data are expressed in $ and compared in Section 6.5.
Costs of CO2 disposal were compared in detail for Lithuania and Cuba because other
countries did not provide cost data. The costs of radioactive waste disposal were compared
for four countries: India, Lithuania, Republic of Korea and Switzerland, because Cuba
provided only the costs of low level radioactive waste disposal in a near surface repository
and such cost data are incomparable.
The cost data presented in this chapter provide the original values from the country case
studies and cited studies, but for the comparison tables, a common metric of $ 2010 is used
by applying the appropriate GDP deflators and converting other currencies at average 2010
exchange rates.
6.3.
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES
6.3.1.
6.3.1.1.
Cuba
Costs of CO2 disposal
Disposal concept
Many factors need to be considered in CO2 disposal. Cost and performance estimates are
critical factors in energy and policy analysis and, by necessity, employ many technical and
economic assumptions that can dramatically affect the results. These parameters are: site
characterization, monitoring, injection well construction, area of review and corrective
actions, well operation, mechanical integrity test, post-injection well plugging, and site care,
financial responsibility and general and administrative activities [6.19].
Unit costs are specified in terms of cost per site, per well, per square mile and other
parameters depending on the characteristics of the cost item. The unit costs are applied to
type cases which include specification for total area, depth, thickness, well injectivity,
number of wells through time and other parameters [6.19]. Table 6.1 shows the main
characteristics of the thermal power plant and the reservoir selected for CO2 disposal.
138
TABLE 6.1. KEY PERFORMANCE PARAMETERS (BASE YEAR 2008)
No
Parameter
Value or description
(1)
Power plant type, fuel and capacity, MW
Thermal power plant, fuel oil, 270
(2)
Electricity produced per year, MWh
1 229 904
(3)
Utilization rate, % of the year
0.52
(4)
Life time of power plant, years
15 after remodelling
(5)
Average CO2 emissions per year, million
tons
1.13
(6)
CO2 capture rate, %
90 perspective
(7)
CO2 disposal type
Depleted gas reservoir
(8)
Location
328896.58E, 2544203.93N Cuba. Onshore
(9)
Number of wells
1 injection well, 2 monitoring wells.
(10)
Injection or Reservoir Depth, m
1310
(11)
Reservoir thickness, m
33
(12)
CO2 supply pressure, MPa
13,9 in the reservoir
(13)
Reservoir horizontal permeability, mD
3 (average)
(14)
Stratigraphy
Cretaceous (K2 cp-m2)
(15)
Lithology
Gravel, marl, limestone etc.
(16)
Number of wells in the area
5
(17)
Injection wells
1
(18)
Monitoring wells
2
(19)
Years of the project (injection of CO2)
15
(20)
Volume of CO2 to be disposed, Mt/year
1.02
(21)
Disposal capacity, million m3
74.4
Total costs of CO2 disposal
Cuba has not yet implemented geological disposal of CO2 in any of its variants and no
methodology has been developed to estimate its costs. On the basis of the methodology
developed by the US EPA [6.19] for economic assessment of the geological disposal of CO2,
the data compilation of the oil activity in Cuba and a preliminary estimation of disposal cost
of CO2 (see Table 6.2) in the selected location were carried out.
139
TABLE 6.2. ESTIMATED COSTS USING THE EPA METHODOLOGY
No
Activities
Costs, Million $ (2010)
(1)
Geologic site characterization
0.3
(2)
Monitoring
2.7
(3)
Injection well construction
4.3
(4)
Area of review and corrective actions
0.2
(5)
Well operation
0.9
(6)
Mechanical integrity test
1.1
(7)
Post-injection well plugging, and site care
1.56
(8)
Financial responsibility
0.26
Total cost
11.29
Considering the uncertainties referred to in the EPA methodology, the costs estimated could
be higher considering the particular characteristics of Cuba.
6.3.1.2.
Conclusions
Currently, geological disposal of CO2 is not undertaken in Cuba. Official cost estimate of
geological disposal of CO2 has not been prepared. Cuba is considering CO2 disposal into oil
fields by applying the enhanced oil recovery (EOR) option. The estimated costs for this
chapter were calculated by using the methodology of the EPA, which includes a prior
estimate of an emission source and a disposal site.
The geological disposal of CO2 are estimated to be around 0.732 $/t CO2 or 0.06 US
cent/kWh.
6.3.2.
6.3.2.1.
India
Costs of radioactive waste disposal
Disposal concept
The design of the Indian conceptual geological repository takes into consideration the
disposal of 10 000 stainless steel overpacks containing vitrified high level waste at a depth of
400–500 m in granites. The proposed layout of the facility would spread over an area of
about 2 × 2 km. A conceptual design and layout of a repository with a capacity of ten
thousand overpacks has been developed for analysis with the application of suitable computer
codes using site specific data on host rock properties, in situ geological conditions,
overburden stresses, depth dimensions of underground excavations supplemented with
radiological and thermal characteristics of overpacks. The conceptual design of the repository
includes one main shaft (6 m) for accessibility and another ventilation shaft (4 m). The
facility comprises two orthogonal transportation tunnels of 800 m length each. A total of 63
140
disposal tunnels (each of 110 m length), with the capacity to hold about 40 waste overpacks
each, aligned at right angle to transportation tunnels have been included in the design. The
disposal pit depth for hosting a 2 m long overpack has been fixed at 5 m with a diameter of
85 cm. A layer of compacted smectite clay bricks with a maximum thickness of 50 cm is
proposed to be inserted between the overpack and the rock mass. The key performance
parameters for radioactive waste disposal in India are presented in Table 6.3.
TABLE 6.3. KEY PERFFORMANCE PARAMETERS FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE
DISPOSAL IN INDIA.
No
Parameter
Value or description
(1)
Nuclear power plant type, fuel, total PHWR, UO2 4780
installed capacity, MW(e)
(2)
Electricity produced during the life 1592
time, million MW·h
(3)
Utilization rate, % of the year
Between 90–95
(4)
Life time of power plant, years
40
(5)
Radioactive waste disposal type
Multibarrier concept
(6)
Location, rock type
Granite
(7)
Underground depth of repository, m
500
(8)
The area of isolating rock zone, km2
2×2
(9)
Containers used
SS canister in SS overpacks
(10) Natural barriers
Granite,
(11) Man-made barriers
Bentonite clay backfills and buffer
The amount of radioactive waste
(12) disposed, tHM (heavy metal)
7661 (estimated based on the average amount of
SNF generated per GW/year for nuclear reactors
(39.9 tHM)
Note: SS – stainless steel, SNF – spent nuclear fuel
Cost categories
Site characterization and selection activities
In India, site selection is based on the principle of screening large areas, measuring thousands
of square kilometres in at least four to six regions in various parts of the country in stages and
phases, based on well defined site selection criteria to systematically narrow down the area to
a few promising zones of four to five square kilometres. The systematic site evaluation
methodology has been developed and applied in larger regions occupied by granites through
three distinct stages. In the initial stage, most of the information pertaining to geology,
141
hydrogeology, structure and aspects related to socio-political and economic factors is derived
from secondary datasets, mainly involving published reports of national agencies like the
Geological Survey of India, Indian Meteorology Department, National Land Use and Soil
Survey Department, Groundwater Survey Departments, National Geophysical Research
Institute, etc. The information is integrated in a geographical information system (GIS)
environment, preferably on a 1:250 000 scale. The second stage of investigation mainly
focuses on the zones obtained through first stage investigations of large regions, and
essentially involves data generation on 1:50 000 and 1:25 000 scales. The third stage of
investigation is marked by very detailed geological and structural surveys on a 1:1000 scale,
as well as geophysical surveys like resistivity, gravity, magnetic, etc. on a 50 × 50 m grid.
The site has been further evaluated by means of 6000 m drilling and associated borehole
based investigations. The cost estimates for various activities have been taken up based on
data generated during the site characterization campaign and generic information from other
mining projects in India. No specific cost estimation models currently available have been
applied and the cost estimation have been made on very conservative parameters, mainly
taking into considerations the expenditures involved in ongoing site characterization activities
and URL development programmes (see Table 6.4).
TABLE 6.4. COST ESTIMATES FOR SITE SELECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION
No
Activity
5
(1)
Regional screening of promising Surveys on 1:50 000 scale,
area based on secondary data sets
and satellite based imagery
10
(2)
Detailed
geological, On 1:50 000 to 1:1000 scale,
hydrogeological, structural surveys pump tests
on various scales
(3)
In situ stress and hydrogeological Testing in at least 30–40
testing
boreholes at regular interval
5
Geophysical surveys
Electrical, gravity and seismic
surveys on 1:50 000 to 1:1000
scale for penetration up to 1km
depth
10
Drilling operations
75–100 boreholes with total
drilling of 20 000 to 30 000m
20
Laboratory based studies
5000 to 7000 samples of rock
water, soil and other media
10
(4)
(5)
(6)
Details
Cost,
Million $
(2010)
Generic URL site characterization Shaft sinking, excavation of
30
and construction and experiments
drives and major experiments
Note: The cost data includes only site selection, construction of the facility and R&D projects
and excludes waste immobilization, interim storage and transport.
(7)
142
Construction
The total costs of construction are 500 million $ (Table 6.5).
TABLE 6.5. COST ESTIMATION FOR CONSTRUCTION
No
Activity
50
(1)
Main and ventilation shaft sinking and One access shaft 500 m
associated mechanical systems
deep with 6 m diameter,
one auxiliary shaft for
ventilation
(2)
Excavation of two transportation tunnel
(800m each), 63 disposal tunnels
100
(3)
Excavation of 10 000 disposal pits, waste 5 m deep,
emplacement and erection of engineered 2.5 m
barriers
(4)
In
situ
measurements
and
other Stress and
underground characterization studies
conductivity
measurements
(5)
Sealing and grouting of fracture and other As per requirements
support systems
25
In situ URL base experiments
Mainly TMH experiment,
FTT
50
(7)
Electrical systems
60 years of operations
50
(8)
Ventilation systems and transportation As per requirements
system
100
Total
500
(6)
Details
Cost
Million $
(2010)
spaced
at
100
hydraulic
25
Note: TMH – Thermal-Mechanical-Hydraulic, FTT – Fracture Toughness Test
Operation
The operation cost in the Indian case will mainly include transportation of waste overpacks
from vitrification and interim disposal facilities to the disposal site, their surface storage at
the repository site, and transport of overpacks to underground location of disposal, their
emplacement into disposal pits, erection of engineered barriers and closure of disposal pits.
The operation period has been estimated to be in the order of 60 years. Other operational
activities adding to the costs include radiological monitoring, decontamination of handling
equipment, repair and replacement of waste handling and emplacement systems, etc. A
preliminary estimate during the operational phase of geological repository is of the order of
300 million $.
143
No detailed estimation of costs related to closure and post-closure activities has been made in
India, but a preliminary assessment based on generic datasets indicates a total cost of 100
million $. Total costs of radioactive waste disposal in India are obtained by summing up costs
of site exploration and improvement, engineering, radioactive waste handling, disposal
operation and maintenance, site closure and administrative costs (Table 6.6).
TABLE 6.6. COST COMPONENTS FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL IN INDIA
No
Cost component
Capital costs, Operational
Million $
expenditures,
(2010)
Million $
(2010)
100
100
(1)
Site exploration and improvement costs
(repository development, site investigation
etc.) including URL cost
500
500
(2)
Engineering costs (underground and above
ground facilities, excavation, repository
construction, monitoring, etc.)
(3)
Waste handling, disposal operation and
maintenance costs (expenses for labour,
chemicals, surface and underground
equipment maintenance, cost of energy to
operate equipment, etc.)
(4)
Site closure and post-closure costs (site
care, monitoring, etc.)
100
100
(5)
Administrative costs
50
50
Total
750
300
300
Total,
Million
US $
(2010)
300
1050
Using information from Table 6.6 on electricity generation by all power plants during their
operation time (1592 million MW·h) and their assessed amount of accumulated radioactive
waste (7661 tHM), the costs of radioactive waste disposal per t HM and kW·h of electricity
generated can be evaluated. Radioactive waste disposal costs in India amount to 137 058 t
HM and 0.7 $/MW·h or 0.07 US cents/kW·h, and are quite low compared with radioactive
waste disposal costs found in the literature review presented in Section 6.1.
6.3.2.2.
Conclusions
The studies related to CO2 disposal in India are currently focused on estimation of the CO2
disposal potential in various geological formations. There are no estimates for cost of CO2
geological disposal. Therefore, the costs of CO2 disposal are not included in this section and
comparative analysis of back end technologies for India has not been performed.
The radioactive waste disposal cost estimates for India are made for site selection,
characterization, construction, operation and closure. These estimates are based on a
conceptual design of deep geological disposal facility and do not include the costs of waste
treatment, immobilization, transportation, interim disposal and monitoring. Radioactive waste
disposal costs in India amount to 0.07 US cents/kW·h for a total of 137 058 t HM and are
quite low compared to those in other countries.
144
6.3.3.
6.3.3.1.
Republic of Korea
Costs of radioactive waste disposal
Disposal concept
High level radioactive waste disposal costs largely relate to above ground facilities and the
underground facilities of a repository. According to a cost analysis undertaken in Finland,
costs required for building above ground facilities are approximately twice the construction
costs of underground facilities [6.35]. An underground facility is required to dispose of the
spent fuel generated from a power plant in a place deep underground in order to safely isolate
it from the biosphere for a long period of time. As no spent fuel repository has been built in
the Republic of Korea to date, it is difficult to accurately estimate the costs of repository
construction. For this reason, data from a reference repository is used in this study [6.36]. The
main parameters of the radioactive waste disposal facility in the Republic of Korea are
presented in Table 6.7.
Cost categories
Cost items for a disposal cost estimate are divided into three categories such as investment
costs, operational costs and closure costs. It is essential to estimate the most dominant cost
driver for high level radioactive waste disposal. According to the former studies, it was found
that the most critical cost driver for surface facilities for an HLW repository were the
manufacturing costs of the canisters [6.37] because of their outer shell is made of very
expensive copper. Thus, the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) has changed
the dimensions of its canister to increase the loading capacity of the spent fuel, and also the
manufacturing method of the outer canister from a thick-plate fabrication method to a cold
spray coating method [6.36].
To dispose of more spent fuel in a deep rock, KAERI developed a parallel operating system
for a repository through collaboration with POSIVA in Finland. Both the excavations and the
operation to install a canister into a disposal hole will be performed simultaneously for 25
years [6.38]. Thus, this parallel work can be considered for 25 years to calculate the costs
with respect to the conceptual design of a repository. In addition, a longer operational
duration may be needed to dispose of more spent fuels continuously from a nuclear power
plant, or to achieve retrievability of an HLW repository at a depth of 500 m below the ground
level in a stable plutonic rock body. In this sense, an extended operational duration for an
HLW repository affects the overall disposal costs [6.39].
KAERI has collaborated with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to estimate the
costs of surface facilities for an HLW repository since 2007. From these results, the canister
costs turned out to be the most dominant cost factor for surface facilities, and the personnel
costs were also significant in the operational costs [6.40]. In the Republic of Korea, the unit
manufacturing cost of the canister was estimated to be 163 586 EUR [6.37]. It was estimated
that 2835 canisters would be required to dispose of 16 000 tU of CANDU spent fuel in a deep
rock. Thus the canister costs will be one of the dominant cost drivers.
145
TABLE 6.7. KEY PERFORMANCE PARAMETERS FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE
DISPOSAL IN THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA
No
Parameter
(1)
Nuclear power plant type and capacity, 24 PWRs (about 1000 MW(e)/PWR),
MW
4 PHWRs (about 700 MW(e)/PHWR)
(2)
Electricity produced during the life time 8545
of nuclear power plant, million MW·h
(3)
Average annual utilization rate of NPP, %
About 91
(4)
Life time of power plant, years
40 years
(5)
Radioactive waste disposal type
KBS-3 vertical Type
(6)
Location, rock type
Not determined but preferably granite
(7)
Underground depth of Repository, m
About 500 m
(8)
The area of isolating rock zone, km2
About 4.6 km2
Type and amount of containers used
Inner vessel: modular cast iron, outer shell:
copper
(9)
(10) Natural barriers
(11)
(12)
Value or description
Host rock : granite
Man-made barriers
Engineered barrier:
buffer, backfill
disposal
canister,
The amount of radioactive waste for
disposal, tHM (Heavy metal)
36 000 (PWR: 20 000 tHM; CANDU:
16 000) tHM)
Note: PWR – pressurized water reactor, PHWR – pressurized heavy water reactor, CANDU –
Canada deuterium uranium
In the Korean Reference Disposal System (KRS), the duration of disposing the PWR and
CANDU spent fuel into disposal holes is called the operational duration. The feasibility study
of operating a repository for 55 years should be performed to assess its economic
performance.
The main items of the operational costs are composed of the backfilling costs of the tunnels,
bentonite costs of the disposal holes, and the personnel costs. Among these costs, it was
estimated that a significant charge for the operational costs were the personnel costs. But the
excavation costs to a depth of 500 m are not well known. The estimated personnel costs will
be 1 556 000 EUR or 2 041 000 $ per year, so the total costs for 80 years are estimated to be
124 480 000 EUR or 163 321 000 $. The main cost components for radioactive waste
disposal in the Republic of Korea are presented in Table 6.8.
146
TABLE 6.8. COST COMPONENTS OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL IN THE
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
No
Cost component
Capital
expenditure,
Million $
(2010)
(1)
Project administration, R&D, site exploration
and
improvement
costs
(repository
development, site investigation, etc.)
(2)
Engineering costs (underground and above
ground facilities, infrastructure construction,
excavation,
repository
construction,
monitoring, etc.)
(3)
Waste handling and disposal operation and
maintenance costs (expenses for labour,
chemicals, surface and underground equipment
maintenance, cost of energy to operate
equipment, etc.)
(4)
Site closure and post-closure costs (site care,
monitoring, etc.)
273
Total
8395
Operational
expenditure,
Million $
(2010)
Total,
Million
$ (2010)
1481
1481
6641
6641
11 176
11 176
273
11 176
19 571
Using information from Table 6.7 on electricity generation by all power plants during their
operation time (8545 million MW·h) and assessed amount of radioactive waste accumulated
(36 000 t HM), the costs of radioactive waste disposal per t HM and kW·h of electricity
generated can be calculated. Radioactive waste disposal costs in the Republic of Korea
amount to $ 543 639 t HM and 0.23 US cents/kW·h and are very high compared with
radioactive waste disposal costs presented in Section 6.1.
6.3.3.2.
Conclusions
No specific CO2 geological disposal site has been identified in the Republic of Korea. No
information on cost estimation is available for CO2 pre-processing, the establishment or the
operation of disposal facilities due to the absence of a CO2 disposal reference system.
Therefore, the costs for a comparative analysis of back end technologies have not been
performed.
As no spent fuel repository has been built in the Republic of Korea to date, it is difficult to
accurately predict the costs of the repository construction. For this reason, data from a
reference repository is used in this study. The Swedish concept KBS-3 vertical was applied
by KAERI for the development of the repository. Radioactive waste disposal costs for a
quantity of 543 639 t HM amount to 0.23 US Cents/kW·h, which are very high compared to
radioactive waste disposal costs analysed in Section 6.1.
147
6.3.4. Lithuania
6.3.4.1.
Costs of radioactive waste disposal
Disposal concept
Some 22 000 nuclear fuel assemblies, an equivalent of approximately 2500 tonnes of
uranium, were used at the Ignalina NPP throughout its operation. All these assemblies should
be stored for about 50 years and then be disposed of. In order to manage and dispose of the
SNF, the long lived radioactive waste will be transported from the Ignalina NPP to the deep
geological repository, that is assumed to be operational in 2041 [6.41], [6.42]. The disposal
concept for RBMK-1500 SNF in crystalline rocks is based on the Swedish KBS-3 concept
[6.27], with radioactive waste emplacement into copper canisters with cast iron insert. The
bentonite and its mixture with crushed rock are foreseen as buffer and backfill material.
About 1400 canisters will be required [6.43], [6.44]. The main parameters of radioactive
waste disposal in Lithuania are presented in Table 6.9.
Cost categories
The general stages for SNF disposal are: pre-operation, operation and post-operation phases
[6.1]. A cost estimation for the model case of deep repository in Lithuania has been carried
out. This preliminary cost assessment is based on experience accumulated during the
development of the Swedish KBS-3V concept [6.27] and is now applied to the Lithuanian
case. In order to give some guarantees to cover the loss as a result of future unforeseen
events, reasonable additional costs (cost variations) are included in the calculations. The same
methodology as in Sweden for the cost assessment of SNF disposal has been employed
[6.45]. The result gives a mean value of the cost (future costs) and the standard deviation of
the cost for the chosen 50% degree of confidence [6.46].
Planning, preliminary research and administration
The Lithuanian Radioactive Waste Management Agency (RATA) is engaged in permanent
administration activities related to the disposal of SNF and long lived waste. It is foreseen
that approximately 20 persons from RATA’s staff and about 150 people from outside of
RATA will be involved in waste handling and research works. The costs of planning,
administration and preliminary research were evaluated to be in the range 200–224 million
Lithuanian litas (Lt) (2005) or 76–85 million $.
The main purpose of the research, development and demonstration (RD&D) programme is to
collect the necessary information, knowledge and data to realize final disposal of SNF and
other long lived radioactive wastes. The costs of the RD&D programme and safety analysis
are evaluated in the range of 859–1064 million Lt (325–404 million $) (2005) [6.46].
Site characterization and selection activities
The basic objective of the site characterization process is to select a suitable site for the
disposal of SNF and long lived waste and to demonstrate that the selected site, in conjunction
with a deep repository design and radioactive waste package, has properties which provide
adequate isolation of radionuclides from the biosphere for the desired period of time. The
cost estimate for site characterization is based on the Swedish methodology [6.27] and
amounts to 334–421 million Lt or 127–160 million $ (2005) [6.46].
148
TABLE 6.9. KEY PERFORMANCE PARAMETERS FOR RADIOACTIE WASTE IN
LITHUANIA.
No
Parameter
Value or description
(1)
Nuclear power plant type, capacity, MW and
fuel
2 RBMK-1500 MW(e) reactors,
uranium
(2)
Electricity produced during the life time of
nuclear power plant, million MW·h
307.9
Average utilization rate, % of the year
80
Life time of power plant, years
21
Radioactive waste disposal type
Swedish concept (KBS-3V)
Location, rock type
Crystalline rock
Underground depth of repository, m
300–500
The area of isolating rock zone, km2
0.4
Type and amount of containers used
2400 copper canisters with cast iron
insert
Natural barrier
Granite
Man-made barrier
Bentonite
Amount of radioactive waste for disposal, t HM
7945
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
(8)
(9)
(10)
(11)
(12)
Construction
The construction of the system (rail) needed to transport radioactive waste from the interim
storage site (Ignalina NPP) to the encapsulation plant (deep repository site) is considered. It is
intended to use the same transport system for the immobilized long lived waste from the
interim storage to the deep repository. It is assumed that the deep repository will be about 120
– 200 km from the Ignalina NPP, but not more than 350 km (largest distance across
Lithuania). Investments in the transportation system are estimated to be in the order of 239–
309 million Lt or 91–117 million $ [6.46].
Before the radioactive waste is emplaced in a deep repository, it must be encapsulated in
canisters. One canister contains 32 RBMK fuel half-assemblies. It is estimated that
approximately 1400 copper canisters of the Swedish type will be necessary for the disposal of
all spent fuel from the Ignalina NPP. It is assumed that the capacity of the plant will be 50
canisters per year. Encapsulation is planned to take place in the area of the deep repository.
149
The plant will be dismantled and decommissioned at the end of the deposition period. The
construction costs of the encapsulation plant are estimated in the range of 851–1188 million
Lt or 323–451 million $. The costs of decommissioning are included in the investments costs.
The investments into facilities above ground (operation sites) for the deep repository are
about 701–947 million Lt or 266–360 million $ (2005). The investments into underground
facilities (shafts, access tunnels and service areas) are about 945–1366 million Lt or 359–519
million $ (2005). The investments into other underground facilities such as deposition panels
are about 105–146 million Lt or 40–55.5 million $ (2005). The investments into a deep
repository are about 43–51 million Lt or 16.3–19.4 million $ (2005). All these investment
costs include costs of closure and decommissioning costs, as well. The investment costs of
the interim storage of spent fuel are not included in these cost estimates [6.46].
Operation
The costs of operation, maintenance and decommissioning of an interim storage (including
costs of the disposal containers and waste conditioning) have been estimated as part of the
deep repository costs. The operation and maintenance of the transportation system are
estimated to be 73–90 million Lt or 27.7–34.2 million $ (2005). Operation and maintenance
costs for the encapsulation plant are assessed in the range of 317–410 million Lt or 120.4–
155.8 million $ (2005). The operation and maintenance costs for canisters amount to 295–402
million Lt or 112.1–152.7 million $ (2005). The operation and maintenance costs of the
above ground facility are about 565–722 million Lt or 214.6–274.3 million $ (2005). The
operation and maintenance costs of the underground facilities (shafts, access tunnels and
service area) are 48–50 million Lt (2005). The costs of backfill are approximately 129–171
million Lt or 49–65 million $ (2005). O&M costs for deposition panels are 38–50 million Lt
or 14.4–19 million $ (2005). The O&M costs for deep repository including backfill costs are
estimated to be 343–401 million Lt or 130.3–152.4 million $ (2005) [6.46].
The costs of closure, verification and monitoring are included in the investment costs of
above ground and underground facilities and deep repository of radioactive waste. The total
costs of radioactive waste disposal are summarized in Table 6.10. The costs assessed in Litas
(2005) were converted into $ (2010) by taking into account the exchange rates and annual
inflation rates over the period 2005–2010.
Table 6.10 shows the estimated future costs with a 50% probability for the radioactive waste
management system according to the reference scenario. The costs for different facilities are
reported here in the following items (cost categories): investment, operation and
maintenance, decommissioning and backfill. Investment costs normally only include those
costs that arise before a facility is put into operation. The difference of approximately 32% (~
2200 million Lt or about 840 million $) of the future costs in comparison to reference costs
gives guarantees of 50% to cover the loss due to unforeseen future events and uncertainties
(cost variations) estimated in the calculations.
150
TABLE 6.10. COST COMPONENTS OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL IN
LITHUANIA
No
Cost component
1393–
1709
500–600
(1)
Programme administration, R&D, 1393–1709
site exploration and improvement
costs (repository development, site
investigation, etc.)
2893–
4007
1000–
1400
(2)
Engineering costs (underground 2893–4007
and above ground facilities,
infrastructure
construction,
excavation,
repository
construction, monitoring, etc.)
2244–2875
2244–
2875
800–
1000
(3)
Radioactive waste handling and
disposal
operation
and
maintenance costs (expenses for
labour, chemicals, surface and
underground
equipment
maintenance, cost of energy to
operate equipment, etc.)
(4)
Site closure and post-closure costs (site care, monitoring, etc.)
-
-
-
Total
2244–2875
6530–
8591
2300–
3000
6.3.4.2.
Capital
expenditure,
million Lt
(2005)
4286–5716
Operational Total,
expenditure, million
million Lt Lt (2005)
(2005)
Total,
million
$ (2010)
Costs of CO2 disposal
Disposal concept
Only two large aquifers in the Baltic States meet the requirements for CO2 disposal: the
Lower-Middle Devonian (Pärnu-Kemeri formations) and Middle Cambrian aquifers, located
at depths exceeding 800 m in the central and western parts of the Baltic basin [6.47]. The
thickness of the aquifers is in the range of 20–70 m [6.48]. There are three potential
geological aquifer structures in south-west Lithuania: Vaskai (8.7 million t), Syderiai (21.5
million t) and D11 (11.3 million t), which can store a total of 41.5 Mt of CO2 [6.47]. Syderiai
has the highest potential therefore this option was selected for the assessment of CO2 disposal
costs in Lithuania. The main characteristics of the Syderiai geological structure for the CO2
disposal are presented in Table 6.11. CO2 emissions from the main power plants are about 2.1
Mt/year. The electricity produced per year corresponds to the operation of thermal power
plant with a capacity of 1800 MW.
151
TABLE 6.11. MAIN CHARACTERISTICS OF CO2 DISPOSAL IN THE SYDERIAI
GEOLOGICAL STRUCTURE IN LITHUANIA
No
Parameter
Value or description
(1)
Power plant type, fuel and capacity, MW
Thermal power plant, natural
gas and HFO, 1800 MW
(2)
Average annual electricity generation MW·h
2 938 000
(3)
Power plant utilization rate, % of the year
65
(4)
Average CO2 emissions per year, million t
2.4
(5)
CO2 capture rate, %
90
(6)
CO2 disposal concept
Saline aquifer
(7)
Seismicity
3-D
(8)
CO2 disposal capacity at 100% disposal efficiency,
million m3
100
(9)
Stratigraphy
Middle Cambrian
(10)
Lithology
Sandstone
(11)
Area of well spacing, km2
26
(13)
Number of injection wells
3
(14)
Total number of monitoring wells
1
(15)
Injection pipe diameter, m
0.14
(16)
Injection depth, m
1458
(17)
Reservoir thickness, m
57
(18)
CO2 supply pressure, MPa
15.3
(19)
Reservoir horizontal permeability, mD
400
(20)
Disposal efficiency factor
0.3
(21)
CO2 disposal capacity, Mt
21.5
(22)
Injection period (years)
10
(23)
Volume of CO2 disposed
21.5 Mt
152
There are no cost estimates available for CO2 disposal in Lithuania. The methodology
developed by the US EPA [6.19] was applied for assessing CO2 disposal costs in the Syderiai
geological structure in this study.
The main cost components for CO2 disposal applied in EPA studies (2010) are the following:
site characterization, injection well construction, monitoring, well operation, mechanical
integrity test, area of review and corrective actions, site closure (post-injection well plugging
and site care), financial responsibility and administrative costs. The same cost components
were applied for CO2 disposal assessment at Syderiai.
The costs of site characterization are highly dependent on the requirements of the regulatory
regime for the project. However, given that CO2 should be isolated from the atmosphere for
long timescales, it would be prudent to monitor the surface of the area in which the injected
CO2 is likely to spread over a set time horizon, to ensure that conduits to the surface, natural
or otherwise, do not exist. Therefore, the main factor affecting the costs of site
characterization will be the overall size of the area under consideration. McCoy suggests the
approximate costs associated with characterising this area to be about $38 610 per km2 for
geophysical characterization (3-D seismic); $ 3 000 000 to drill and log a well; and an
additional 30% of these total costs for data processing, modelling and other services [6.17].
One well would be required for every 65 km2 of the review area [6.17]. These costs for the
Syderiai disposal would be about 1 million $ for geophysical investigation, 30 million $ for
drilling the well and 9 million $ additional costs related to data processing and modelling.
The total costs of site characterization are about 3.2 million $ (2008). The site
characterization costs for the pilot project in saline aquifers for different regulatory regimes
in the USA are evaluated to be in the range of 1.4–4.4 million $ (2008) [6.20]. Table 2 of
reference [6.17] presents unit costs for site characterization (per site and per square mile
surveyed) developed for the USA; the site characterization costs for the Syderiai disposal
(surveyed area of about 42 km2) amounts to 1.9 million $ (2008).
The design of the monitoring wells is included in the monitoring section. Injection well
construction costs include the development of standard plans associated with current
Underground Injection Control regulations (e.g. the drilling and casing plan, wellhead
equipment plan, and downhole equipment selection), as well as pre-operational logging,
sampling and testing. Costs are specified as a base cost per site and a cost per injection well
in Table 4 in reference [6.19]. The injection well construction costs for the pilot project in
saline aquifers for different regulatory regimes in the USA are evaluated to be in the range of
9.1–9.7 million $ (2008) [6.20]. The costs of injection well construction for the Syderiai
geological structure are evaluated at 9 million $ (2008) based on unit costs presented in Table
4 in reference [6.19].
Once the injection begins, a program for monitoring conditions in the injection zone and CO2
distribution is required. This is needed in order to: manage the injection process; delineate
and identify leakage risk or actual leakage; verify and provide input into computational
models; and provide early warnings in case of failures. The monitoring costs for the pilot
project in saline aquifers for different regulatory regimes in the USA are estimated in the
range of 0.52–1.26 million $ (2008) [6.20]. Table 3 in reference [6.19] presents unit costs for
monitoring. Monitoring costs for the Syderiai geological structure are about 1 million $
(2008).
The operation costs comprise cost elements related to the operation of the injection wells,
including measuring and monitoring equipment, electricity costs, O&M costs, space costs,
153
repair and replacement of wells and equipment, and estimated costs for the possibility of
failure at the site and the need to relocate a geological disposal operation. The operation costs
for the pilot project in saline aquifers for different regulatory regimes in the USA are
estimated in the range of 1.2–2.1 million $ (2008) [6.20]. Based on Table 6 in reference
[6.19], the operation costs for the Syderiai geological structure are about 1 million $.
Owners or operators of CO2 injection wells must periodically evaluate the well integrity to
ensure mechanical soundness, status of corrosion and ability to sustain pressure. These
technologies are well established and have been used for decades for underground injection
operations. The costs of the mechanical integrity test of the pilot project in saline aquifers for
different regulatory regimes in the USA are estimated in the range of 13 215–13 500 $ (2008)
[6.20]. Based on Table 7 in reference [6.19], the costs of the mechanical integrity test for the
Syderiai geological structure are about 13 000 $ (2008).
The next component of the cost analysis includes fluid flow and reservoir modelling to
predict the movement of the injected CO2 and pressure changes during and after injection. It
also includes those cost elements pertaining to the identification, evaluation and remediation
of existing wells within the area of review. The corrective actions for the pilot project in
saline aquifers for different regulatory regimes in the USA are in the range of 0.53–1.1
million $ (2008) [6.20]. Based on Table 5 in reference [6.19], the costs of corrective actions
for the Syderiai geological structure are about 560 000 $.
After the injection phase has ended, the owner or operator must close the site in a safe and
secure manner and monitor the site during the post-injection period before final handover to a
state or national authority. The site closure costs for a pilot project in saline aquifers for
different regulatory regimes in USA are evaluated to be in the range 0.17–0.9 million $
(2008) [6.20]. Based on Table 9 in reference [6.19], the costs of site closure for the Syderiai
geological structure are about 180 000 $ (2008).
The total costs of CO2 disposal are summarized in Table 6.12. The costs assessed in $ (2008)
were converted into $ (2010) by taking into account the exchange rate and annual inflation
rate of 1.4% for the period 2008–2010.
TABLE 6.12. COST COMPONENTS FOR CO2 DISPOSAL IN LITHUANIA
No
Cost component
(1)
Programme administration, R&D and site characterization costs
(2)
Total,
Total,
Million $ Million $
(2008)
(2010)
1.9
1.95
Engineering costs (injection well construction, etc.)
9
9.25
(3)
Monitoring costs
1
1.03
(4)
Well operation costs including mechanical integrity test, area
review and corrective actions costs
1.6
1.65
(5)
Site closure and post-closure costs (site care, monitoring, etc.)
0.2
0.21
Total
13.7
14.1
154
6.3.4.3. Comparative assessment of radioactive waste and CO2 disposal costs
The comparative assessment of radioactive waste and CO2 disposal in Lithuania is presented
in Table 6.13. The radioactive waste disposal costs in Lithuania amount for a total of
377 596 t HM to 0.97 US Cents/kW·h, which is quite low in comparison with radioactive
waste disposal costs analysed in the introduction of this chapter. CO2 disposal costs in
Lithuania are 0.7 $/t CO2 and 0.05 US cent/kWh, radioactive waste disposal costs per kW·h
in Lithuania are significantly higher than CO2 disposal costs.
TABLE 6.13. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE AND CO2
DISPOSAL IN LITHUANIA
Disposal option
Radioactive waste
disposal
CO2 disposal
Implementation
Planned
Research
Evaluation method
Based on study
conducted
Based on own
assessment
Disposal concept
KBS-3V
Saline aquifer
Depth, m
300–500
1458
Life time (years)
100
15
Total cost, million USD (2010)
3000
14.1
Disposal capacity
7945 t HM
21.5 million m3
Electricity generated during life time, million 307.9
MW·h
29.4
Disposal costs/kW·h, US cents/kW·h (2010)
0.97
0.05
Disposal costs/t HM or CO2, US $ (2010)
377 596
0.7
6.3.4.4. Conclusions
There are no plans in Lithuania to develop CO2 disposal projects. So far, only preliminary
estimates of the CO2 disposal potential have been evaluated; there are no specific cost
calculations. For this study, the Syderiai geological structure, which has the highest potential
for CO2 disposal, was selected for costs assessment. The disposal costs were assessed by
applying the cost model and the unit costs developed by the US EPA because of the lack of
information in Lithuania [6.20]. Total costs of CO2 disposal in Lithuania in the Syderiai
geological structure are about 14.1 million $ (2010), that is 0.7 $/t CO2 and 0.05 US
cent/kW·h.
Lithuania closed the Ignalina NPP in 2009 and is considering radioactive waste disposal. The
costs were assessed based on studies conducted in the country. The total costs of radioactive
waste disposal are about 3000 million $, that is about 377 596/t HM and 0.97 US cents/kW·h.
The comparative cost analysis of radioactive waste and CO2 disposal in Lithuania indicates
that radioactive waste disposal costs are significantly higher than CO2 disposal costs per unit
of electricity produced.
155
6.3.5.
6.3.5.1.
Switzerland
Costs of radioactive waste disposal
Disposal concept
The proposed final disposal facility for SF, HLW, intermediate and LLW consists of a series
of horizontal emplacement tunnels located at a depth of approximately 650 m in the centre of
an Opalinus Clay formation running from the west to the north-east of Switzerland. The
repository proposed for LLW would be excavated in the same geological formation but at a
depth between 300 and 400 m [6.49].
The SF assemblies of either PWR or BWR reactor types are located inside 150 mm thick cast
steel canisters with a minimum design lifetime of 1000 to 10 000 years. Recovery of useable
fissile products can be achieved. The vitrified HLW resulting as a byproduct of SF
reprocessing is enclosed within stainless steel flasks which are also enclosed within cast steel
outer canisters. ILW may require different primary containment, depending on the
radionuclides included in the waste. Generally, both ILW and LLW are processed in a similar
way by being immobilized in a solidifying substance (cement or bitumen) inside steel drums
and cumulatively disposed inside concrete boxes. ILW will, however, be placed in the
repository at a lower volume concentration of waste containers, and due to its longer lived
activity than LLW, repository concepts specify ILW as a separate aspect of the HLW and SF
final repository [6.49], [6.50].
In Table 6.14, the quantities of spent fuel are given, assuming a lifetime of the power plants
of 60 years. Sufficient capacity for interim storage in various facilities in Switzerland is
available for all these wastes.
156
TABLE 6.14. SWISS NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS, CAPACITIES, SPENT FUEL
QUANTITIES AND REPOSITORY CONCEPT [6.49]
No
Parameter
(1)
Nuclear power plant type, fuel and capacity, PWR, UO2 & MOX, 1715 MW(e)
MW(e)
BWR, UO2, 1537 MW(e)
(2)
Electricity produced during the life time of power 1536
plant, million MW·h
(3)
Utilization rate, % of the year
90%
(4)
Life time of power plant, years
60
(5)
Radioactive waste disposal type
Horizontal emplacement tunnels
(6)
Location, rock type
Opalinus clay
(7)
Underground depth of repository, m
650
(8)
The area of isolating rock zone, km2
1.5
(9)
Containers used
Cast steel canisters
(10) Natural barriers
(11)
Man-made barriers
(12) Amount of radioactive waste for disposal (t HM)
Value or description
Opalinus clay
Containers,
backfill,
repository lining
concrete
3217
Note: PWR – pressurized water reactor, MOX – mixed oxide, BWR – boiling water reactor
Financing radioactive waste management
In Switzerland, the producers of radioactive waste are obliged by law to dispose of the waste
safely and at their own cost. The waste management costs which arise during the operation of
the NPP (e.g. for reprocessing of spent fuel, investigations by the Nagra, construction of
interim storage facilities) are covered on an ongoing basis. The decommissioning costs and
the costs of radioactive waste management arising after the nuclear power plants cease
operation are secured by payments made by the owners into two independent funds: the
decommissioning fund and the waste management fund [6.51].
•
The decommissioning fund for nuclear installations was set up on 1st January 1984 to
cover the costs of decommissioning and dismantling closed nuclear facilities and to
dispose of the waste arising from these activities. According to the most recent cost
estimates, the decommissioning costs for the five nuclear reactors and for the interim
157
disposal facilities will amount to around 2.2 billion CHF (price basis 2006) or 2.4
billion $. At the end of 2007, the accumulated capital in the decommissioning fund
was 1322 billion CHF or 1.44 billion $ (2006: 1.324 billion CHF or 1.44 billion $,
2005: 1.252 billion CHF or 1.36 billion $);
•
•
The waste management fund for NPPs was set up on 1st April 2000 in order to cover
the costs of managing operational waste and spent fuel after the NPPs have ceased
operation. All NPP operators are obliged to make contributions to the fund, with the
first contributions made in 2001. Waste management comprises all the activities
leading up to the emplacement of the waste in a deep geological repository, as well as
the emplacement of wastes and the activities associated with a monitoring phase and
closure of the repository. According to the most recent cost estimates, the waste
management costs will amount to around 13.4 billion CHF or 14.6 billion $, based on
2006 prices. The fund will be required to accumulate around 6.3 billion CHF or 6.9
billion $ (due to interest rates and further payments). At the end of 2006, the
accumulated capital in the waste management fund was 3.013 billion CHF or 3.278
billion $;
In 2008, the utilities submitted general license applications for three new NPPs
(Generation III), two of them were planned to replace the oldest Swiss facilities
(Beznau 1 & 2 and Mühleberg) and expiring electricity import contracts, which
therefore required the consideration of a larger waste inventory. However, following
the Fukushima NPP accident, the Swiss government is now largely against the
planning of any new NPPs [6.52]. The figures given in Table 6.15 represent the
volumes and costs for existing NPPs only.
Total radioactive waste disposal costs in Switzerland are estimated to be 7762.9 million $ or
2 413 087 $/ t HM and 0.51 US cents/kW·h.
6.3.5.2.
Costs of carbon dioxide disposal
The options for CO2 disposal are being assessed within the ongoing CARMA research project
[6.53]. With only a very small fraction of electricity produced in Switzerland from fossil fuel
power plants (<5%), it is not necessary to look for carbon reduction measures such as CO2
disposal in the electricity generation sector today. The largest point source emitters of CO2 in
Switzerland are industrial facilities, particularly cement production where the current annual
emissions of CO2 are approximately 11.3 Mt [6.54].
The project Carbon Management in Power Generation (CARMA) [7.53] prepared the first
appraisal of the potential for deep geological sequestration of CO2 in Switzerland [6.55], also
reported in the study by the Federal Agency for Energy (Bundesamt fuer Energie) [6.56].
Following a numerical scoring and weighting scheme on a scale 0–1, they determined that the
combined volumes of the four main candidate aquifers with potentials above 0.6 offer a
theoretical, effective disposal capacity of 2680 Mt of CO2. Future fossil fuelled power
stations in Switzerland would most probably be natural gas combined cycle plants because of
the lack of indigenous fossil resources, the existence of natural gas pipelines and the lower
CO2 emissions per kW·h of natural gas compared with coal. A 400 MW(e) combined cycle
gas power station produces approximately 0.7 Mt CO2/year (assuming 360 kg/MW·h and
5000 hours/year operation).
158
TABLE 6.15. DISPOSAL COSTS FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE GENERATED DURING
THE LIFETIME OF EXISTING NPPs IN SWITZERLAND (MILLION SWISS FRANCS
IN 2006) [6.51]
No Cost component
Capital
expenditure
Operational
expenditure
Total
(1) Site exploration and improvement 1139
costs (repository development, site (L&ILW)
investigation, etc.)
1724
(SF&HLW)
1139 (L&ILW)
(2) Engineering costs (underground and 447 (L&ILW)
above ground facilities, excavation,
495
repository construction, monitoring,
(SF&HLW)
etc.)
447 (L&ILW)
(3) Waste
handling
and
disposal
operation and maintenance costs
(expenses for labour, chemicals,
surface and underground equipment
maintenance, cost of energy to
operate equipment, etc.)
1724
(SF&HLW)
495
(SF&HLW)
360
(L&ILW)
610
(SF&HLW)
(4) Site closure and post-closure costs 189 (L&ILW)
(site care, monitoring, etc.)
449
(SF&HLW)
Total
Total, million USD (2010)
360 (L&ILW)
610
(SF&HLW)
189 (L&ILW)
449
(SF&HLW)
1774
(L&ILW)
360
(L&ILW)
2668
(SF&HLW)
610
(SF&HLW)
6371.6
1391.4
2134 (L&ILW)
3278
(SF&HLW)
7762.9
The research concluded that the existing disposal capacity for CO2 from electricity generation
and other industrial activities are more than sufficient to serve the needs for many decades.
This is, however, only a preliminary study based on literature, and the actual disposal
potential estimated from physical and geological examination of the area may prove to be
very different. Being at such an early stage in the feasibility assessment, potential costs of
CO2 disposal in Switzerland have not yet been estimated.
6.3.5.3. Conclusions
Due to the very early stage of the evaluation of CO2 disposal potential, it was only possible to
present economic details of radioactive waste disposal for Switzerland. In this area, design
proposals have been drafted and the specific costs have been determined. In terms of the
159
overall process of radioactive waste management, certain steps are implemented
simultaneously with normal operation of the power plants, and for this the NPP operators
have been paying on an ongoing basis. For the costs of radioactive waste management after
the operational lifetime of the NPPs and for the construction of geological repositories, NPP
operators have been legally obliged to contribute to established funds since April 2000, and
for the decommissioning of NPPs since 1984. Of the 13.4 billion Swiss francs overall
required to meet the SF and radioactive waste management costs, the fund will need
approximately 6.3 billion Swiss francs. In 2006, the balance stood at a little over 3 billion.
Assuming the continued operation of all currently existing NPPs, the required funds should
be accumulated well before the NPPs are decommissioned.
6.4. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT
The comparison of radioactive waste disposal costs between Lithuania, Switzerland, India
and the Republic of Korea is presented in Table 6.16. The conversion rates used to convert
local currencies to $ (2010) are presented in Table 6.17.
As one can see from Table 6.16, the highest costs per t HM were obtained for Switzerland
(2 413 087 $/t HM) and the lowest for India (137 058 $/t HM). For India, cost data include
only site selection, construction of the facility and R&D projects, and exclude waste
immobilization, interim storage and transport. In the rest of the countries, similar costs
estimates were obtained, i.e. in Lithuania (377 596 $/t HM) and in the Republic of Korea
(543 639 $/t HM).
Comparing radioactive waste disposal costs per kW·h of electricity generated, the lowest
costs were obtained for India (0.07 US cent/kW·h) and the highest costs for the Republic of
Korea (0.23 US cent/kW·h). For Lithuania (0.97 US cent/kW·h) and Switzerland (0.51 US
cent/kW·h), similar estimates were obtained.
The conversion rates provided in Table 6.17 were also applied for comparative assessment of
CO2 disposal costs in Lithuania and Cuba, presented in Table 6.18.
As one can see from Table 6.18, CO2 disposal costs in Lithuania are 0.656 $/t CO2 and 0.05
US cent/kW·h, and are similar to the estimates in Cuba: 0.732 $/t CO2 and 0.06 US
cent/kW·h, respectively. The lower disposal costs per t CO2 and kW·h in Lithuania are
related to higher CO2 disposal capacity and the larger amount of electricity generated at the
associated power plant during the life time period.
160
161
Implementation
Planned
Under
implement
ation
Planned
Planned
Country
Lithuania
Switzerland
India
Republic of
Korea
Based
on
study
conducted
Based
on
study
conducted
Based
on
study
conducted
Based
on
study
conducted
Evaluation
method
KBS-3 V
concept
Multibarri
er
Multibarri
er concept
KBS-3V
Disposal
concept
19 571
1050
7763
3000
Total costs,
Million $
(2010)
36 000
7661
3217
7945
Amount of
waste for
disposal, t
HM
543 639
137 058
2 413 087
377 596
Disposal
costs/t HM,
$ (2010)
8 545 000
1 592 000
1 536 000
307 900
Electricity
generated
during life
time,
million
kW·h
0.23
0.07
0.51
0.97
Costs/kW·h,
US cent
(2010)
TABLE 6.16. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL COSTS IN SELECTED COUNTRIES
TABLE 6.17. CONVERSION RATES APPLIED FOR COST ESTIMATES
Country
Conversion rates
Lithuania
1 LTL (2005)=0.359 $ (2010)
Switzerland
1 CHF (2006) =1.4344 $ (2010).
India
1 USD (2010)=1 $ (2010)
Korea
1 EUR (2006)=1.382 $ (2010)
Cuba
1 USD (2010)=1 $ (2010)
TABLE 6.18. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF CO2 DISPOSAL COSTS IN
LITHUANIA AND CUBA
Country Implementation
Evaluation
method
Disposal
concept
Total Disposal Disposal
costs,
capacity costs per
Million Million t t CO2, $
$ (2010)
(2010)
CO2
Electricity
generated
during life
time period,
Million kW·h
Lithuania
Research Based on Saline
own
aquifer
assessment
14.1
21.5
0.656
29 380
Cuba
Research Based on DOGF
own
assessment
11.2
15.3
0.732
18 449
Costs/
kW·h,
US cent
(2010)
0.05
0.06
Note: DOGF – depleted oil / gas field
6.5. CONCLUSIONS
The main economic indicators for back end technology assessments include geological
disposal costs per kW·h of the electricity produced per units of CO2 and radioactive waste.
The calculation methods vary for different countries and regions.
A wide variety of approaches were applied to perform radioactive waste disposal cost
estimates. Cost studies have already been performed and published for the following
radioactive waste repositories: Yucca Mountain in the USA; the final radioactive waste
repository Olkiluoto and Loviisa in Finland; and Forsmark in Sweden. Costs were assessed
for radioactive waste repositories in Belgium, Japan, the UK and a multicountry repository in
the EU. The highest costs of final radioactive waste disposal are estimated in the USA,
followed by Japan. The lowest costs are found in Belgium, Finland and Sweden.
Four countries have performed case studies on the costs of radioactive waste disposal in
geological formations in the project presented in this chapter: India, Lithuania, Switzerland
and the Republic of Korea. When comparing the total radioactive waste disposal costs for
these countries with the total costs calculated for other countries presented and reviewed in
the introduction to this chapter, one can notice that the total costs of radioactive waste
disposal in Lithuania (2300–3000 million $) and Switzerland (7763 million $) are similar to
162
the results from other European countries, especially for Finland (4122 million $) and
Sweden (5728 million $). The lowest total radioactive waste disposal costs were obtained for
India (1050 million $) and the highest for the Republic of Korea (19 571 million $), which
are close to Japanese estimates (33 066 million $).
Comparing radioactive waste disposal costs per tHM across the countries covered in this
chapter, one can notice that the highest costs were obtained for Switzerland (2 413 087
$/t HM) and the lowest for India (137 058 $/t HM). In other countries similar cost estimates
were obtained, i.e. in Lithuania (377 596 $/t HM) and in Republic of Korea 543 639 $/t HM.
The difference in costs is mainly related to the different economic developments and price
levels in compared countries. The safety requirements and regulations are also different. The
geological conditions and types of disposal also have an impact on disposal costs.
Switzerland is an industrialized country having highest GDP/capita therefore higher disposal
costs per t HM in comparison with India, Lithuania and the Republic of Korea.
The lowest costs per kW·h electricity were obtained for India (0.07 US cent/kW·h) and the
highest costs were estimated for Lithuania (0.97 US cent/kW·h). The estimations for the
Republic of Korea (0.23 US cent/kW·h) and Switzerland (0.51 US cent/kW·h) are in a
similar cost range.
There is a wide cost range for CO2 reported in the literature reviewed in this chapter, with the
high cost scenario being up to 10 times more expensive than the low cost scenario. This is
mainly due to differences in size and the natural properties of the disposal reservoirs (i.e.
field capacity and well injectivity), and only to a lesser degree to uncertainties in cost
parameters. Nonetheless, the following trends stand out based on the review of results of
various studies summarized in the introduction to this chapter:
•
Onshore saline aquifers are cheaper than offshore saline aquifers;
•
Depleted oil and gas fields are cheaper than deep saline aquifers (even more so if
they have reusable legacy wells);
•
The highest costs, as well as the widest cost range, occur for offshore deep saline
aquifers.
In the context of this CRP, only two countries presented estimates of CO2 disposal costs:
Lithuania and Cuba. However, these countries don’t have actual plans for CO2 disposal,
although it is a possibility for them. Both countries applied the same approach, which is the
comprehensive methodology for CO2 disposal costs assessment based on unit costs
developed by the US EPA [6.19]. Although some CCD projects have been initiated in
Switzerland and they are in the early stage of the feasibility assessment, they have not
provided reliable costs assessment.
CO2 disposal costs in Lithuania were assessed for the largest existing geological structure –
the saline aquifer Syderiai. The total costs of CO2 disposal in the Syderiai geological
structure are 14.1 million $ (2010) and are similar to estimates obtained by Cuba – 11.5
million $, though depleted gas fields are considered in Cuba. The CO2 disposal costs in
Lithuania (0.656 $/t CO2 and 0.05 US cent/kW·h) are similar to the estimates in Cuba (0.732
$/t CO2 and 0.06 US cent/kW·h).
163
Comparing CO2 and radioactive waste disposal costs per kW·h, one can notice that for almost
all countries considered, except for India, radioactive waste disposal costs are higher. The
comparatively low CO2 disposal costs for Lithuania and Cuba are mainly due to limitations of
the EPA methodology applied for cost assessments, as some country specific costs such as
financial responsibility and administrative costs were not included in the costs estimates.
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possibilities to dispose of spent nuclear fuel in Lithuania: a model case, Volume 2,
Concept of repository in crystalline rocks, State Enterprise Radioactive Waste
Management Agency, Vilnius (2005).
[6.47] SLIAUPA, S., SHOGENOVA, A., SHOGENOV, K., SLIAUPIENE R., ZABELE,
A., VAHER, R., Industrial carbon dioxide emissions and potential geological sinks in
the Baltic States, Oil Shale 25 4 (2008) 465–484.
[6.48] SLIAUPA, S., SATKUNAS, J., SLIAUPIENE, R., Prospects of geological disposal
of CO2 in Lithuania, (In Lithuanian), Geologija 51 (2005) 20–31.
[6.49] NATIONAL COOPERATIVE FOR THE DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE,
Demonstration of disposal feasibility for spent fuel, vitrified high-level waste and
long-lived intermediate-level waste, National Cooperative for the Disposal of
Radioactive Waste (Nagra), Wettingen (2002).
[6.50] NATIONAL COOPERATIVE FOR THE DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE,
Information Brochure: Entsorgungsprogramm und Standortgebiete für geologische
Tiefenlager – Zusammenfassung, (In German), National Cooperative for the Disposal
of Radioactive Waste (Nagra), Wettingen (2008).
[6.51] NATIONAL COOPERATIVE FOR THE DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE,
The Nagra Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Plan for the Disposal
of Radioactive Waste in Switzerland, Technical Report 09–06, National Cooperative
for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra), Wettingen (2009).
http://www.nagra.ch/data/documents/database/dokumente/%24default/Default%20Fol
der/Publikationen/NTBs%202001-2010/e_ntb09-06.pdf
[6.52] NUKLEARFORUM SCHWEIZ, Nationalrat für Schrittweisen Kernenergieausstieg
der Schweiz. E-Bulletin: Schweizer Stromzukunft mit oder ohne Kernenergie? (In
German),
Nuklearforum
Schweiz,
Bern,
(2011)
http://www.nuklearforum.ch/ebdossier.php?dossier_id=130190772414&id=de124073492146&act=show#art2.
[6.53] CARBON MANAGEMENT IN POWER GENERATION IN SWITZERLAND,
CARMA, ETH, Zurich http://www.carma.ethz.ch/ (2011).
[6.54] FEDERAL ENVIRONMENT AGENCY, Emissionen nach CO2-Gesetz und KyotoProtokoll (Version 15.04.2010) (p. 11), Bundesamt für Umwelt BAFU, Bern (2010).
[6.55] CHEVALIER G., DIAMOND L.W., LEU, W., Potential for deep geological
sequestration of CO2 in Switzerland: a first appraisal, Swiss Journal of Geosciences
103 3 (2010) 427–455.
[6.56] FEDERAL ENERGY AGENCY, Potential for geological sequestration of CO2 in
Switzerland, Final report, Bundesamt für Energie, Bern (2010).
167
Chapter 7
7.
PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE
J.-F. HAKE, W. FISCHER, D. SCHUMANN
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH,
Germany
V. HAVLOVA, H. VOJTĚCHOVÁ
Nuclear Research Institute Rez plc,
Czech Republic
D. STREIMIKIENE
Lithuanian Energy Institute,
Lithuania
7.1. INTRODUCTION
Radioactive waste, particularly the handling and disposal of radioactive waste, is one of the
most disputed political and societal issues in many countries. Identifying factors relevant for
public acceptance of the disposal of such waste is a challenge still to be solved [7.1].
Compared to the long standing controversy on radioactive waste, particularly on high level
waste (HLW), CO2 disposal is still a peripheral subject in most European countries.2 Only a
portion of the public is aware of this technology and risk perception is underdeveloped and
unstable. The debate on CO2 disposal and local resistance against a few (proposed) CO2
disposal only began to impact on national CCD policies about four years ago in the cases
reviewed in this chapter.
Although radioactive waste and CO2 disposal differ in many aspects, they also share certain
similarities. In particular, social acceptance is a critical resource needed to increase the
chance of implementing disposal projects. Comparing the challenges and problems of social
acceptance and the closely intertwined policies in both issue areas may facilitate mutual
learning. A comparative analysis was performed for three countries: the Czech Republic,
Germany and Lithuania. Special attention was given to public awareness and knowledge,
public opinion, public and political debates, and policies.
This chapter is organized as follows: Section 7.2 presents the methodological foundations of
the comparative analyses. Section 7.3 provides detailed analyses of public acceptance in the
broader national context for the three participating countries. Finally, Section 7.4 summarizes
the main insights from the national and cross-national assessments.
7.2. METHODOLOGY
The public perception of radioactive waste and CO2 disposal was investigated and compared
using qualitative and quantitative methods from empirical social research. The description of
radioactive waste and CO2 disposal in the Czech Republic, Germany and Lithuania was
2
Although the injection of CO2 into geological formations is referred to as ‘storage’ in research and legislation
about CCS, here the term ‘disposal’ will be used, describing the emplacement of CO2 in an appropriate facility
without the intention of retrieval.
169
predominantly based on qualitative analyses of literature and documents. Furthermore,
quantitative analyses of empirical data from representative surveys were performed in order
to describe the status of public awareness, knowledge and perceptions. Radioactive waste and
CO2 disposal were compared in the Czech Republic, Germany and Lithuania at an intranational as well as at a cross-national level. For this purpose, criteria were established to
allow a qualitative comparison. The national valuations of these categories are summarized in
the comparative assessment table in Section 7.3.
7.3. COUNTRY CASE STUDIES
7.3.1.
Czech Republic
7.3.1.1.
Radioactive waste disposal
Status
The deep geological repository project is at the stage of repository siting (geological surveys
in localities) and selecting a suitable locality. Siting is one of the basic objectives of the
repository development programme. The site must satisfy requirements concerning rock
properties, primarily isolating capacity and the ability to capture leaking radioactive
substances, and a number of ‘non-geological’ requirements such as conflicts of interest,
acceptability by the general public, the technical feasibility of the construction of surface
facilities and site accessibility. Site selection for a future deep repository is governed by the
2002 document Concept of Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel Management in the
Czech Republic, according to which two localities must be selected (a main and a reserve
locality) that would provide the best geological conditions. The document The Czech
Republic’s Land Use Development Policy was approved by the government in 2008. It
stipulates that two more suitable sites for deep repository construction are to be selected by
2015 with the involvement of the communities concerned. The basic principles regarding the
position of local communities in the site selection process are:
•
Geological investigation work and the possible construction of a deep repository must
be beneficial for the communities concerned;
•
Communities voluntarily participate in the site selection process;
•
Communities must be provided with tools and powers to efficiently support their
interests;
•
The siting process must be transparent and democratic.
Risk assessment (‘objective’ risks)
According to the preliminary safety assessment, the risk associated with the construction and
operation of the deep geological repository would be low.
Public awareness and knowledge
The vast majority of the Czech population has heard the terms ‘radioactive waste disposal’
and ‘deep repository’. However, actual knowledge of these concepts varies greatly (cf. Fig.
7.1), as demonstrated by a poll taken in 2007 in six localities considered suitable for deep
geological repository siting and in one locality that is not involved in any nuclear activity.
Knowledge was shown to depend on whether respondents were directly involved in the
170
process of siting and building the deep repository, whether they were residents close to the
sites selected as possible locations or whether they were living far away from the sites.
Public opinion
The public opinion is that society should take care of the safe liquidation or disposal of
radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and that it should not defer the problem to
future generations (cf. Fig. 7.2). However, the majority of respondents opposed the siting of
the geological repository in their neighbourhood – often referred to as the ‘not in my back
yard’ (NIMBY) phenomenon.
Figure 7.1 shows responses to the question: In your view, what is the method used today in
the management of SNF and high level radioactive waste in the Czech Republic?
stored in
deep
repository
21%
stored in
interim
store
54%
doesn’t
know
16%
stored on
the sea
bottom
2%
other
treatment
2%
transported
to storage
out of
Czech
Republic
5%
FIG. 7.1. Public knowledge about radioactive waste management in selected localities.
The general knowledge of the public about the methods used today in the management of
SNF and high radioactive waste in general is shown by the responses to a related question in
Fig. 7.2.
stored in
interim
store
28%
stored in
deep
repository
18%
other
treatment
2%
doesn’t
know
48%
stored on
the sea
bottom
1%
transporte
d to
storage
out of
Czech
Republic
3%
FIG. 7.2. General public knowledge about methods used for radioactive waste management.
171
A relatively better approach with respect to the NIMBY phenomenon was observed in
communities where people had lived in the vicinity of a nuclear facility over a long period of
time. However, it is not possible to conclude that all of the public opposition against the
construction of a deep geological repository in their area or neighbourhood (approx. 90% of
residents) can be explained by the NIMBY effect. This would be too simplistic and a
somewhat problematic perception of resistance. There are various motives for the residents’
refusal to accept a deep geological repository in their locality. Past events (seminars in the
localities, public hearings) as well as public opinion surveys have shown great differences
among the attitudes of individual localities as a whole, as well as among the citizens within
these localities. Some representatives of the municipalities would – under certain conditions –
agree to a geological survey in their territory, others remain strictly opposed. However, the
residents of those municipalities whose representatives strictly opposed a survey often had
diverse opinions or incentives. This provides opportunities for discussions and negotiations.
Incentives must therefore be analysed and further dialogue and negotiations should be based
on these findings.
Public debate and participation
Since its establishment, the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA) in the Czech
Republic has striven to maintain good relations, particularly with the local population of areas
close to operating repositories. Since the identification of sites, significant efforts have been
devoted to facilitating a dialogue with local representatives and providing the local people
with comprehensive information (public meetings, information leaflets, study trips to nuclear
facilities and interim storage facilities, and visiting local representatives at nuclear sites and
directly discussing issues of interest with them). Information is considered a necessary
prerequisite for dialogue. Therefore, RAWRA began to support small communities,
reconstructing local libraries and establishing small RAWRA information centres in several
villages. Financed by RAWRA, these projects aim to facilitate the availability of up to date
information on radioactive waste disposal as well as to substantially improve the operation of
the libraries themselves.
Because RAWRA aims to achieve local support or tolerance at the sites where it will apply
for the establishment of exploratory areas, it once again contacted the representatives of the
six candidate sites. RAWRA proposed that it would cover the costs of consulting independent
experts (nominated by the relevant communities) in an effort to critically review all activities
to be carried out by RAWRA related to deep geologic repository development in the future.
Moreover, these experts would be able to control the quality of activities and review the work
from the perspective of local communities.
Significant progress has been achieved in the development of communication among
stakeholders and public participation in the framework of the Arenas for Risk Governance
(ARGONA) project in the 6th EU Framework Programme. A number of meetings took place
in this context with representatives from various localities. The RISCOM3 approach, which
established a reference group of people from ministries, local politics, non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) and experts from research organizations, was found to be very useful.
It involved a debate, which could be considered a starting point for transparent discussion
with people from potential sites for a deep geological repository. The experience gained in
3
The model, based on Habermas’ communicative action and Stafford Beer’s organizational theory, ensures that
decision-makers and the public can validate claims of truth, legitimacy and authenticity.
172
the Czech Republic in the ARGONA project inspired an exchange of knowledge with
partners in other countries using different participation methods. With the active participation
of all the major stakeholders in the Czech programme, including the Minister of Industry and
Trade, representatives of municipalities, NGOs and international experts, the international
conference “Deliberation - The Way to the Deep Geological Repository” was held in Prague
in November 2009. It further clarified the need for continued dialogue on the basis of what
was developed in ARGONA. One of the main conclusions of this conference was that it was
necessary to look for ways to create partnerships between communities in selected localities,
NGOs and relevant state institutions.
Following this conference, roundtable discussions were held (involving all main
stakeholders), aiming to establish a Working Group for Dialogue on the Deep Repository
(June 2010). With the support of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in cooperation with the
Ministry of Environment (MOE), the working group was established in November 2010. Its
main objectives were to define acceptable criteria for selecting a suitable locality for a deep
repository and to establish a transparent process of deep repository siting that would
adequately respect public interests. Activities of the Working Group include:
•
Gathering and assessing the latest relevant domestic and international knowledge
regarding the application of novel participatory and dialogue approaches;
•
Issues relating to the implementation of the relevant legislative requirements;
•
Reevaluation of the Concept of Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel
Management;
•
Reevaluation of the legislation and proposal of changes.
The Czech Republic participates in the project Implementing Public Participatory
Approaches in Radioactive Waste Disposal within the 7th EU Framework Programme. This
project aims to implement modern methods and approaches to ensure transparency and public
participation in the management of radioactive waste and SNF. It is closely linked to the
ARGONA project. One of the important activities is the application of various methods to
ensure transparency and public participation in the national programs, radioactive waste and
SNF in countries in the European Union (including the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia,
Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Bulgaria and others).
Resistance
In the period 2003–2008, about 25 local referenda were held on the topic of radioactive waste
disposal. In all cases concerning the location of a deep geological repository, 80–99% of
inhabitants voted against plans in the given location. Turnout ranged between 51% and 95%
and was therefore above average compared to other referenda (total average turnout in local
referenda in the Czech Republic is 58%). People feel distressed by the potential existence of a
disposal site in their neighbourhood; they are afraid of the unknown and are concerned about
enhanced radioactivity.
Considering the results of local referenda and the results of public opinion polls, it is clear
that citizens of the Czech Republic, including those living in areas considered suitable
locations for deep geological repositories, are aware of the necessity of resolving the issue of
173
storing radioactive waste ‘here and now’. Despite this, they strictly object to the location of
the repository in their region and oppose planning steps.
According to representatives of NGOs and to residents, there is another important reason why
the overwhelming majority of citizens will always vote against a repository: as municipalities
do not have a veto, residents fear that if they agree in principle they would have no influence
on the siting process for a deep geological repository. Furthermore, they fear that they would
not be able to withdraw from the process should they oppose the repository in the future. The
level of information provided does not play an important a role in this case.
Local referenda in the Czech Republic therefore only have a manifestation nature because
municipalities are in a position where they cannot decide themselves on the location of a deep
repository. Referenda results could be somewhat different should municipalities have a
stronger position in the area, as international experience proves.
7.3.1.2.
Carbon dioxide disposal
Status
There is no concept for CO2 disposal in the Czech Republic currently. Consequently, basic
research (disposal capacity, rock formation, CO2-rock-groundwater interactions, modelling)
are conducted, and risk assessment baselines have been set up together with a public
acceptance programme. The siting process and disposal facility development will follow EC
Directive 2009/31/EU on CO2 geological disposal, which has been included in the Czech
legislation in June 2011.
Risk assessment (‘objective’ risks)
No safety assessment has been carried out for CO2 disposal. However, on the basis of
research from foreign projects, such disposal is expected to be safe and the risk low.
Public awareness and knowledge
The public is aware of climate change, although a portion of the public in the Czech Republic
does not believe that the climate is changing or that the change is directly connected with
CO2 emissions. Moreover, a portion of the public does not understand the reason for CO2
disposal or the disposal/retention process. Therefore, public awareness and knowledge is
probably low. No research has been performed in this field in the Czech Republic.
Public opinion
According to experience from other fields (radioactive waste disposal, uranium mining, etc.),
the majority of respondents is expected to initially oppose the siting of a disposal facility in
their neighbourhood. A more positive opinion might be expected in communities with a
direct connection to gas disposal or oil exploitation. However, in the absence of a CO2
disposal project in the Czech Republic, community attitudes cannot be predicted. No research
has been conducted on this topic in the Czech Republic to date.
Public debate and participation
As there are currently no CO2 disposal projects and no region is being considered for siting,
direct information and debate about CO2 disposal in the Czech Republic barely exist. The EC
174
Directive 2009/31/EU is in the process of implementation in the country, but no detailed
plans have been proposed for CO2 disposal. Therefore, no local communities have been
involved in debates about siting or development. Based on experience from other fields, the
NIMBY (not in my backyard) effect would definitely evoke a local public debate. Such
experience, particularly from radioactive waste disposal, should be used to concentrate efforts
on communication with local communities and their representatives by focussing on mutual
understanding and on providing comprehensive information to local people. Information
should be considered a necessary prerequisite for dialogue on disposal issues.
Resistance
As there is no specific CO2 disposal project, resistance is not an issue. However, in the
general public and even among scientists, the motivation for CCD is misunderstood and there
is a low level of knowledge about disposal. Therefore, resistance can be expected at the local
level, not only in communities at a potential site but also in the vicinity of the site. People
may believe that in different phases CO2 could potentially leak from the disposal facility into
aquifers and spread over long distances. People living in distant regions often fear the
potential influence of CO2 on their environment (water supply, etc.) and could therefore
oppose the construction of facilities.
7.3.2.
7.3.2.1.
Germany
Radioactive waste disposal
Legal responsibilities
Due to the structure of the German political system, the licensing of a repository for high
level radioactive waste is a complicated process that occurs at different political levels with
many actors [7.2]. There is no central nuclear regulatory body in Germany [7.3], but one
federal ministry has a strong administrative position: the Federal Ministry for the
Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). BMU and its subordinate
authority, the Office for Radiation Protection (BfS), are responsible for siting, planning, plant
related research and development, exploration, construction, operation and decommissioning
repositories. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) is responsible for
the nuclear energy industry and repository related basic and applied research. The Institute
for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), a subordinate authority of BMWi, deals with
the geoscientific issues of final disposal. The German Federal States act as agents for the
federal government in the licensing process for final disposals. In this role, they have leeway
to be restrictive in the licensing process, and they have access to other legal, institutional and
political instruments to delay or even prevent a project. The licensing process also includes
participation from local communities and the issuing of zoning permits. Public hearings allow
the public to get involved [7.4]. The licensing process is, in principle, open to lawsuits both
from individuals and organizations, which when successful, can prevent the construction and
commissioning of disposal facilities. This is often the case due to complexities of the
planning and authorization process.
Radioactive waste
According to the EURATOM (European Atomic Energy Community) Treaty, special fissile
materials are the property of the European Union, and Member States have the right to use
this material. According to German Atomic Law, spent fuel had to be reprocessed before
175
1994, both reprocessing and direct disposal were allowed between 1994 and 2005, while after
2005 the direct disposal of spent fuel is the only permissible option. In Germany, radioactive
waste is divided into waste with negligible heat generation (low and medium level waste,
which will amount to about 277 000 m3 by 2040, and contains 1% of the total radioactivity)
and heat generating waste (high level waste, which will amount to approximately 22 000 m3
by 2040, and comprises about 99% of radioactivity) [7.5]. (Note that nuclear phase-out will
reduce these estimated amounts.)
The Konrad mine (Lower Saxony) for low and medium level waste is the first approved final
repository according to the German atomic law [7.6]. Disposal is due to start in 2014
provided that the start-up processes run smoothly. High level radioactive waste is currently
stored in 13 decentralized interim storage facilities at nuclear power stations. High level and
other radioactive waste is also stored at the decentralized interim storage facilities in
Greifswald (Mecklenburg-Pomerania) and Jülich (North-Rhine Westphalia) as well as in the
central interim storage facilities in Gorleben (Lower Saxony) and Ahaus (North-Rhine
Westphalia) [7.7].
Policy and public opinion about nuclear energy
From the 1950s to the 1970s, civilian nuclear energy was perceived in Germany as the
innovative energy technology, and public and political support was high. About 35 years ago,
the situation began to change, and a national anti-nuclear movement evolved from grassroots
activities against a nuclear power project in an agricultural area. After the Chernobyl accident
in 1986, public support for nuclear energy declined significantly, and the party consensus on
nuclear energy began to break up. The Social Democrats, former nuclear enthusiasts, and the
new Green Party opposed nuclear energy, whereas the Conservatives and Liberals supported
nuclear energy as a ‘transition’ technology. In 2002, the Social Democrat/Green government
changed the Atomic Law to phase out nuclear energy by about 2022. The
Conservative/Liberal government changed that law again in 2010 to extend the lifetime of
nuclear reactors as a ‘bridge’ to a ‘renewable future’. The last reactors were supposed to
produce electricity until about 2036. However, the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP in
March 2011 broadened and solidified the anti-nuclear attitude. It did not change the
‘objective’ safety status of German reactors, but it did change the perception of nuclear
safety. Therefore, the Conservative/Liberal government made a U-turn in March 2011
(despite some resistance in their parties) and, in conformity with the public at large and the
overwhelming majority in Parliament, it ordered to shut down the seven oldest reactors and
announced that nuclear power would be phased out by 2022. This policy became law in
August 2011 when the Atomic Law was amended [7.8]. The majority of politicians and the
public regard the phase-out as getting rid of an energy policy ballast. Nevertheless, as shown
by a recent study [7.9], one of the consequences of the phase-out is expected to be increased
CO2 emissions from the power generation sector. Therefore, keeping in mind the climate
protection targets of the German government, households and industry will have to increase
their CO2 reduction efforts at an increased cost.
During the long process of policy formulation, public opinion on energy related topics has
had a considerable influence on political decision making. In the polls, renewable energy
technologies have a high level of public support, whereas the public acceptance of coal fired
power plants has plunged, despite the climate change debate. It is now close to the low level
of acceptance that characterizes nuclear energy [7.10]. For many years, surveys have
indicated that German citizens are exceedingly sceptical about nuclear energy, particularly
compared to other countries [7.11]. Even the CO2 reduction policy has not modified this
176
attitude substantially [7.12]. However, there is still a lack of research on this particular issue
[7.13]. After the Fukushima accident, the support for nuclear power in Germany dropped
further to only about 20%, one of the lowest figures worldwide [7.14]. The 2011 nuclear
policy shift reflects this broad and stable anti-nuclear public attitude.
Search for a final repository for radioactive waste
Surveys indicate that the unresolved final disposal problem is a major factor impeding the
acceptance of nuclear energy [7.15], [7.16]. Whether solving this problem will result in a
higher acceptance of nuclear energy as previously assumed [7.17] cannot be predicted with
certainty [7.16], but it seems unlikely after Fukushima. Furthermore, Germany has a long
way to go to find such a solution if a working HLW final disposal facility is considered the
solution.
For about 30 years, the unexcavated Gorleben salt dome has been investigated for its
suitability as a final repository for high level radioactive waste. In 1983, the Federal Institute
for Physical Technology (the predecessor of BfS) concluded in a (disputed) report that the
Gorleben dome will most likely be deemed suitable, and the below ground investigations
began in 1984. However, from the outset, efforts to develop Gorleben led to a ‘political
paralysis’ due to the polarization about nuclear energy issues in general, the widespread
national opposition, the manoeuvring of political actors at the federal and state levels,
litigation and the continuing debate on the suitability of the salt dome [7.4], [7.18]. The
federal SPD/Green government interrupted the underground exploration in 2000, but in 2010
the CDU/CSU/FDP government lifted the moratorium. This move fuelled protests once
again, and the focus of anti-nuclear campaigning was shifted back to Gorleben.
Almost all political parties are well aware of the necessity of disposing of high level
radioactive waste in a geological formation. Despite this, the opposition against the Gorleben
project remains unchanged and the prospects for the project are dim. However, proposals for
a ‘reset’ (an open nationwide search for a suitable radioactive waste disposal within
Germany, also taking granite and clay formations into account) are heard from political
actors, including state governments with potential disposal sites. Alternatives have also been
proposed, such as interim ‘surface final disposal’ for up to 150 years and even a retrievable
final underground disposal, which would represent a deviation from the Gorleben concept
and the disposal policy in general. Nevertheless, the debate is just starting and it is far from
unanimous, because acceptance of a disposal facility is still low everywhere: only about 30%
of the population would accept their region being proposed [7.19]. Furthermore, the question
of what geological formations are suitable is still contested, as are the criteria for selection
and the form of the decision making process. Political outrage is therefore not only associated
with the subject (radioactive waste), but also with the governance of the policy process [7.4].
One attempt to develop a selection procedure for a final disposal facility, proposed by the
Working Group for Selection Process for the Final Disposal Sides (Arbeitskreis
Auswahlverfahren Endlagerstandorte (AkEnd) [7.20] working on behalf of BMU, petered out
in the political process because it was vigorously contested for different reasons (e.g. because
it proposed one disposal procedure for all types of radioactive waste, the proposed selection
process was perceived to be too time consuming).
The nuclear phase-out offers an opportunity to debate the disposal issue in a more factual
way. The production of new spent fuel is due to stop in the foreseeable future, and the nuclear
phase-out meets the central demand of the anti-nuclear and anti-disposal movement.
Therefore, high level radioactive waste disposal is no longer ‘a proxy battle’ [7.21] for
177
nuclear energy. This battle seems to be over in Germany – at least as long as phasing out
nuclear energy does not jeopardize the stability of the electricity grid or the affordability of
electricity supply. Moreover, a new EU directive is exerting pressure on the political process.
This directive was adopted in July 2011 [7.22] and creates a framework with obligations for
the EU Member States: national programmes for the construction of disposal facilities must
be prepared by 2015, including timetables, implementation plans, cost assessments plans, etc.
The European Commission will examine these programmes and can demand changes. The
public must also be given opportunities to participate effectively in the decision making
process. Therefore, changing the national and transnational framework will offer an
opportunity to facilitate a new process for finding a high level radioactive waste final disposal
site, which is based on agreed criteria, and is scientifically sound, transparent and
participatory. Even the 2002 selection procedure mentioned earlier may be revived but rapid
results are not to be expected. More research is needed, and the controversy about a suitable
location and local resistance against any proposed disposal facility will continue.
7.3.2.2.
Carbon dioxide disposal
Legal responsibilities
In 2009, the European Union CCS Directive entered into force [7.23] as the legal regulatory
framework for CCD. Germany was supposed to incorporate the EU Directive into national
law by 25 June 20114. As the EU Directive allows Member States to decide whether they
would like to apply CCD, the national framework is of importance. Due to the federal
structure of Germany, the consent of both the Lower House (Bundestag) and the Upper
House (Bundesrat) is required, granting the federal states a strong influence on legislation.
This two layer polity still blocks the implementation of the EU directive in law and has led to
a CCD policy impasse: the Upper House refuses to agree to the CCD law proposed by the
Lower House. As a consequence, the EU Commission began to start an infringement
procedure against Germany in July 2011.
Disposal project
There is one CO2 disposal research project in Germany: the Ketzin (Brandenburg) project
CO2SINK (until 2010) and its follow-up project CO2MAN, coordinated by the German
Research Centre for Geosciences. The project partners include E.ON, Vattenfall and RWE.
CO2 from Vattenfall’s 30 MW(e) pilot plant for CO2 capture at the lignite fired power plant at
Schwarze Pumpe is injected. Vattenfall planned to operate a 300 MW(e) lignite
demonstration power plant (oxyfuel and post-combustion capture) at Jänschwalde
(Brandenburg), separating about 1.7 Mt CO2 per year and injecting it into a demonstration
disposal facility. The plant was supposed to be operational by 2015 to receive EU funding.
Vattenfall received authorization to explore the suitability of two regions in Brandenburg as
disposal sites. However, due to the failure to implement the EU directive in Germany,
Vattenfall decided in December 2011 to discontinue the Jänschwalde project.
4
After the completion of the report the majority of the Bundesrat and the Bundestag agreed in July, 2012 on a
modified CCS law. But this restrictive law darkens the perspectives of CCS in Germany further, at least for the
foreseeable future.
178
Public discussion about CCD and the CCS Directive
There is an intensive debate about the role CCD should play in the future energy system and
how to cope with the increasing lack of social acceptance of CO2 disposal projects [7.24].
Public acceptance is an important precondition for the large scale deployment of CCD, as the
FENCO-ERA-projects emphasized already in 2010. Against this background and under the
auspices of BMU and BMWi, preparations started in late 2008 for a German CCD law. The
federal cabinet of the grand coalition (Conservatives and Social Democrats) approved a first
draft in April 2009, which transferred the content of the EU directive into German law largely
unmodified. A public discussion and a parliamentary debate began soon after and, although
some feedback was positive, criticism was also widespread. In addition to the general
opposition to CCD, criticism of the content of the law included whether the law should be
permanent or limited in time; whether it should regulate CCD in general or only the disposal
of CO2, and whether it should limit the volume of CO2 disposal. Furthermore, northern
federal states with the biggest disposal capacity (in particular Schleswig-Holstein and
Niedersachsen with Conservative/Liberal governments) came under pressure from antidisposal movements supported by NGOs, feared that leakages and health problems, pollution
of drinking water and depreciation of property. These federal states threatened to block the
federal law in the Bundesrat. This growing resistance overlapped with the federal election in
September 2009, and the draft law was therefore withdrawn. In October 2009, the new
government coalition (Conservatives and Liberals) announced the prompt implementation of
a CCD law, and the importance of winning public acceptance for CCD was explicitly
mentioned.
In March 2010, the coalition resumed work on a modified law, and the amended version of
the law (July 2010) took into account former criticism partly. It became a limited CO2
disposal demonstration law, restricting the volume of CO2 disposal to 3 Mt CO2 per disposal
facility and 8 Mt nationwide (per year). However, this version was also contested both in
politics and society. In particular, the opposing northern federal states demanded a provision
providing them with the opportunity to prevent disposal projects (‘state clause’).The federal
government subsequently prepared a third version of the law, with a first version of a state
clause in early 2011. The same federal states opposed the amended version yet again,
demanding a more specific, legally secure clause. Finally, in an effort to secure consent, the
federal government modified the law again (May 2011). The new clause appeared to satisfy
the anti-CCD federal state majority, but met with resistance both from states with a pro-CCD
policy and from political and societal forces that totally opposed CCD.
In July 2011, the Conservative/Liberal majority in the Bundestag passed the law. However, in
September 2011 the draft law found no majority in the Bundesrat. Various federal states
opposed for different reasons: the coal dependent federal states Brandenburg (with a Social
Democrats/Left government that has an explicit pro-CCD policy) and Saxonia
(Conservative/Liberal government), together with Hamburg (Social Democrats government)
where a new coal fired power plant (potentially with CCD) is being built, opposed the state
clause. Other federal states, governed by diverse coalitions of Social Democrat, Green and
Left party ministers, opposed partly because the restriction on CO2 disposal did not go far
enough or because they did not agree with specific provisions (in particular, the question who
should operate closed CO2 disposal sites: the state or the companies that fill the disposal
sites) Yet other states opposed because of political tactical reasons (to disgrace the federal
government). The federal government appealed to the mediation committee, but the
negotiations ended without any results. German CCD policy is thus left empty handed and
179
remains blocked. Even the threat of legal action by the European Commission against
Germany because it has failed to implement the directive has not mobilised German policy.
Without a CCD law providing a sound legal basis for demonstration projects, the future of
CO2 disposal projects in Germany looks bleak.
Public awareness and perceptions of CCD
In contrast to nuclear power, CCD technologies are largely unknown among the general
public. In a representative survey carried out in 2009, 62% of the German population
indicated that they had never heard of CCD [7.25]. Only 21% of German citizens knew that
CCD can help reduce global warming.
Due to the low level of CCD awareness, the average status of attitude formation among the
general public differs between nuclear energy and CCD. With respect to nuclear energy, a
process of attitude formation has already taken place and public opinion regarding nuclear
power stations and HLW disposal are highly stable. Regarding CCD, however, the attitude
formation process among the general public is still only at the beginning. (This does not
apply to environmental NGOs that are actively involved in the CCD debate.) Thus, in the
present situation, public opinions regarding CCD are mostly initial perceptions of lay persons
which are neither based on knowledge nor on conviction [7.26]. Therefore, public
perceptions of CCD are currently highly unstable and can be easily changed by contextual
information or slight changes in mood [7.27].
In general, CCD technologies are initially assessed neutrally by the German public [7.28].
However, initial perceptions vary between men and women and between regions [7.10]. Men
evaluate CCD more positively than women. Furthermore, CCD is initially perceived more
negatively in Schleswig-Holstein, which is the German region with the largest capacities for
CO2 disposal, as well as in the Rheinschiene, which is region where the Huerth RWE
demonstration power plant was planned.
Initial perceptions of CCD also vary with regard to the respective process step. Whereas
capture is initially negatively evaluated by 29% of the German population, transport is
negatively evaluated by 48% and disposal by 49%. Accordingly, German citizens perceive
personal risks of CO2 disposal to be higher than personal risks associated with CO2 transport
or capture [7.28]. Additionally, personal risks associated with all three process steps are
perceived to be higher by women than by men. Thus, it can be assumed that different risk
perceptions are one important reason for the varying initial perceptions of CCD between men
and women.
Regionally, disposal and transport risks are also evaluated differently: personal risks
associated with CO2 disposal are perceived to be higher in Schleswig-Holstein than in
Rheinschiene, whereas the risks associated with CO2 transport are perceived to be higher in
Rheinschiene than in Schleswig-Holstein. With regard to CO2 capture, the risk perceptions do
not differ between inhabitants of Rheinschiene and Schleswig-Holstein.
One important similarity between public opinions on or perceptions of HLW and CO2
disposal is that both are heavily influenced by risk perceptions. However, whereas the risk
perceptions of HLW disposal and opinions on nuclear energy are generally highly stable
among the German public, it can be assumed that risk perceptions of CO2 disposal have not
yet fully formed. Therefore, information on risks (and benefits) of CO2 disposal should be
180
relevant, balanced and comprehensible for lay persons in order to avoid misconceptions of
the associated risks and thus prevent risk perceptions that cannot be changed later.
To summarise, in Germany, nuclear energy and radioactive waste are associated with a
‘dread risk’, which elicits feelings of uncontrollability, catastrophe and imposed risk. From
the public’s perspective, the delay in making decisions on radioactive waste disposal is
considered confirmation that there is no safe way of disposing of this waste [7.16].
Nevertheless, now that a decision has been made to phase out nuclear power, there is a
chance that the final disposal debate could be reopened.
In contrast, the debate about CCD is less intense and politically less relevant from a national
perspective. Yet, in some areas with the potential for a CO2 disposal project, the risk
perception of a substantial proportion of the population may be gridlocked – an assumption
for which empirical evidence is still required. With the (failed) implementation of the EU
directive, CCD became the focus of a broader controversial national debate. Here, the
radioactive waste debate appeared to influence the risk perception of CO2 disposal: CCD
critics draw a parallel between the high risks of radioactive waste and CO2 disposal, and
scrutinize the concept of geological barriers, which has been transferred from radioactive
waste disposal to CO2 disposal. The tightness of barriers over decades or more is questioned
in general. However, even if German politics reaches a compromise for a CCD law, CCD
technology may play a very limited role in Germany because of the focus on renewables and
natural gas – at least for the foreseeable future. This may restrict demand for CO2 disposal
areas and hence the potential for widespread societal conflicts.
7.3.3.
7.3.3.1.
Lithuania
Radioactive waste disposal
Legal responsibilities
There is a quite complex net of responsibilities in the sector of radioactive waste disposal in
Lithuania. Licensing the construction and operation of a repository is the responsibility of the
state enterprise Radioactive Waste Management Agency (RATA). RATA was established to
implement the management and final disposal of all radioactive waste generated by the
Ignalina NPP during its operation and decommissioning, and the radioactive waste from
small producers (hospitals, industry, research institutions etc.). Existing disposal facilities do
not conform with the requirements and standards for the repositories and cannot be used for
final disposal of radioactive waste. It is RATA’s task to construct and operate the repositories
for short lived and long lived radioactive waste.
Upon implementation of provisions set forth by the Law on Radioactive Waste Management,
the Government of the Republic of Lithuania issued the Resolution No. 1487, dated 27th
December, 1999, by which the Ministry of Economy was entrusted to set up the radioactive
waste management agency. RATA functions in accordance with the Strategy of Radioactive
Waste Management approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. On the course
of its activities, RATA shall observe the Law on Radioactive Waste Management, the Law on
Nuclear Energy, the Law on Radiation Protection, the Law on State and Municipality
Enterprises, and other legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania. As management of the
radioactive waste is directly related with nuclear and radiation safety, RATA’s activity shall
be licensed by the regulatory bodies, namely the State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate
(VATESI) and the Radiation Protection Centre.
181
The Ministry of Energy, established in 2009 from several energy related departments from
the Ministry of Economy, is responsible for the nuclear energy industry and repository
applied basic research. The Laboratory of Engineering Problems of Nuclear Energy at the
Lithuanian Energy Institute deals with the main engineering issues of final radioactive waste
disposal. The Geological Survey of Lithuania is responsible for geoscientific issues
associated with radioactive waste disposal. The licensing process also includes local
communities, and the issuing of zoning permits. Public hearings allow the public to get
involved.
Radioactive waste
Some 22 000 nuclear fuel assemblies, an equivalent of approximately 2500 t of uranium,
were used at the Ignalina NPP throughout its operation. All of these assemblies must be
stored for about 50 years and then disposed of. In order to manage and dispose of SNF and
long lived radioactive waste from the Ignalina NPP, a deep geological repository is planned
to go into operation in 2041. Several potential geological formations for long lived high level
radioactive waste disposal have been investigated: crystalline basement, clay, anhydrite, etc.
Research conducted in recent years has shown clay and granite type crystalline basement
formations to be the most suitable. The best prospects for a crystalline basement appear to be
in the south-east of Lithuania, where the basement rocks are covered by a relatively thin
(200–300 m) sedimentary layer [7.29], [7.30], [7.31].
The disposal concept in Lithuania for SNF from the RBMK-1500 reactors in crystalline rocks
is based on the Swedish KBS-3 concept whereby SNF is placed in copper canisters (casks)
with a cast iron insert [7.32], [7.33], [7.34]. Bentonite or a mixture of bentonite with crushed
rock are also foreseen as a buffer and backfill material. Taking into account the results of the
criticality, dose rate assessment and thermal calculations, it was proposed that 32 halfassemblies of the SNF be loaded into one disposal canister. Based on preliminary assessment,
the reference canister would have a diameter of 1050 mm and a length of 4070 mm. For the
disposal of the Lithuanian SNF, about 1400 canisters would be required [7.35].
Currently, HLW is stored in decentralized interim storage facilities at the Maisiagala and
Ignalina NPPs. These locations were originally intended as final repositories, but their present
status created doubts about their safety level. Preliminary investigations at the Maisiagala
repository have shown that radionuclides could possibly migrate from the repository [7.36].
The design work of the near surface radioactive waste repository started in 2009 and
construction started in 2012. The facility is to be commissioned in 2015. The costs of the
project are estimated between € 100–200 million and will be covered by the European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development and the European Commission.
Public opinion about nuclear energy
One specific risk perception study related to nuclear energy has been conducted in Lithuania:
“Risk perceptions, public communication and innovative governance in knowledge society”
(RINOVA), which was funded by the Lithuanian State Science and Studies Foundation
[7.37]. The representative population survey (N=1000) was conducted in June 2008. A
standardized questionnaire on public perceptions of nuclear power, radioactive waste disposal
climate change etc. was prepared. The main questions addressed in the survey were:
•
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What social and environmental concerns are reflected in nuclear risk perceptions?
•
What symbolic meanings of nuclear power are reflected in public attitudes?
•
How are nuclear risks associated with the operation and radioactive waste disposal
perceived among other threats?
•
How does the public reflect upon participation and responsibility issues regarding
nuclear power issues?
Almost 30% of the respondents were totally in favour of nuclear energy development in
Lithuania. More than 90% of respondents believed that scientists and the government should
be responsible for nuclear energy issues. 45% of the respondents believed that most scientists
were not certain whether nuclear energy is safe.
Surveys over a number of years have indicated that the Lithuanian population, in comparison
to other European countries, is in favour of nuclear energy. The 2008 and 2005
Eurobarometer survey conducted in 27 EU Member States indicated that the level of support
for nuclear energy varies strongly from country to country [7.38], [7.39]. However, citizens
in countries with operational NPPs were found to be considerably more likely to support
nuclear energy than citizens in other countries. That there is a strong link between these two
variables – support for nuclear energy and existence of NPPs in one’s country – is clearly
emphasized by the fact that most countries with an above average strong support for nuclear
energy actually had NPPs. The strongest support (about 60%) was found in the Czech
Republic and Lithuania, as well as in Hungary, Bulgaria, Sweden, Finland and Slovakia5
[7.38], [7.39]. Another Eurobarometer survey conducted in 2010 [7.40] indicated that the
unresolved final disposal problem for radioactive waste is a major factor impeding the
acceptance of nuclear energy. 73% of Lithuanian residents believed that NPPs can be
operated in a safe manner; in the 2006 survey this figure was 69%.
The joint Lithuanian–British market research and public opinion survey company Baltic
Surveys was commissioned by the Lithuanian State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate to
conduct a representative survey of Lithuanian residents in October–November 2009. Over a
thousand people aged between 15 and 74 years living in the country were surveyed. More
than half of Lithuanian residents agreed with the statement that disposal (56%) and
transportation (59%) of radioactive waste is safe. Should a radioactive waste disposal facility
be constructed, residents would be concerned about the impact on their health and the
environment (37%), in particular about the release of radioactive waste from the disposal
facility into the environment (36%). Lithuanians are less concerned about the possible
deterioration in the attractiveness of the district for business development (3%) and the huge
costs for the construction and operation of the disposal facilities (1%).
As compared with 43% of respondents in 2006 who agreed with the statement that the legal
framework in Lithuania adequately assured nuclear safety, in the survey in 2009, this number
was as high as 52%. 50% of residents tended to think that the nuclear safety authority
sufficiently regulated the safe operation of nuclear installations. In 2006, such opinion was
held by 47% of the respondents. However, 66% of respondents felt insufficiently informed
about nuclear safety issues in Lithuania (in 2006, this figure was 82%) and only 25% felt
sufficiently informed about these issues. Lithuanian residents pointed out that they need brief
and understandable information about the methods of disposing of radioactive waste, where
5
Other countries which did not participate in the CRP are here also mentioned for the purpose of comparison.
183
and how those facilities are to be constructed, what the current impacts of the Ignalina NPP
are on their health and what impacts could be expected in the foreseeable future.
Public opinion and understanding the safety aspects of nuclear power facilities are very
important. Information on regulatory activities should be made more accessible and easy to
understand. 50% of respondents thought that the Lithuanian State Nuclear Power Safety
Inspectorate (VATESI) sufficiently regulates nuclear safety in Lithuania, 14% of the
respondents believed that regulation and supervision was unsatisfactory.
Public opinion about radioactive waste disposal
The 2008 Eurobarometer survey “Attitudes towards radioactive waste” indicated that 35% of
Lithuanians (41% of Europeans on average) totally agree that there is no safe way of getting
rid of high level radioactive waste, while just 30% of Lithuanians (31% in EU) tend to agree
[7.39]. In Lithuania, 21% disagreed (14% in EU) did not know or had no opinion. The
opinion that there are safe ways of getting rid of high level radioactive waste was relatively
strong in a set of countries that have NPPs in operation: the Netherlands, the Czech Republic,
Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania and Belgium. In Lithuania, 21% disagreed with this
statement. To summarize, the survey demonstrated that a higher level of knowledge lowers
risk perception, leading to a higher level of acceptance of nuclear energy. The idea that there
is no safe way of getting rid of high level radioactive waste had slightly more support in
Finland in 2008 than in 2005, while Cypriot, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Latvian and Dutch
respondents appeared to have become more convinced of the opposite, i.e. that there actually
is a safe way of getting rid of it.
When analysing differences at the country level, the most striking result is that the potential
effects on the environment and on health associated with a disposal site for radioactive waste
are considered to be the most worrying aspect of having such a site near one’s home in all
countries polled. Public opinion appears to be rather homogenous in the case of the second
issue: the risk of radioactive leaks ranks second as the most worrying aspect of radioactive
waste disposal in all EU countries except in Sweden. In the hypothetical situation, mentioned
above, the impact on the environment and health would worry up to three quarters of
Lithuanians.
There is a wide consensus at the country level that respondents would like to be directly
consulted and would want to participate in the decision making process if an underground
disposal site for radioactive waste was to be constructed near their home. Absolute majorities
of citizens in 15 EU countries are of this opinion, in another 11 countries relative majorities
agree, and in only one country, Lithuania, does a minority agree. The largest segment of
Lithuanian respondents would rather leave it to responsible authorities to decide on the
construction of a disposal facility.
The idea that responsible authorities should decide on a disposal site for radioactive waste is
supported by Lithuanian, Czech and Slovak respondents in particular. The trust in
information from NGOs on radioactive waste management is highest among Swedish,
Slovakian, French and Danish respondents. In Lithuania, Bulgaria and Estonia, respondents
are least likely to trust NGOs to provide them with trustworthy information on this topic.
It appears that over 50% of the Dutch, Belgian, Lithuanian, British, French, Slovenian and
Finnish opponents of nuclear power would change their view regarding nuclear energy
production if a safe solution to managing radioactive waste were to be found. The perception
184
that deep underground disposal is the most appropriate solution for the long term
management of these materials is accepted by 45% of respondents, whereas 38% reject this.
The RINOVA study indicated the positive symbolic meaning that dominates the public
perceptions of NPPs in Lithuania, and it revealed that economic and energy security concerns
have priority whereas radioactive waste disposal problems ranked second. Involvement of the
Lithuanian society is not perceived as important (just 44.1% of respondents believed that
society is responsible for nuclear energy issues including safety and radioactive waste
disposal). It therefore has no responsibility or legitimized power to participate in nuclear
power regulation issues. There is little difference between public perceptions of an old and a
new NPP. Nuclear energy, including the radioactive waste disposal problem, was rated as a
medium threat (3.52) by respondents asked to evaluate their perception of threats on a scale
of 1 (low) to 5 (high). The highest threat for Lithuanians was related to food preservatives.
The necessity to dispose of high level radioactive waste in deep geological formations is
obvious. However, there is still much debate in society and at all political levels regarding the
suitable host rocks, the criteria for selection, sites for such a disposal facility and the form the
selection (decision making) process itself should take.
7.3.3.2.
Carbon dioxide disposal
Legal responsibilities
There are no national laws regulating CO2 disposal in geological formations in Lithuania, but
the related EC Directive had to be implemented by 25 June 2011 [7.41]. Implementing this
directive required amending other EU directives and regulations that had already been
implemented in Lithuanian law: Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 2005 on the assessment of
the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (Environmental Impact
Assessment Directive); Directive 2000/60/EC of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework
for Community action in the field of water policy; Directive 2001/80/EC on limitation of
certain pollutant emissions from large combustion power plants; Directive 2004/35/EC of 21
April on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of
environmental damage; Directive 2006/12/EC on waste; Directive 2008/1/EC concerning
integrated pollution prevention and control and regulation on shipments of waste; and the
CCS Directive 2009/31/EC to be transposed in Lithuanian laws by making amendments and
passing a new law on 25 June 2011. The main legal acts that had to be amended to implement
the requirements of directive were: Waste Management Law (1998); Law of Earth Entrails
(1995); and Law on Environmental Impact Assessment (1996).
Possible disposal projects in Lithuania
There are no CCD demonstration projects in Lithuania, but there are three potential
geological aquifer structures in the south-west of Lithuania suitable for structurally trapping
CO2: Vaskai (8.7 Mt CO2), Syderiai (21.5 Mt CO2), D11 (11.3 Mt CO2) which together can
store 41.5 Mt CO2 [7.42], [7.43]. In Lithuania, ten oil fields are presently being exploited.
The size of the oil fields ranges from 16 000 tons to 1 400 000 t of recoverable oil. The
disposal potential of the largest oil field in west Lithuania is 2 Mt CO2. In total, the amount of
CO2 that could potentially be stored in oil fields in Lithuania is estimated to be very low at
7.6 Mt CO2 compared to 20 Mt of average annual CO2 emissions in Lithuania.
185
Public discussion about CCD and the CCS Directive
There have been no public debates in Lithuania regarding the national framework to
implement the EC Directive on CO2 geological disposal. Therefore, no decision has been
made on national policy related to the role CCD should play in a future energy system or in
relation to CO2 disposal approval procedures, organization and control.
Public awareness and perceptions of CCD
No specific studies on public awareness or CCD acceptance have been conducted in
Lithuania. In order to get more information on the perceptions of a wide range of
stakeholders on the potential role of CCD in the EU, a team of researchers performed a
survey of more than 500 stakeholders within the framework of the EU funded ACCSEPT1
project [7.44]. During 2006, stakeholders from the energy industry, researchers, government
officials, parliamentarians and environmental associations from 28 European countries
participated in this survey. Important questions were:
•
Is CCD geologically feasible within the EU and what disposal capacities are
available?
•
Can the risks of CCD be appropriately assessed and managed?
•
Can CCD be undertaken under existing international and European law?
•
Is the information on the costs of CCD good enough to make robust decisions?
•
What policies can help to make CCD economically more feasible?
•
Is CCD acceptable to European stakeholders and to the European public?
•
Is there sufficient fossil fuel to make investment in CCD worthwhile in the long term?
•
How large are the externalities arising from CCD and how important are they?
•
Will investment in CCD detract from the development and deployment of other zero
and low carbon energy sources?
It was found that the majority of respondents was moderately supportive of CCD and
believed that it had a role to play in their own country’s plans to mitigate CO2 emissions.
Their belief in the role of CCD tended to increase when moving from the national to the EU
to the global scales. 44% of the sample did think that there might be some negative impacts
arising from CCD for investment in other low or zero carbon energy technologies, compared
to 51% who did not think that there would be any negative impacts or thought that impacts
might even be positive. Stakeholders from the energy sector strongly supported the
development of CCD technologies, though potential adverse impacts for renewables were
acknowledged. Environmental NGO respondents were much more concerned about the risks
and the implications for renewable energy than energy industry and governmental
stakeholders. Respondents from Norway, the UK and the Netherlands were the most
enthusiastic about CCD and least concerned about the potential risks, possibly because
offshore projects are more likely. Other countries, including Lithuania, were less enthusiastic
about CCD and tended to regard the risks to health, safety and the environment as being
186
greater. They also believed that there would be more negative impacts on the development of
other low carbon technologies and decentralized power generation. Most other counties
reflected a position between these two groups.
The main results were:
•
For 75% of the respondents, CCD was ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ necessary for large
scale CO2 reduction;
•
90% of the respondents believed that research, development and demonstration were
the most appropriate next steps for taking CCD forward in their country;
•
For more than 85% of respondents, incentives for CCD should be applied Europe
wide;
•
The majority of respondents thought that the risks associated with CCD were
‘moderate’ or ‘minimal’;
•
44% of the sample believed that the development of low and zero carbon technologies
would suffer from investments in CCD;
•
The public was ‘moderately supportive’ (34%) in own country, followed by ‘neutral’
(30%); ‘moderately opposed’ (19%); ‘strongly opposed’ (4%) and ‘strongly
supportive’ (5%);
•
The public was more supportive of CCD at the EU scale than in their own countries.
North-west Europe and southern Europe were keener on CCD in their own countries
than Central and Eastern Europe (including Lithuania) and Scandinavia;
•
A smaller role was played by CCD in national debates in Central and Eastern Europe,
including Lithuania;
•
The risk perceptions of CCD were greatest for Central and Eastern European
countries, including Lithuania;
•
Central and Eastern Europe, including Lithuania and Scandinavian countries, were
more likely to regard CCD as having a negative impact on decentralization and
renewables;
•
The group of countries with low GDP per capita (< $ 19 000 per annum), including
Lithuania, was generally less enthusiastic about CCD than the other groups, and
perceived it to be a less important component of the national climate change debate;
•
The group of countries with low GDP per capita, which included Lithuania, were less
keen on EU Emission Trading System with tighter national caps and on post-Kyoto
requirements;
•
The group of countries with low GDP per capita perceived the risks of CCD to be
higher than other groups and perceived more negative impacts upon decentralization
and energy security;
187
•
Central and Eastern Europe, including Lithuania, requires a more concerted effort to
raise awareness of and begin a discussion on CCD, including opportunities which
might arise in trading Certified Emission Reductions from some European nations.
To summarize, the RINOVA study revealed that public perception of nuclear power are
relatively inconsistent in Lithuania: despite public uncertainty about scientific knowledge,
science is still regarded as the main actor taking responsibility for nuclear power issues. Just
44% of Lithuanian respondents think that society is responsible for nuclear energy issues,
including safety and radioactive waste disposal, and that society should have a responsibility
or legitimized power to participate in decision making. The support for new modern reactors
is rather high, but they are still considered to have potential accident hazards. Positive
symbolic meaning dominates public perceptions of NPPs in Lithuania, revealing economic
and energy security concerns, on the one hand, and the radioactive waste disposal problem,
on the other. Nuclear energy, including the radioactive waste disposal problem, was rated as a
medium threat (3.52) by respondents asked to evaluate their perception of threats on a scale
of 1 to 5. In Lithuania about 80% of the population agrees with the statement that there are
safe ways of getting rid of high level radioactive waste.
CCD is almost unknown and there are no public debates on CCD in Lithuania. No risk
perception studies have been conducted to date. The results of the recent EU project
ACCSEPT indicated that the risk perceptions of CCD are greater in Lithuania and in other
new EU member states than in the old EU countries (only 22 questionnaires were distributed
in Lithuania, excluding parliamentarians, and the large majority of respondents were from the
energy, research and government sectors). The survey demonstrated that Lithuanians were
generally less enthusiastic about CCD than other nationals, and that Lithuanians perceived
CCD to be less important in the national climate change debate. Lithuanians perceived the
risks of CCD and the impacts upon decentralisation and energy security to be higher than
citizens of old EU countries. New EU Member States, including Lithuania, require a more
concerted effort to raise awareness of and begin a discussion on CCD.
7.3.3.3.
Comparative analysis
Table 7.1 summarises the three case study findings regarding radioactive waste and CO2
disposal in the three countries included in this study. It is based on the following items:
188
•
Status of disposal technology categories: planned, research, development, operational;
•
Risk assessment (‘objective’ risks): How high is the risk? Categories: low, medium,
high;
•
Public awareness of the technology: Self reported awareness based on polls, giving an
indication of the presence of the issue in the general public (low, medium, high);
•
Public knowledge: Do people know about disposal (three categories);
•
Public opinion: Opinion is a verbalized attitude towards an issue (here final disposal)
collected in polls, etc. Categories are ‘formed’ opinions or opinions in ‘formation’;
•
Public debate: How intense is the debate and where does that debate take place? An
indicator is the discourse in the media that can be intense, medium or low. National
media and/or only regional and/or only local media were considered;
•
Resistance: Is there resistance, at whatever stage these projects may be, from
grassroots movements, national NGOs, political parties, etc.? Categories are low,
medium, intense; the national, regional and local resistance movements were
considered;
•
Public participation: The category ‘legal’ means that the legally required formal
procedures, regulations of spatial planning, etc. are applied in the licensing process.
‘Participatory’ means additional consensus building measures were applied at the
national and/or regional/local level (e.g. round tables, public hearings).
7.4. CONCLUSIONS
There are some technical and institutional similarities between the disposal of CO2 and
radioactive waste in geological formations (e.g. all disposals have to separate the disposed
material from the biosphere; a regulatory regime is necessary), but there are more differences
[7.16], [7.21], [7.45]. To mention only a few: there is nothing like an interim storage for CO2;
radioactive waste poses a higher risk than CO2 per unit of waste; monitoring (safety) and
verification (safeguards) is important for radioactive waste disposals, whereas only safety is
of relevance in the final disposal of CO2. From the perspective of social acceptance, a crucial
politically and socially virulent difference is that the negative opinions on nuclear energy and
radioactive waste disposal are rather entrenched and stable in many countries, whereas the
acceptance of CO2 disposal is still in an early phase of development. Therefore, in many
countries, nuclear energy and radioactive waste are connected with a web of negative and
fearful symbols in the public mind [7.46], and radioactive waste disposal appears to be a
wicked problem that is difficult to solve [7.47]. Even if risk perception of CCD in general is
just developing and is still unstable, there is some evidence, based on findings of our case
studies, that CCD will be considered less dangerous, and that these issues do not have the
potential to create conflicts of comparable intensity to those in nuclear power that originates
from entrenched long lasting antagonisms. Nevertheless, social acceptance is one challenge
facing politics and society in both areas.
189
190
Lithuania
research
research
CO2
research
CO2
HLW
development
HLW
research
CO2
Germany
development
HLW
Czech
Republic
Status of
technology
Disposal
Material
Country
low
high
low
high
low
low
Risk
assessment
(‘objective’
risks)
TABLE 7.1. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT
low
high
low
high
low
high
Public
awareness
of
the
technology
low
low
low
medium
low
medium
Public
knowledge
on the
technology
formation
formed
process of
formation
formed
limited,
formation in
the future
formed
Public
opinion
no debate
medium
medium (local
& regional)
intense
(nationwide)
very general,
formation in the
future
intense
(local &
regional)
low
(nationwide)
Public debate
no resistance
no resistance
intense (local
to regional)
intense
(nationwide to
local)
low so far.
medium can
be expected
Intense
(local &
regional)
medium
(nationwide)
Resistance
legal
legal
legal process, local
information
legal process, local
information, round
tables
None for the
moment
legal
&participatory
Public
participation
To cope with this challenge, information is required on the ‘objective risks’ in order to
overcome knowledge deficits [7.48], even though knowledge is only one factor influencing
risk perception, public opinion and attitude.
Another important task involves developing techniques for building a shared understanding
of the issue [7.49] and developing strategies and ‘governance’ approaches to deal with
complex risks [7.50]. To integrate people concerned from the very beginning in a
participatory way is one strategy within these approaches, for example the “Facility Siting
Credo” [7.51], [7.52], [7.53]. It could substantially contribute to public confidence in public
decision making, if the Credo is properly implemented. The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste
Management Company has positive experiences with the early participation of the local
population in selecting a site for radioactive waste disposal.
However, this credo and other general proposals for participation are facing criticism as
sensible but abstract suggestions. The real challenge lies in implementing such approaches in
a conflict ridden social environment [7.54]. Moreover, elements have been scrutinized.
Studies on the benefit packages for individuals and/or host communities as ‘drivers’ of
acceptance are inconclusive: some studies have found compensation to have a positive effect
on siting acceptance, while others perceived compensation to be counterproductive [7.55],
[7.56] because the rationale for resistance against projects is more varied than fears of
property value losses that can be compensated.
Finally, there are good reasons to assume that people who could be affected by a disposal
project on the ground would oppose that project, even if the ‘objective’ risk is low and the
approval process is finished and legally sound. Opposition against a project appears ‘rational’
from the perspective of those affected. They bear the brunt of the risk, as small as it may be,
and of other inconveniences (noise during drilling, injection, etc.), whereas the benefit (e.g.
electricity from a low carbon source) is spread across the entire country. However, it is not
always the people living closest to a planned project who oppose it most (NIMBY
phenomenon). There are also findings that indicate the existence of an ‘inverse NIMBY’
phenomenon, i.e. that those who are closest support a project most (e.g. for wind energy
projects [7.57] and cf. also the case studies presented in this chapter). In addition, media
coverage sometimes gives the impression that most technological projects fail due to (local)
resistance – in reality most projects are implemented without resistance and conflict.
Therefore, acceptance research should not only concentrate on conflict, resistance and
implementation failures, but also on successful projects and the conditions under which they
were implemented smoothly.
There is no simple approach for coping with complex uncertain risks such as those associated
with radioactive waste and CO2 disposal [7.50] nor is there an institutional solution to the
acceptance problem. Even participatory decision making is not the silver bullet for social
acceptance [7.58]. It could be only one but important element in a complex regulatory
process to make decisions and implement them, thereby taking into account national and
local specifics. How difficult and discouraging this process could be and how challenging a
new attempt might be is demonstrated by the debate about high level waste disposal in the
USA [7.59], [7.60]. It is not a new, but a true message Todt has: “… more research is needed
on the complex relationship between acceptance, trust, information and participation, the
implications of non-standard methodology in regulatory decision making, as well as the
different interpretations that stakeholders may give to key regulatory concepts.” [7.58]. An
interesting field of research could be comparative case studies about successful siting
191
processes. They could direct the (popular) viewer's scrutiny from failure to success and its
conditions and frameworks.
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195
Chapter 8
8.
POLICY, REGULATION AND INSTITUTIONS
D. SHARMA
University of Technology Sydney (UTS),
Australia
8.1. INTRODUCTION
Global climate change is currently a major challenge for humanity. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is
the dominant greenhouse gas (GHG), contributing more than 70% to the global GHG
emissions. A major source of CO2 emission is electricity production; it is responsible for
nearly 40% of total CO2 emissions [8.1]. This is primarily due to the overwhelming reliance
by the electricity sector on fossil fuels, especially coal. For instance, currently coal accounts
for approximately 30% of the world’s electricity capacity and 40% of electricity generation
[8.1].
In the absence of any significant transformation in the electricity technology fuel mix in the
coming years, coal is expected to continue to occupy a central place in the electricity
economy complex. For example, the share of coal based electricity is expected to increase to
44% by 2030, as the world contemplates an addition of nearly 4800 GW(e) capacity in order
to meet an expected 76% growth in electricity demand over this period [8.2]. Further, by the
year 2030, CO2 emissions are expected to increase by 40%, with electricity contributing more
than 60% to this increase [8.2].
Notwithstanding the uncertainties and discord that surround the global warming debate, there
is a wide consensus on the enormity of the GHG challenge and hence the unsustainability of
such high levels of CO2 emissions from the electricity sector. The search is on for policy
options to reduce CO2 emissions. Two such options are nuclear power and fossil based power
with the provision of carbon capture and disposal (CCD).
Considerable work has already been undertaken to analyse the cost effectiveness for
electricity production from nuclear and coal fired power plants with CCD technologies. Much
of this work has focused on the generation segments of the two industries, and to a lesser
extent, on the transmission and distribution segments. Relatively little attention has been
devoted to analysing the dynamics of radioactive waste and CO2 disposal. Further, the
general tenor of much of the existing analysis is techno-economic, focused on analysing
technologies, technical potential and cost effectiveness. There is rather scant analysis of the
policy, institutional and regulatory dimensions of radioactive waste and CO2 disposal. This
analysis is, however, critical because the extent to which technical potential will find
policy/political acceptance will be largely determined by the efficacy of the policy,
institutional and regulatory arrangements.
Against this backdrop, the main purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of the
policy, regulatory and institutional settings for CO2 and radioactive waste disposal for
selected countries, including Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Republic of Korea,
Lithuania and Switzerland. The policy settings, in the context of this chapter, refer to the
political processes and governance paradigms. Regulatory settings focus on the prevailing
rules for radioactive waste and CO2 disposal. These rules can be in the form of acts, treaties,
conventions, ordinances, agreements and regulations. Institutional settings are about
197
institutional responsibilities, for example, for implementing radioactive waste and CO2
disposal programmes, in accordance with prevalent rules.
This chapter is organized as follows. Section 8.2.1 presents a description of the key policy,
regulatory and institutional aspects of radioactive waste storage and disposal for countries
included in this study. Section 8.2.2 provides such a description for CO2 disposal. Section
8.2.3 summarizes the key observations developed from a review of information in sections
8.2.1 and 8.2.2. Section 8.3 develops a comparative analysis of the policy, regulatory and
institutional settings for various countries. Section 8.4 provides a summary of major findings
of this chapter.
8.2. COUNTRY CASE STUDIES
8.2.1.
8.2.1.1.
Radioactive waste disposal
Policy
Uranium mining in Australia dates back to the 1930s. Australia is the largest supplier of
uranium (for electricity production purposes) to the world, yet it does not have a nuclear
power industry. However, it does have activities that use radioisotopes in medicine, research
and industry. These activities generate low level wastes (LLW) and intermediate level wastes
(ILW). These wastes are stored at several sites around Australia, but there is no dedicated
national radioactive waste repository for long term disposal.
Nuclear power in Australia is a highly debated issue. There are sharply contrasting opinions
on this issue amongst the political parties and the populace at large. Overall, the public
sentiment in Australia is fiercely anti-nuclear. The government’s proposal in 2007 to initiate a
debate on this issue and to canvass support for the introduction of nuclear power was quickly
abandoned due to public and political disquiet. Currently, the Australian government’s policy
for redressing the climate change challenge does not consider nuclear as an option – a
testimony to the political sensitivity of this issue.
Australia is a federation of six states and two union territories. The Australian constitution
accords differential powers to the federal and state governments. The states and territories
have their own independent legislative powers for all matters not specifically assigned to the
federal government. However, in matters of inconsistency between federal and state or
territory laws, federal laws prevail [8.3].
The history of radioactive waste in the Czech Republic goes back to more than sixty years.
The rapid expansion of nuclear energy in the 1960s and 1970s resulted in the accumulation of
significant quantities of radioactive waste and the community was faced with the challenge of
disposing of it. At that time, it was decided to dispose of low level radioactive waste in the
near surface repositories, and of spent nuclear fuel and high level waste in underground rock
formations [8.4].
Up to 40% of electricity in the Czech Republic is produced from nuclear power. The country
has three research reactors, several radioactive waste storage facilities, a spent fuel interim
storage facility and a low level radioactive waste repository [8.5]. It also has uranium ore
mining and production facilities. A state owned company acts as the operator of all uranium
production facilities.
198
The constitution of the Czech Republic gives the president considerable power, including the
power to veto legislation. In 1993, the former Czechoslovakia was divided into the Slovak
Republic and the Czech Republic [8.4]. To ensure a smooth and continuous transition, it was
agreed that all acts, regulations and decisions in the field of nuclear energy and ionizing
radiation would continue to apply until subsequent legislation was enacted [8.4]. Since then,
multiple acts and regulations have been adopted by the Czech Republic to establish a
comprehensive legal system in this field. The energy policy framework of the Czech
Republic was adopted in 2004, set by the State Energy Policy. The basic priorities are to
strive for independence from foreign energy sources, maximize the safety of energy sources,
including nuclear power, and promote sustainable development [8.6].
Over the years, the management of spent fuel and high level radioactive waste has gained
considerable public attention, primarily due to concerns about nuclear safety, especially after
the Chernobyl accident [8.5]. The government therefore faces a major challenge in dealing
with this perception and assuring the public of the effectiveness of its policies on radioactive
waste disposal.
The political structure of Germany consists of a central Federal Government and 16 federal
states (Länder). Radioactive waste disposal has traditionally been the responsibility of the
Länder [8.7]. In 1959, the Atomic Energy Act was enacted, containing regulations about the
safe use of radioactive substances. In the early 1960s and 1970s, this responsibility was
carried out by the state owned nuclear research centres, but since 1976, it is a federal
responsibility with the amendment of the Atom Law. Currently, the country has 17 nuclear
reactors, located at 12 different locations. The responsibility for licensing the construction
and operation of all nuclear facilities is shared between the federal and Länder governments.
This arrangement effectively confers a power of veto to both levels of government [8.8]. The
German nuclear industry is not directly responsible for the final disposal of radioactive waste,
but the country's ‘polluter pays’ policy forces the industry to underwrite all of the costs for
the preparation and disposal activities in proportion to its share in the resulting amount of
waste [8.8].
In Germany, support for nuclear energy has been strong since the 1970s, following the oil
price shock of 1974. However, in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident in 1986, the Social
Democratic Party (SPD) passed a resolution to abandon nuclear power within ten years. This
created significant disagreements between the electric utilities and the government. In 2000, a
compromise was reached between the Social Democrats/Green government and the utilities
which prolonged the life of existing nuclear plants until about 2022 and prohibited the
construction of new nuclear power plants (NPPs) and the reprocessing of spent fuel [8.8]. It
also committed the existing utilities to store spent fuel on site.
In 2007, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned that Germany's decision to phase out
nuclear power would constrain its capacity to reduce carbon emissions. The agency therefore
urged the government to reconsider this policy [8.8]. In 2009, following an election, a
coalition government comprising Christian Democrat Union (CDU) and Liberal Democrat
Party (FDP), was formed. In 2010, the government decided to extend the license for reactors
built before 1980 by 8 years, and for those built after 1980 by 14 years. However, in 2011,
after increasing pressure from anti-nuclear federal states and in the aftermath of the
Fukushima accident, the government decided to phase out and close all reactors by 2022
[8.8].
199
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Lithuania had two large Russian reactors of the
RBMK type. In 1991, Lithuania assumed the ownership of the Ignalina reactors. Lithuania
stores its spent nuclear fuel in special containers within depots of ‘dry’ type, in the territory
of the Ignalina NPP [8.9]. Lithuania also produces a small portion of waste by utilizing
ionizing sources in medicine, research and industry. Initially, all radioactive waste generated
was stored at two sites: the Ignalina NPP storage facilities and the Maišiagala disposal facility
[8.10]. However, the Maišiagala Radon type waste storage facility has since closed.
Lithuania’s political system has undergone significant change over the last two decades.
Following the country’s independence in 1991, a new constitution was introduced in 1992.
The right to legislate belongs to the Seimas, the President of the Republic, the Government
and 50 000 electors. The President may introduce draft laws, which the Seimas must debate.
An issue of critical importance to the state or to the nation may be initiated by the Seimas.
Such issues are generally initiated through referenda, or by the electorate, upon the
presentation of 300 000 signatures [8.10]. In 1994, owing to external pressures and the
Lithuanian interest in joining the European Union (EU), the country was required to shut
down both nuclear reactors and to make its energy policy consistent with EU energy policy.
Hence, unit 1 of Ignalina was closed in December 2004 and, despite strong public opposition
to its enforced closure, unit 2 was closed at the end of 2009 [8.10]. The EU paid the
decommissioning costs and provided other compensations from the Nuclear Safety Account
administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The progress in the harmonisation of the EU and the Lithuanian energy polices is monitored
in terms of selected energy indicators of EU-15 countries. Lithuania is highly dependent on
energy imports due to the unavailability of indigenous oil and natural gas resources and the
rather high oil consumption rates. Thus, security of energy supply is an important policy issue
for Lithuania. While the current Lithuanian primary energy supply mix is favourable with
respect to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the country’s commitment under the Kyoto
Protocol [8.11], the imminent closure of the Ignalina NPP is likely to result in a higher share
of fossil fuels, thereby impacting GHG emissions [8.12].
The Republic of Korea operates 21 nuclear reactors which meet 40% of the total electricity
needs of the country. Plans are afoot for the expansion of the nuclear industry. For example,
according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology's third comprehensive
nuclear energy development plan for 2007–2011, the country proposes to increase the share
of nuclear power to 60% by the year 2035 [8.13]. Such an expansion of nuclear industry is
likely to pose significant challenges for the government in regards to the disposal of
radioactive waste. The emerging public concerns about nuclear power, especially in the
aftermath of the Fukushima accident, appear to have heightened the significance of this
policy challenge. The energy policy in the Republic of Korea is heavily influenced by the
considerations of energy security, especially the need to minimise import dependence.
Nuclear power is an integral aspect of the country’s energy policy.
The legal basis for Switzerland's nuclear energy policy dates back to 1946, when the
country’s Parliament approved the first resolution of the Federal Council concerning the
promotion of nuclear energy [8.14]. In the 1960s, hydropower was one of the major sources
of electricity in Switzerland. However, with increased demand for electricity it became
evident that electricity utilities need alternative sources for producing electricity. The
proposals to build coal and oil fired plants were strenuously opposed by the environmental
groups. The government therefore encouraged the utilities to develop nuclear power. At
200
present, Switzerland has five nuclear reactors generating 40% of its electricity needs and two
other large units are planned [8.14].
Switzerland is a Confederation of 26 cantons (member states of the federation). The
government, parliament and courts operate at three levels: federal, cantonal and communal. A
notable aspect of Switzerland’s political system is direct democracy, which allows an
extraordinary amount of public participation in policy matters. Such participation has
traditionally exerted a significant influence in the shaping of public policies in Switzerland.
For example, in a referendum held in 2003, the public overwhelmingly rejected two antinuclear proposals, namely ‘Electricity without Nuclear’ and ‘Moratorium Plus’ [8.14]. The
ongoing concerns about safety of nuclear have, however, resulted in the government decision
not to replace any reactors, and hence to phase out nuclear power by 2034 [8.14].
8.2.1.2.
Regulation and Institutions
Table 8.1 provides an overview of the key regulations (acts, conventions and treaties), their
foci and implementing organizations [8.15], [8.16], [8.17], [8.18], [8.19]. Table 8.2 presents
the key institutions and responsibilities. Details of state level regulations for radioactive
waste disposal in Australia are presented in Table 8.3. Table 8.4 provides an overview of
state level institutions for radioactive waste disposal in Australia.
8.2.2.
8.2.2.1.
Carbon dioxide disposal
Policy
The Australian economy is carbon intensive. It relies heavily on coal as a domestic fuel
resource as well an export commodity. The Australian Government is committed to reducing
its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 60% of the 2000 levels by 2050. This will require a
significant reduction in its CO2 emissions from coal fired power stations and other coal based
industries [8.20]. With fierce anti-nuclear sentiments at both political and public levels, the
government faces an immense pressure to find suitable alternatives to meet its targets.
Recently, the government announced its comprehensive plan to move towards a clean energy
future [8.20]. In this plan, the government has proposed a suite of policy measures to reduce
CO2 emissions, including CO2 disposal. The CCS Flagships Program and the National Low
Emissions Coal Initiative (NLECI) to accelerate the deployment of large scale integrated
carbon capture and disposal projects in Australia are integrated aspects of government’s
Clean Energy Initiative [8.20].
Australia has lately been active in CCD research, development and demonstration activities.
For example, in the backdrop of the Gorgon Project, Australia has introduced the world’s first
legislation allowing for offshore geological disposal and has undertaken the world's first
commercial release of offshore exploration areas for greenhouse gas disposal assessment
[8.20]. Furthermore, government has established the Global Carbon Capture and Storage
Institute (GCCSI) to accelerate the global deployment of CCD technology. There has been
significant bipartisan support for CCD and the present government believes that Australia can
maintain its strong economic position and continue to grow by getting clean energy at the
lowest possible costs.
201
-Foster peaceful use of nuclear energy; achieve complete disarmament and regulates
possession, transport and communication of nuclear material
-Promotes the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste in terms of storage,
transport, treatment and disposal
-Conduct R&D in nuclear technology, manage radioactive waste, provide advice to
government in nuclear activities
-Regulate nuclear installations and radiation management in terms of safety and health
-Protect internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage
places, which are matters of national environmental significance
-Develop and operates proposed Commonwealth radioactive waste management facility
in Northern Territory
-Ensure that Commonwealth does not make compulsory land acquisition of land unless
State or Territory Government in which the land is situated has consented
Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards)
Act No.8 of 1987
Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management
and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management
ANSTO Act
Act No.3 of 1987
ARPANS Act
Act No.133 of 1998
EPBC Act
Act No.91 of 1999
The Commonwealth Radioactive Waste Management Act
Act No.145 of 2005
Lands Acquisition Act 1989
-Regulate activities involving nuclear energy and ionising radiation and to protect public
and environment against their harmful effects
-Regulates in accordance with EC laws; Assess impact on public health and environment
The Atomic Act
(Act No. 18/1997)
EIA
(Act No. 244/1992)
Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage -Ensure that justice was available for victims outside of the country in which an accident
occurs so far as countries that are party to relevant conventions
Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards)
-Foster peaceful use of nuclear energy; achieve complete disarmament and regulates
possession, transport and communication of nuclear material
Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material
(1979)
-Provides physical protection during international transport of nuclear material; Establish
framework for cooperation among states in protection, recovery, and return of stolen
nuclear material
DFAT
-Bans manufacture, possession, stationing and testing of any nuclear explosive device in
Treaty territories and dumping of radioactive waste at sea
Ministry of Environment
SÚJB
IAEA, SÚJB
IAEA, SÚJB
IAEA, SÚJB
Department of Finance and
Deregulation
Department of Innovation,
Industry, Science and
Research, ANSTO
Department of Health and
Ageing, ARPANSA
Department of Sustainability,
Environment, Water,
Population and Communities
DRET
IAEA (central role), ANSTO
IAEA (central role), DFAT
DFAT
ORGANIZATIONS
-Prevent dumping of radioactive waste at sea
OBJECTIVE
The London Dumping Convention
Act No.16 of 1985
South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (Treaty of Rarotonga)
Act No.140 of 1986
ACTS, CONVENTIONS,TREATIES
TABLE 8.1. RADIOACTIVE WASTE: REGULATION, OBJECTIVES, ORGANIZATIONS
Australia
Czech Republic
International
Commonwealth
International
National
202
203
-Regulate activities involving nuclear energy and ionising radiation and to protect public and
environment against their harmful effects
-Regulate environment assessment activities; Public and environment authorities may give their
opinion on projects likely to have impact on environment
-Ensure that justice was available for victims outside of the country in which an accident occurs so
far as countries that are party to relevant conventions
Radiation Protection Ordinance
Environmental Impact Assessment Act
-Bans all nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion, achieve complete
disarmament and prevent further nuclear weapon modernization and subsequent arms races
-Radioactive waste may be disposed in conformity with procedures prescribed by laws and
regulations of Republic of Lithuania
CTBT of 1996
-Regulates activities involving sources of ionising radiation and radioactive waste management
-Ensure that at all stages of radioactive waste management protects individuals, society and the
environment in Lithuania against hazards associated with radioactive waste
Law on Radiation Protection (1999)
Law on Management of Radioactive Waste
(1999)
Law on Nuclear Energy (1996)
-Foster peaceful use of nuclear energy; achieve complete disarmament and regulates possession,
transport and communication of nuclear material
NPT of 1968
Vienna Convention of Civil on Civil Liability
for Nuclear Damage of 1963
-Radioactive waste must be properly disposed based on the waste characteristics and must be placed
in interim storage facilities until disposal
IAEA, BfS
-Aims to legally commit participating States operating nuclear power plants to maintain a high level
of safety by setting international benchmarks to which States would subscribe
Atomic Energy Act
BMU
-Promotes the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste in terms of storage, transport,
treatment and disposal
Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel
Management and on the Safety of Radioactive
Waste Management
Convention on Nuclear Safety
VATESI
VATESI
VATESI
Ministry of Economy
IAEA,
Ministry of Economy
IAEA,
Ministry of Economy
BMU
BMU
BMU
IAEA, SÚJB
RAWRA
-Site selection strategy for future deep repository based ecological investigation work and must be
beneficial for communities concerned
Concept of Radioactive Waste and Spent
Nuclear Fuel Management (2002)
Ministry of Health, SÚJB
-Regulation Min. of Health No 59/1972- General Principles of the Law on Protection Against
Ionizing Radiation; No. 195/1999 Coll., on Basic Design Criteria for Nuclear Installations with
Respect to Nuclear Safety Radiation Protection and Emergency Preparedness; No. 196/1999 Coll.,
on Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations and Working Places with Important and Very
Important Sources of Ionizing Radiation; No. 324/1999 Coll., on Limits of Concentration and
Amount of Nuclear Material for which Nuclear Liability Requirements do not Apply; Transport of
Nuclear Materials
Regulations introduced
TABLE 8.1. NUCLEAR WASTE: REGULATION, OBJECTIVES, ORGANIZATIONS (CONT.)
Czech Republic
Germany
Lithuania
National
International
National
International
National
Act on Nuclear Third Party
Liability (LRCN), 1983
Transport Ordinances
-Provides that person liable must commit for an unlimited amount
- Transport by rail is regulated by Transport Regulations, Air transportation of dangerous goods is regulated by the
IATA; Federal Council on transport of dangerous goods provides that foreign vehicles not meeting norms of
Switzerland are not allowed in
-Dealt with radioactive waste only from the viewpoint of license, revocation of license for its possession and transport
of radioactive substances; Amendments included obligation of waste producer to organise its safe disposal; Waste
produces is obliged to cover the costs of waste disposal
-Promotes the safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste in terms of storage, transport, treatment and
disposal
Joint Convention on the Safety of
Spent Fuel Management and on the
Safety of Radioactive Waste
Management
Federal Atomic Energy Act of 1959
-Enforcement Regulation of AEA; Enforcement Regulation Concerning the Technical Standards of Reactor Facilities,
etc.; Enforcement Regulation Concerning the Technical Standard of Radiation Safety Management, etc.
- Foster peaceful use of nuclear energy; achieve complete disarmament and regulates possession, transport and
communication of nuclear material
-Provides technical standards and particulars entrusted by AEA and necessary for enforcement of AEA
Enforcement Decree of the AEA
Regulations
Notice of the MOST
NPT of 1968
-Provides for basic and fundamental matters concerning nuclear safety regulations
AEA
-Notice provides the detailed particulars for technical standards and guidelines; It integrates and systematically
determines all aspects of managing radioactive waste
MOST
- Foster peaceful use of nuclear energy; achieve complete disarmament and regulates possession, transport and
communication of nuclear material
NPT of 1968
The Radioactive Waste
Management Act
MKE
-Must be updated by government by taking principal decisions about construction and exploitation of disposal sites,
preparing relevant legal framework for waste management
Strategy of Radioactive Waste
Management (2002)
Federal Council
DETEC
Federal Council, OFEN
IAEA, Federal Council
IAEA, Federal Council
MOST, KRMC
MKE
IAEA, MKE
Ministry of Economy
Ministry of Environment
-The site of a radioactive waste management facility shall be made pursuant to requirements of Law on Territorial
Planning and Law on the Environmental Impact Assessment of Planned Economic Activity
Law on Environmental Impact
Assessment (1996)
Ministry of Environment
-States that earth entrails is property of the state and regulates exploration and usage of earth entrails including issue of
permits and licences
Law on Earth Entrails (1995)
TABLE 8.1. NUCLEAR WASTE: REGULATION, OBJECTIVES, ORGANIZATIONS (CONT.)
Lithuania
Republic of Korea
Switzerland
National
International and National
International
National
204
205
Australia
-Collection of waste must be organised and sent to the collection centres designated by the public authority, either to
be stored in repository or to be disposed
Ordinance on the Nuclear Waste
Collection, 1994
-Federal State takes over the responsibility for collection, conditioning, storage and disposal of radioactive waste
generated by use of radioisotopes in medicine, industry and research
-Radioactive waste shall be disposed of in geologic repositories; the eventual closure of a repository is preceded by
an observation phase until closure of the repository
-Waste producers must make provision for the temporary storage of waste at the site of production and submit
details of their proposal for approval
Radiological Protection Ordinance,
1994
Nuclear Energy Ordinance, 2005
-Federal Council must grant a license before preparatory measures can be undertaken for the safe construction of
radioactive waste repositories
Ordinance on construction of
repositories, 1989
Department of Innovation, Industry,
Science and Research
Department of Finance and Deregulation
-Assess and approve nuclear actions as with potential impact on environment
Department of Sustainability, Environment,
Water, Population and Communities
Department of Health and Ageing
-Provide monetary assistance to ANSTO
-Policy direction for ANSTO to undertake R&D in nuclear technology[8.15]
-Administers functioning of ARPANSA[8.15]
-Approve permits nuclear material export
-Administer International Acts, Conventions and Treaties on nuclear material and technology
DFAT
DRET
-Promote radiation protection and nuclear safety policy and practices across Australian jurisdictions; Undertake research in radiation
protection and provide services; Ensure nuclear safety and medical exposure to radiations; Regulate entities using radioactive substances and
nuclear technology
-R&D in nuclear science and technology
RESPONSIBILITIES
DETEC, OFEN,
HSK
OFSP
OFSP
Federal Council
DETEC
ARPANSA
ANSTO
ORGANISATIONS
TABLE 8.2. RADIOACTIVE WASTE: KEY INSTITUTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Switzerland
TABLE 8.1. NUCLEAR WASTE: REGULATION, OBJECTIVES, ORGANIZATIONS (CONT.)
National
-Ensure safe disposal for radioactive waste, monitor and supervise repositories after their closure
-Electricity generation and implementing regulatory decisions
-Regulate nuclear activities to ensure that they comply with environmental laws[8.5]
-Protect people and environment against harmful effects of radiation
-Responsible for licensing and supervising activities of nuclear facilities with respect to Federal States
-Construct and operate nuclear waste facilities [8.16]
-Regulate nuclear safety and radiation protection at nuclear power and waste management facilities(ENSERG 2011a)
-Regulates radiation released to environment and creates environmental regulations for future radioactive waste management facilities (ENSERG 2011a)
RAWRA
CEZ
Ministry of the Environment
Ministry of Health
BMU
BfS
VATESI
Ministry of Environment and
Ministry of Health
RATA
OFSP
HSK
-Supervise radiation protection
-Supervise nuclear facilities under administration of OFEN; Specify safety requirements and reviews license applications [8.14]
-Operates with Federal Department of Foreign Affairs on implementing international nuclear treaties
-Manage radioactive waste management fund
-Develop nuclear legislation and license and supervise nuclear installations[8.19]
KRMC
Federal Council
OFEN
-Nuclear safety regulations including licensing; Develop standards for safety measures at every stage of site selection, design, construction, operation,
closure, and post-closure of radioactive waste disposal facilities[8.18]
MOST
-Construct and operate nuclear facilities; Part of DETEC, responsible for preparing and applying legislation in field of nuclear energy
-Regulate environment issues except radiological environment
MOE
DETEC
-Responsible for coordinating activities of Radioactive Waste Management Agency
-Supervise nuclear power program and manages radioactive waste treatment, storage, and disposal
Ministry of Energy
MKE
-Responsible for management and final disposal of radioactive waste generated by the Ignalina NPP .RATA’s activity are administered by VATESI and
Radiation Protection Centre [8.17]
-Supervises nuclear safety, radiation protection and emergency preparedness of nuclear installation and management of radioactive waste (OECD 2003b)
SÚJB
TABLE 8.2. RADIOACTIVE WASTE: KEY INSTITUTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES (CONT.)
Czech Republic
Germany
Lithuania
Republic of Korea
Switzerland
206
ADMINISTRATION
Office of Environment and Heritage within NSW
Department of Premier and Cabinet
Department of Health
Department of Health
Queensland Health
Queensland Health
EPA Government of SA
EPA Government of SA
EPA Government of SA
EPA Government of SA
EPA Government of SA
OBJECTIVES
- Deals with licensing, registration, accreditation and approvals of radioactive
substances
- Regulates the use, disposal, transport and discharge of radioactive substances
- Protect the health and safety of people and the environment from the harmful
effects of radiation
- Regulate the practice of radiation sources in medical, industrial, research, and
mining sectors
- Prescribe activity concentration of the emission, radiation dose limits, and
radiation sources that require certificate of compliance prior to use of the
source
- Protect people and environment from the harmful effects of ionising and nonionising radiation
- Deals with ionising and non-ionising radioactive emission, transport,
disposal, radiation monitoring, dose limits, radiation safety and protection
plans
- Deals with human health risks arising from exposure to radiation, which
should be kept reasonably low
- Regulates the ionising radiation apparatus in terms of licensing, registration,
storage, disposal and sale of radioactive substances
- Deals with radiation protection standards and limits, monitoring, reporting
incidents and accidents, and conducting medical examinations of employees
- Prescribes the responsibilities of Consignor, Carrier, Driver and Storekeeper
as per the Code of practice for the safe transport of radioactive substances
- Deals with licensing of non-ionising radiation apparatus
- Aimed at banning the construction of nuclear waste management facilities in
SA, with an exception of facilities to manage low level waste
VIC Radiation Act
Act No.62 of 2005
VIC Radiation Regulation
SL.No.89 of 2007
QLD Radiation Safety Act
Act No.20 of 1999
QLD Radiation Safety Regulation 2010
Repeals Radiation Safety Regulation 1999, SL. No. 330
SA Radiation Protection and Control Act
Act No.49 of 1982
SA Radiation Protection and Control (Ionising Radiation)
Regulations 2000
SA Radiation Protection and Control (Transport of Radioactive
Substances) Regulations 2003
SA Radiation Protection and Control (Non-Ionising Radiation)
Regulations 2008
SA Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000
REGULATION
TABLE 8.3. STATE LEVEL REGULATIONS FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL ACTIVITIES IN AUSTRALIA
NSW Radiation Control Regulation
SL.No.615 of 2003
207
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Health and Human Services
Radiation Safety of ACT Health Services
Department of Health
Department of Health
Department of Health
Department of Health, Radiological
Council(Statutory Body)
Department of Health, Radiological
Council(Statutory Body)
Department of Health, Radiological
Council(Statutory Body)
Department of Health, Radiological
Council(Statutory Body)
Department of Health, Radiological
Council(Statutory Body)
- Regulates the use of radioactive materials and electronic products producing
radiation
- Regulates the storage, transport and disposal of radioactive substances
- Ensure the safety of people and protection of environment from the harmful
effects of radiation
- Deals with licensing, registration, accreditation and issue of Certificates of
Compliance
- Regulates the radiation management plan, storage, transport and disposal of
radioactive substances
- Protect the health and safety of people, property and the environment from the
harmful effects of radiation
- Dealt with the control, regulation, possession, use and transport of radioactive
substances and irradiating apparatus
- Protect people and environment from the harmful effects of radiations
- Deals with licensing, registration, accreditation and approval of radiation
protection plan
- Provide information on infringement offences and notices
- Regulates the use of both ionising and non-ionising radioactive substances and
electronic products
- Prescribes general precautions and requirements related to safety of radioactive
substances, irradiating apparatus and electronic products
- Deals with qualification and syllabus for examination of person engaged in
radiation safety
- Protects the health, safety and welfare of people and the environment of WA by
prohibiting the establishment of nuclear waste storage facility in the state
- Prescribes the responsibilities and offences for the transport of radioactive
substances as per the Code and International Regulations
TAS Radiation Control Regulations
SL.No.237 of 1994
TAS Radiation Protection Act
Act No.48 of 2005
TAS Radiation Protection Regulations
SL.NO.37 of 2006
ACT Radiation Protection Act
Act No.33 of 2006
NT Radiation (Safety Control) Act
Repealed by Radiation Protection Act 2004
NT Radiation Protection Act
Act No.23 of 2004
NT Radiation Protection Regulations
SL.No.20 of 2007
WA Radiation Safety Act
Act No.44 of 1975
WA Radiation Safety (General) Regulations 1983
WA Radiation Safety (Qualifications) Regulations 1980
Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) Act 1999
WA Radiation Safety (Transport of Radioactive
Substances) Regulations 2002
TABLE 8.3. STATE LEVEL REGULATIONS FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL ACTIVITIES IN AUSTRALIA (CONT.)
TAS Radiation Control Act
Act No.66 of 1977
208
- Deals with policy, licensing and legislative responsibility for radiation health standards and radiation safety;
- Administers the Radiation Safety Act and Regulation which regulates sources of ionising radiation
- EPA is the environmental regulator of SA
- Administer the Radiation Protection and Control Act 1982, as well as the development of guidelines and codes of practice for the same
- Radiation Protection Unit regulates the use of radioactive materials in Tasmania
- Develops radiation protection policy and advice to the community
- Deals with licences and registrations for radiation sources
- Supervises radiation waste disposal
- Radiation Protection is a work unit within the Environmental Health Program
- Deals with the legislation that authorises the sale, acquisition, possession, use, storage, transport and disposal of radioactive materials and apparatus
- Radiological Council is an independent statutory body appointed under Radiation Safety Act to assist the Minister for Health to protect health and
Queensland Health
Radiation Health Unit is the QLD government’s
radiation safety agency
EPA Government of South Australia
Department of Health and Human Services of Tasmania
ACT Health Services
Radiation Safety of the Health Protection Service of
ACT
Department of Health of Northern Territory
Department of Health of Western Australia
maintain safe practices in use of radiation
Notes to Tables: ACT=Australian Capital Territory; AEA=Atomic Energy Act; ANSTO=Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization Act; ARPANSA=Australian Radiation
Protection and Nuclear Safety Act; BfS=Federal Office for Radiation Protection; BMU= Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety; BMWi=Federal
Ministry of Economics and Technology; CEZ=Ceske Energetic Saved; DETEC=Federal Department for Environment, Transportation, Energy and Communication; DFAT=Department of
Foreign Affairs and Trade; DRET=Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism; EC=European Communities; EPA= Environmental Protection Agency; EPBC=Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conversation; FOEN=Swiss Federal Office for the Environment; GCCSI=Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute; HSK=Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate;
IATA=International Air Transport Association; KRMC=Korea Radioactive Waste Management Corporation; MCMPR= Ministerial Council on Mineral and Petroleum Resources;
MKE=Ministry of Knowledge Economy; MOE=Ministry of Environment; MOST=Ministry of Education, Science and Technology; NSW=New South Wales; NT=Northern Territory;
OEH=Office of Environment and Heritage; OFEN=Federal Energy Office; OFSP=Federal Office of Public Health; QLD=Queensland; RATA= Lithuanian Radioactive Waste Management
Agency; RAWRA= Radioactive Waste Repository Authority; SA=South Australia; SFOE=Swiss Federal Office of Energy; SUJB=State Office for Nuclear Safety; TAS=Tasmania; VATESI=
State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate; VIC=Victoria; WA=Western Australia
- Promotes radiation safety procedures and practices
- Recommends criteria for licensing to use radiation sources
- Recommends radiation safety standards, codes of practice, standards for radiation sources, practices or uses
Department of Health Victoria
RESPONSIBILITY
- Regulates use of radioactive substances and radiation equipment in NSW
- For matters of environment protection, OEH acts under the powers of statutory EPA
ORGANISATION
TABLE 8.4. STATE LEVEL INSTITUTIONS FOR RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL ACTIVITIES IN AUSTRALIA
NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet OEH
209
The Czech Republic is committed to reducing its greenhouse gases (GHG) under the Kyoto
Protocol by 8% of the 1990 levels by 2012. The country’s GHG emissions have already
reduced considerably over the past few years, yet its per capita emissions are higher than the
EU average and much higher than the global average. The country is therefore currently
preparing a Climate Protection Policy that will include measures to further reduce GHG
emissions.
As a Member State of the European Council, the Czech Republic has an obligation under the
EU Law to transpose the provisions of Directive 2009/31/EC of the European Parliament and
of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide and Amending
Council Directive (known as the EU CCS Directive) into national law and to communicate
the text of any such laws and other administrative measures to the European Commission
[8.21]. The Czech Republic has, however, failed to comply with these requirements.
Regardless, several measures have been taken at the national level to develop a
comprehensive CCD legal and regulatory framework. For example, the Ministry of
Environment submitted a draft of CCS Law for approval by the government on 14 March
2011. The government’s Legal Council, however, sent the draft law back to the Ministry for
revision [8.22]. After long discussions, the law was finally accepted in February 2012 as the
Act No. 85/2012 Coll. on CO2 disposal into geological structures and about the change of
some of the laws.
The climate change debate in Germany has its origins in the controversy over nuclear power
triggered by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. With calls for an immediate shutdown
(mainly by the Greens) or phase-out (particularly by the SPD) of all nuclear plants, the
construction of additional coal fuelled power plants was proposed to compensate for the lost
capacity of nuclear facilities [8.8]. Carbon capture and disposal (CCD) is one of the pillars of
the European climate change efforts [8.21]. As the technology is new, the necessary legal
framework is still developing. Germany does not yet have a specific legal regime for CCD,
but is in the process of implementing the European CCS Directive 2009/31/EC on the
geological disposal of carbon dioxide. Germany began working on its CCS Law in 2008 and
the first draft was approved by the Cabinet in April 2009. However, owing to public
opposition and approaching federal election, no progress was made on the draft in the
following years. In July 2011, the Bundestag (German Parliament) approved one billion
Euros for the CCS Act that regulates demonstration projects. The Bundesrat, the legal body
that represents the German federal states, which has to consent, however, refused (in
September 2011) to consent with this proposal. The law therefore failed, and German CCD
policy has since then been in a state of deadlock [8.22]. A small pilot program for CCD
currently exists in Ketzin is coordinated by the GFZ German Research Centre for
Geosciences [8.22] – see Chapter 7.
Germany is currently the largest emitter of GHGs in Europe and, like other member states of
the European Union, it is required to meet its Kyoto targets for GHG emissions. Germany has
committed itself, under the Burden Sharing Agreement, to reduce GHG emissions by 21% of
the 1990 levels over the period 2008–2012 [8.11]. Germany also has a self imposed mid term
goal of cutting its emissions by 40% of the 1990 levels by 2020 and simultaneously phasing
out nuclear energy by 2022.
The main goals of the Lithuanian energy policy, as set out in the Law on Energy, are: energy
conservation, efficient consumption of primary energy resources, stimulation of producers
and consumers to efficiently use and consume indigenous, renewable and waste energy
210
resources, and reduction of hazardous environmental impact by the energy sector. This law
also requires that the national tax policy, soft loans or subsidies provided by the state
(municipality) must stimulate efficient energy use and consumption of renewable and waste
energy resources [8.11].
Lithuania is currently facing two major challenges in the energy sector, namely, the closure
of the Ignalina NPP (in 2009) and the Maišiagala radioactive waste disposal facilities (in
2010) on the one hand, and meeting its GHG mitigation targets under the Kyoto Protocol on
the other. The country decided to evaluate different options for reducing CO2 emissions,
including an assessment of geological CO2 disposal potential and construction of a new
nuclear power plant [8.10]. Lithuania is one of the 12 Member States that adopted the EU
CCS law. This law will regulate the underground disposal of CO2. The CCS Directive lays
down requirements for the lifetime of a CO2 disposal site and also covers measures for
dealing with CO2 leakage, the need for disposal site permits and the responsibility for
disposal sites once they are closed [8.21], [8.22].
The Republic of Korea ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2005, but owing to its industrial
structure and limited policy options, the Republic of Korea’s GHG emissions in 2010 were
higher than other major developing economies like China and India. The energy policy for
the country envisaged more than a 10% reduction of total energy consumption and an
approximate 5% contribution from renewable sources by 2011.
The Republic of Korea has actively participated in the GHG mitigation activities through the
Kyoto mechanisms like the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The Republic of
Korea’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) was planned to be launched in 2013 but it was
delayed due to opposition from the country’s industrial sector [8.11]. Now, emissions trading
is proposed to be launched sometime between 2014 and 2015. The government aims to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from the projected levels by 2020. Other policies
likely to be considered in the future include carbon tax and smart grid, but the plans are still
in the review stages and the time frame for their implementation has not yet been decided.
In January 2009, in a meeting jointly held by the National Science Technology Committee
and the Future Planning Committee and hosted by the President of the Republic of Korea, the
Korean government announced a Vision and Development Strategy for a new government
policy related to CCD called ‘New Growth Engine’ [8.23]. Three New Growth Engine
sectors and 17 New Growth Engine industries were also designated and announced. The three
New Growth Engine sectors are green technology industry, high tech fusion industry and
high value added service industry. CCD and other CO2 related policies fall under the category
of green technology industry [8.23]. The purpose of the New Growth Engine is to expand the
growth potential of the Korean economy through the joint efforts of the public and private
sectors. The policy initiatives are expected to have durations in the range of three to ten
years; specific projects involve research and development, tax benefits, system improvement
and human resource development [8.23].
Switzerland is an early signatory to the Kyoto Protocol. In 2005, the Swiss Federal Council
declared that the obligation of Switzerland under the Kyoto Protocol (i.e. 8% reduction in
GHG emissions by 2008–2012, relative to 1990) has to be met by a combination of targeted
policy measures [8.11]. In 1999, the Swiss parliament passed the CO2 Act as the centrepiece
of its climate policy [8.24].
211
The energy articles in the Swiss Federal Constitution, the Energy Act, the CO2 Act, the
Nuclear Energy Act and the Electricity Supply Act are all integral parts of the instruments for
defining a sustainable and modern energy policy. In addition to these legal instruments, the
energy policies of the federal government and the cantons are also influenced by energy
perspectives and strategies, implementation programmes and a careful evaluation of energy
related measures at the municipal, cantonal and federal levels.
The two main planks of Swiss energy policy are to promote the use of renewable resources
and to encourage efficiency [8.22]. Switzerland does not see immediate potential for CCD.
However, to cope with a potential energy supply gap by 2020, it has planned to build
combined cycle gas turbine plants and such plants are required to fully compensate for their
CO2 emissions, making associated CCD deployment a potential solution [8.25], [8.26].
Research projects have also begun in Switzerland for assessing the feasibility of deploying
CCD. Two studies conducted within the CARMA research project focus on the knowledge
and public perception of CCD among Swiss laymen [8.22]. So far, though, the government
has not taken any initiative in developing guidelines for CCD.
8.2.2.2. Regulation and institutions
Table 8.5 provides an overview of the key regulations (acts, conventions and treaties), their
foci and implementing organizations. Table 8.6 presents the key institutions and
responsibilities.
8.2.3.
Country specific conclusions
Radioactive waste disposal
Australia has a generally well defined policy on the disposal of LLW and ILW radioactive
waste. This policy is, however, largely disconnected from its overall electricity policy
settings because Australia does not have a nuclear power industry. Further, the constitutional
arrangements on resource matters and the adversarial nature of Commonwealth and state
relations in Australia are likely to militate against the development and adoption of a unified
‘national’ policy on radioactive waste disposal should Australia decide to develop its own
nuclear power industry, or agree to act as a repository of radioactive waste from other
countries.
The institutional arrangements for implementing nuclear regulation, including radioactive
waste disposal, are rather complex. For example, ANSTO is responsible for implementing
radioactive waste acts, and ARPANSA for regulating the acts. ARPANSA is also responsible
for issuing licenses to ANSTO to operate its facilities; it also undertakes a range of
investigations [8.27]. This arrangement suggests that these two organizations, although
apparently independent, are in fact strongly interdependent. This has raised issues in the past.
For instance, owing to the communication gap between ARPANSA and ANSTO, there have
been instances of repeated license breaches by ANSTO [8.28].
212
213
Ministry of Environment; Ministry
of Energy
MKE
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
-Regulates the emission of air pollutants; Prescribes the permissible levels of emissions of air pollutants [8.23]
-Provides the framework of rights and obligations which could govern the storage, installation of storage facilities,
and pre-closure management in relation to CCS projects [8.23]
-Regulates mining exploration plans and conditions for mining licences, administered by MKE [8.23]
Atmospheric
Environment
Preservation Law
Hazardous Substance Safety
Management Law
Mining Law
EU CCS Directive
MKE
MKE
BMU, BMWi
-For the purpose of CO2 storage Mining law may apply where CO2 storage shall take place in the context of oil and
gas production or using brine caverns
LITHUNIA
-Implement EU legislation on geological storage of CO2 [8.26]
-At present there are no laws regulating CO2 storage
Mining Law
BMU, BMWi
BMU, BMWi
- To allow demonstration projects in Germany; Includes provision for application for demonstration projects,
storage capacities of the sites and the government shall report to the Budestag by 31st December 2017 on the
experience gained by the demonstration projects.. Owing to the rejection of that by the Bundesrat, Germany is
without a CCS law and the EU Commission may take legal action against Germany [8.22]
GERMANY
-Implement EU legislation on geological storage of CO2
EU CCS Directive
Ministry of Environment;
Ministry of Industry and Trade
Department
of
Sustainability,
Environment, Water, Population
and Communities
DRET
MCMPR
DFAT
ORGANIZATIONS
CCS Act -Zustimmungsgesetz
(“consent law”)
CZECH REPUBLIC
-Implement EU legislation on geological storage of CO2[8.26]
AUSTRALIA
-Prevents dumping of waste in sea; Amendment in 2006, to allow offshore CO2 storage; Amendment in 2009, to
allow cross-border transportation for the purpose of CO2 storage
-Designed to achieve a consistent regulatory framework for all CCS activities in Australian jurisdiction, key issues
identified are: assessment and approvals processes; access and property rights; transportation issues; monitoring and
verification; liability and post-closure responsibilities and financial issues [8.25]
-Deals with petroleum exploration and recovery, and the injection and storage of greenhouse gas substances, in
offshore areas
-Protects internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places, which are matters of
national environmental significance
OBJECTIVE
EU CCS Directive
The
London
Dumping
Convention
Regulatory
Guiding
Principles for Carbon Capture
and Storage 2005
Offshore Petroleum and GGS
Act
EPBC Act
ACTS, CONVENTIONS
AND REGULATIONS
TABLE 8.5. CO2 DISPOSAL: REGULATION, OBJECTIVES, ORGANIZATIONS
214
SWITZERLAND
- Specifies 10 % less CO2 by 2010 as a reduction target; Measures include voluntary reduction by industries and individuals, CO2 tax,
emissions trading, improve energy efficiency and use renewable energy and others [8.24]
RESPONSIBILITIES
-Develop and implement national policies, programs and legislations to protect and conserve the natural environment, promote and support
ecologically sustainable development
- Accelerate the deployment of CCS technology globally through: sharing knowledge; fact-based advocacy and assisting projects
CZECH REPUBLIC
-Develop CCS legislation and regulate reforms in Czech Republic
Department of Sustainability, Environment,
Water, Population and Communities
GCCSI
- At present there are no laws regulating CO2 storage
-Concerned institutions for managing environment and waste management laws [8.22]
Ministry of Economy
Ministry of Environment; Ministry of Energy
FOEN
SFOE
MKE
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
-Currently involved with creating a draft Basic Law on Low Carbon Green Growth which would provide a broad framework for
sustainability policies in Korea [8.22]
SWITZERLAND
-Responsible for CO2 Act
-Coordinates with FOEN on CO2 Act. Both the units are a part of the DETEC [8.22]
- Federal States (Länders) have responsibilities for issues related to CCS and land use and granting of permits [8.22]
LITHUANIA
State level
BMU, BMWi
-Co-sponsor of CCS laws in Czech Republic and assist Ministry of Environment
GERMANY
-Both share responsibility to draft/formulate CCS law
Ministry of Industry and Trade
Ministry of Environment
-Consists of the Commonwealth Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism and State and Territory Ministers with responsibility for
minerals and petroleum; Released the Regulatory Guiding Principles to achieve a consistent approach in implementation of CCS scheme
AUSTRALIA
-Supports CCS research, both pilot and commercial scale demonstration projects and is managing the development of offshore CO2 storage
resources
FOEN;
SFOE
MCMPR
DRET
ORGANISATIONS
TABLE 8.6. CO2 DISPOSALS: KEY INSTITUTIONS and RESPONSIBILITIES
Swiss CO2 Act
TABLE 8.5. CO2 DISPOSAL: REGULATION, OBJECTIVES, ORGANIZATIONS (CONT.)
The regulatory arrangements for various stages of radioactive waste disposal are well
defined, although their implementations (i.e. institutional arrangements) appear to be typified
by overlaps. Another noteworthy feature of the regulatory arrangement is that there is a
strong connect between the Australian and international regulatory regimes.
In the Czech Republic the state policy for radioactive waste disposal is based on the Atomic
Act (Act No. 18/1997 Coll.) that defines the principles of radioactive waste management and
disposal in the Czech Republic. The main principle is to dispose of low level waste and to
store high level waste until final disposal, even though the reprocessing of the fuel might be
possible in the future [8.29].
The lack of coherence in policy making has resulted in a ‘policy capture’. For example, for
the construction of a deep geological repository for the direct disposal of spent fuel and other
high level waste in the Czech Republic, six sites were selected in 2005 on the basis of the
‘Concept of Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel Management in the Czech Republic’.
However, many communities protested against these developments and demanded, among
other things, the strengthening of their role in the siting process, including the right of veto
[8.30].
The licensing, nuclear safety, waste management, safeguards and radiation protection are
regulated by the SÚJB (State Office for Nuclear Safety), thus suggesting an unequal
distribution of responsibilities. Not much progress has therefore been made to organize long
term disposal facilities for radioactive waste. The regulatory regime for managing radioactive
waste in the Czech Republic appears to be fragmented and indirect.
The German nuclear policy settings are complex – an outcome of the constitutional
arrangements and the associated consultative decision making processes. Accordingly, it is
not surprising to note Germany’s anti-nuclear stance. After debate on nuclear energy over the
last forty years, the public opinion is firmed against it now. In June 2011, Germany became
the first industrialized country to abandon nuclear energy and explore other alternatives.
Public opinion has played a very important role in political decision making. The SPD and
Green parties regard nuclear energy as an option which should be used until 2022 [8.8]. The
socialist party, Die Linke, however, believes in the immediate abandoning of nuclear energy.
The conservative parties, CDU/CSU and the liberal party (FDP) believe that nuclear energy is
the only option in meeting Germany’s commitment of reducing GHG emissions.
Furthermore, the anti-nuclear beliefs in Germany have aggravated owing to the negligence in
the maintenance and supervision of existing radioactive waste disposal facilities in
abandoned mines. For instance, in 1965, the Asse II mine was turned into a temporary storage
and research facility for radioactive waste. Later, this site became a permanent disposal site
for nuclear material. However, in June 2011, news broke that brine, known to be leaking
from the mine since 1988, is radioactive – at the level of eight times above safe levels [8.31].
In the case of the Asse radioactive waste storage site, the German ministers agreed to monitor
the mine under the jurisdiction of the federal environment ministry [8.31]. However, this has
raised further concerns about existing regulatory settings at the state level and their
appropriateness for monitoring radiation levels at waste sites.
Moreover, a safe, final, long term disposal solution for radioactive waste is yet to be found.
Also, conflict of interests between the national government, the federal government and the
operating company of the waste management facility delayed the preparations for the
establishment of waste complexes in Germany [8.32]. For instance, both the Asse II and
215
Morsleben waste sites are affected by problems caused by the operator of the repositories.
However, the public was not consulted about site selection. It was also alleged that the
operator cheated on inventory and safety issues by not following the nuclear law which
includes provisions of public consultation for the final site selection of the repository
facilities. Thus, arguments about conflict of interest and non-compliance with the nuclear law
have proven to be major barriers for establishing a safe nuclear disposal facility in Germany.
The institutional and regulatory arrangement for nuclear energy in Germany – in concord
with its fragment policy settings – are typified by the multiplicity of organizational
involvement, regulatory overlaps and inconsistencies.
The Lithuanian energy policy settings are a reflection of the country’s historical past. They
appear to be overwhelmingly burdened by domestic imperatives and international pressures
arising primarily from Lithuania’s accession to the EU. For example, in 2007, the Head of
VATESI indicated the need for revising the regulatory documentation by assessing and
taking into account the experience of other countries (Finland in particular) [8.33]. He further
highlighted that VATESI plans to implement its new licensing process in 2011, which will
optimize the regulatory challenges, also adding that, “No one in Lithuania has ever done this
before. Licensing of the new NPP is a completely different story” [8.33].
The development of cohesive and stable institutional and regulatory settings for nuclear
energy in Lithuania also appears to be hindered by the lack of essential infrastructure. For
example, according to the Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant (VAE), “A certain infrastructure is
essential for the construction of the new power plant” [8.33]. Lithuania also appears to suffer
from the lack of scientific expertise in radioactive waste disposal. The Lithuanian
Radioactive Waste Management Agency (RATA), the main agency, is relatively new and
lacks the experience to plan the siting, design, construction, commissioning and operation of
a near surface disposal facility for radioactive waste in a timely manner.
The policies of the Republic of Korea are positively inclined towards nuclear power. A
major emergent problem faced by the Republic of Korea is the accumulation of spent nuclear
fuel, soon likely to outstrip the country’s disposal capacity for high level radioactive waste
[8.34]. This dilemma has been exacerbated by some factors unique to the Republic of Korea,
such as high population density, making it rather difficult to build a single large permanent
underground repository for radioactive waste [8.34]. The location next to the nuclear armed
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and its status as a major USA ally and a long time
partner in nuclear development have also constrained its choices when it comes to disposing
of spent nuclear fuel [8.34].
The Republic of Korea has actively sought to develop spent nuclear fuel disposal
mechanisms ever since the onset of its nuclear program in 1978. Its earlier measures were
aimed at finding a site for the disposal of LILW, and an interim storage facility for spent
nuclear fuel located away from reactor sites. These earlier decisions were based on historical
and political circumstances of the country at that time [8.34]. It was further argued that it
would be easier to decommission nuclear plants if no interim spent fuel storage sites were
located at the facilities. Such decisions were made without the involvement of the general
public. Subsequent attempts to locate a site for disposal therefore faced significant public
opposition [8.34].
Public opposition to radioactive waste disposal sites in the Republic of Korea has been more
vociferous and long standing than in many other countries, leading on at least one occasion to
216
rioting. This has led the government to regularly unveil and then scrap proposed new sites for
disposing waste material and to reach a compromise earlier to dispose of low level waste that
may have made even more intractable the problem of disposal of high level waste [8.34].
In 1996, the government decided to split responsibilities for dealing with radioactive waste.
This was, however, opposed by the communities. The government therefore took a new
approach that helped it secure a new site for LILW. This new approach pledged that no
additional spent fuel storage facilities would be located in the host area. It also included a
provision of several additional incentives provided for the people who resided in that
community [8.34]. Such a process enabled the government to begin with the construction of
the facility in 2007, but it raised the cost of the project. It was estimated that the potential cost
of investment in a final disposal site for high radioactive waste would be much higher and
would require more space. However, no approach has been finalized yet in this regard.
In Switzerland, the HSK is the implementing organization for radioactive waste disposal; it
is also closely linked to the operator of nuclear power plants [8.14]. This has created
perceptions of conflict of interest among the public. Thus, it is a challenge for the regulator to
be regarded by the public as neutral and independent authority with the unique objective to
ensure safety [8.14].
The site for geological disposal of radioactive waste in Switzerland is approved only after
assessing the safety and technical feasibility and adhering to any community concerns.
Hearings show that local authorities and the general public would like to see a set of clear
quantitative and easily measurable criteria regarding the suitability of a site [8.14]. However,
in reality, the selection of a site for disposal activity is based on several parameters, and these
parameters are not precisely known at the start of the process and are determined by
subsequent site investigations and characterization. Thus, regulators argue that, at the
beginning of the procedure, the criteria for selection can only be qualitative (rather than
quantitative). Such a situation is, however, difficult to explain to the public and hence it is
difficult to earn its acceptance [8.14].
CO2 Disposal
In view of the criticality of fossil fuel in the electricity economy complex in Australia, there
is bipartisan support for CCD. The policy settings, institutional and regulatory arrangement
are, however, less developed.
In 2006, the Queensland (QLD) State government, the Australian government and other
private industries jointly funded the ZeroGen’s project, as a pre-feasibility study of low
emission technologies for coal based electricity generation. However, in 2010, the State
government announced its decision to scrap the project because the projected generation costs
were too high and there was significant uncertainty in finding CO2 disposal sites near the
project site. The project was ultimately passed on to the industry run Australian Coal
Association. It is expected that this would delay the construction by another five years [8.35].
The existing regulatory regime does not provide clarity in the treatment of permit areas which
overlap or lie in multiple jurisdictions, for example, disposal areas close to inshore, where
both Federal and State jurisdictions meet [8.36]. Such a situation can give rise to bureaucratic
overload, as the applicant has to seek approvals from both the jurisdictions and, owing to the
short licensing terms, the procedure has to be repeated in a few years. Moreover, there are no
independent authorities for monitoring and settling disputes and licensing challenges. Other
217
issues include the difference in the treatment of long term liabilities between certain states
and the Commonwealth, thus implicating issues for cross boundary disposal projects in
Australia.
In the Czech Republic, the conflict of interest amongst the two dominant ministries, namely,
the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Environment, was believed to be one of the
reasons for not transposing the EU CCS Directive in domestic laws. The Ministry of Industry
proposes a general ban on CO2 disposal, whereas the Ministry of Environment completely
supports the transposition of the CCS Directive [8.37]. Further, disagreements have been
observed regarding the form of implementation of the CCS law, through the introduction of
separate new laws or through amendment to the existing ones. The law was finally accepted
in 2012 as a separate Act (Act No. 85/2012 Coll.), changing the responsibilities of several
other Acts (the Act about Environmental Impact Assessment No. 100/2001; the Act about
Waste No. 185/2001 Coll., Water Act No. 76/2002 Coll. etc.).
Other issues observed are the ongoing discrepancies between the public and the government
about safety issues related to geological disposal of CO2 and the possibility of insufficient
disposal capacity in the Czech Republic [8.37].
In Germany, the opinions on the conclusion of the CCD law diverge – both at public and
decision making levels. The draft CCD legislation is very controversial in Germany. The
Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) asserts that the demonstration
projects are necessary to assess whether CCD could contribute to climate protection [8.38].
The draft act contains a clause pursuant to which the federal states can designate areas for
CCD pilot projects as well as areas in which such projects are not allowed. However, this
decision was fiercely opposed by the state of Brandenburg, with the argument that it would
give other states with more suitable disposal locations the right to opt out of exploring a
potential climate protection option [8.38].
This issue is important because, in the past, widespread discontentment had forced the
government to withdraw its first draft of CCD legislation. The discontentment was primarily
related to the risk of leakage, pollution of drinking water, long term safety and liability, as
well as land owner rights and public consultations. A combined study on the public
awareness on CCD was conducted by the Wuppertal Institute, Forschungzentrum Jülich,
Fraunhofer Institute and BSR Sustainability GmbH carried out on behalf of BMWi. Their
empirical analysis suggested that at present the majority of the public in Germany is neither
for nor against CCD because the level of awareness among the public is very low or virtually
non-existent.
The CCD policies and laws in Germany are in their early stages of development and the
disposal laws are extracted from the mining laws. However, the German mining law was not
drafted with CO2 disposal in mind, because CO2 injection into the earth is not a traditional
mining activity [8.38]. With the lack of legal basis and demonstration projects already
initiated, the exploratory work for potential CCD disposal in salt caverns in the state of
Brandenburg currently relies on the mining law regime for brine exploration. However, the
application of the mining law to CCS law will provide some challenges during the planning
and operational stages.
Until recently, the focus on CCD in Lithuania has essentially been technical in nature,
exploring the possibility of geological disposal in the Baltic region. Studies have also covered
the utilization of CO2 for enhanced oil recovery in the western part of Lithuania and it is
218
believed that CCD might be a long term solution for Lithuania’s commitments to reduce its
emissions. However, limited attention has been given to the institutional and regulatory
changes needed to promote this technology. The legislation to comply with the CCS
Directive so as to carry out CCD projects in Lithuania therefore stays undeveloped. As CCD
is a comparatively new technology for Lithuania, the major challenge faced by policymakers
is likely to be the transposition of European level initiatives into domestic laws.
The Republic of Korea is currently in the process of developing policies on CCD. Some of
the issues are unclear in the existing Korean legislation, such as the status of captured CO2,
would it be treated as a waste or a pollutant? The current legislative frameworks for the
exploration of potential disposal sites for purposes other than CCD provide general rights and
obligations which could govern approval conditions similar to that of CCD. However, it is
not clear whether they will be applicable for CCD as well [8.23]. Moreover, there are no
specific policies, integrated or generally applicable laws governing the injection and preclosure of CO2 sequestration formations. Thus the existing frameworks are being used as
models for CCD regulation in Korea but are not likely to be applicable directly to CCD. It is
therefore necessary for the government to establish a comprehensive basic law that uniformly
and systematically regulates CCD projects from the approval stage to the post-closure
management stage [8.23].
There are currently no policy or regulatory frameworks for CCD in Switzerland.
8.3. COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT
This section presents comparisons of policies, regulations and institutional settings across the
countries included in this study based on the material presented in sections 8.1 and 8.2. The
comparative analyses are organized into tables. Key aspects of the policy, regulatory and
institutional settings are summarized in Tables 8.7, 8.8 and 8.9.
8.4. CONCLUSIONS
The main conclusions based on the comparative overview portrayed in Tables 8.7, 8.8 and
8.9.
Nuclear and fossil fuel based power with the provision of CCD are attractive propositions for
reducing GHG emissions and hence redressing the climate change challenge. Much of the
existing analysis on these technologies focuses, primarily, on developing estimates of the
technical potential offered by these technologies and their cost effectiveness. Further, much
of the assessments have tended to be limited to the generation segment of the power industry
and, to a somewhat lesser extent, to the transportation segments.
219
Institutions
Regulation
POLICY
220
No coherent state policy on
reprocessing NW;
economically in-feasible
Nuclear power- dominant
economic role
Meeting GHG emissions
target –a non-issue
No political issues observed
Community- opposed to
NWD; has influence in siting
Laws- ill defined, highly
influenced by International
arrangements (EU)
Regulations fragmented and
indirect
Too much public
participation, prove to be
hindrance
SÚJB – excessive regulatory
burden; RAWRA- too much
government intervention
Institutional settings- need to
be improved
Institutions overlap- between
SÚJB and RAWRA
Nuclear power- no economic
role
Meeting GHG emissions targetissue without nuclear energy
Opinions for NPP and NWD –
diverse at federal and state
levels
Public - highly opposed to
NWD
Laws- well focused, covers all
aspects, influenced by
International Treaties
Regulations directly aligned
with NWD
Public participation limited in
site selection and other
activities
ANSTO – implementer;
ARPANSA- regulator;
Institutional settings- well
defined and managed
Institution overlap – significant
at Federal and State level
causing bureaucratic overload
CZECH REPUBLIC
No defined nuclear policy; NW
-mainly from research reactor;
reprocessed for storage and
disposal
AUSTRALIA
Institutions overlap – owing to
poor performance at State level
Institutional settings- well
defined, poorly managed
Public anti-nuclear, but limited
involvement in site selection and
other activities
Lack of responsibilities at state
and local level; Federal –
intervention a common feature
Significant overlaps and indirect
Laws- inconsistent, need to be
updated, highly influenced by
International Treaties
Public -highly anti-nuclear
Opinions for nuclear phase-out
differ amongst political parties
Meeting GHG emissions targetissue with nuclear phase-out
Nuclear power- dominant
economic role; phase-out by 2022
Energy policies-consistent with
EU law; Initial policy- reprocess
spent fuel, Now- direct disposal
GERMANY
No overlap observed
Lack of incentive for investment in
NPP, indicating poor structural
arrangements
Lack of communication between
regulatory authorities; Lack of
expertise- newness of RATA
Limited public involvement in
NWD activities
Limited exposure to licensing
regime and others
No opposition faced from general
public
Laws- inconsistent, need to be
updated as per international
standards
No political issues observed
Meeting GHG emissions target- an
issue without Ignalina NPP
Nuclear plays minor role in
electricity sector but faces Energy
Security challenge
Policies consistent with EU Laws;
LLW disposal in place; Ongoing
research-HLW disposal
LITHUANIA
TABLE 8.7. CROSS COUNTRY COMPARISONS OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL
No overlaps observed
Well defined institutions,
poor management hence
overspending
Public anti-nuclear, but
limited involvement in site
selection
Independent regulator and
implementer
Regulations directly aligned
with NWD
Public is highly opposed to
NWD
Laws- highly influenced by
US and other neighbouring
countries and well defined
Opinions diverse amongst
political parties
Meeting GHG emissions
target- a major issue
Nuclear power important for
economic prosperity
Fuel reprocessing -USA
influence; LLW disposal
options in place; Ongoing
research-HLW
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
No overlaps observed
Structural arrangements
need to be improved; Public
less aware of institutions
Regulatory authority is also
known as implementer
Public involvement a
noticeable feature
Regulations directly
aligned with NWD
Policy making involves
public participation; publicpro nuclear
Laws- recently updated and
well focused, limited
external influence
No political issues observed
Meeting GHG emissions
target –a non-issue
Nuclear power-dominant
role in electricity sector
Policies support both
reprocessing and direct
disposal of NW
SWITZERLAND
Policy
Regulation
Institutions
No information
involvement
Public highly opposes CCS
owing to safety issues
Limited attention given
development
of CCS legislation
Issues
concerning
limited
storage capacity and financial
resources to support R&D
No information
involvement
Settings
–
ill
conflicting interests
No overlaps observed
Public oppose CCS owing to
potential leakage issues
Laws- some aspects adopted
from mining and petroleum
laws, highly influenced by
organizations and countries pro
CCS
Issues concerning access and
property rights, long- term
liability and transboundary
Public participation limited
Settingsgradual evolution
with pilot projects
Institution overlap – significant
causing bureaucratic overload
due to transboundary issues
on
Issues
concerning
storage capacity
No political issues observed
Political discrepancies exist on
GHG reduction
potential
with
CCS
technologies
defined,
public
to
Obliged under EU law to
transpose CCS Directive
Policy commitment for CCSbipartisan support
No overlaps observed
Settings – ill defined
on
public
on
No overlaps observed
Settings – ill defined
No information
involvement
Information Gap
public
Undeveloped CCS legislation
Storage laws extracted from
mining laws
limited
Public opinion has been neutral
to CCS activities
No political issues observed
Obliged under EU law to
transpose CCS Directive
Low GHG emissions; Energy
security- a challenge
LITHUANIA
Public highly opposes CCS
owing to safety issues and
others
Political opinions differs- few
states have opted out of CCS
clause
Committed to CCS, besides EU
obligation
Self imposed goals to reduce
GHG emissions even more
Low GHG emissions, high per
capita emissions
Government
committedreducing GHG emissions
GERMANY
CZECH REPUBLIC
TABLE 8.8. CROSS COUNTRY COMPARISONS of CO2 DISPOSAL
AUSTRALIA
221
No overlaps observed
Settings – ill defined
on
public
No overlaps observed
Settings – ill defined
public
No information
involvement
No information
involvement
on
Information Gap
Information Gap
Undeveloped CCS legislation,
framework extracted from
mining and waste laws
Public involvement plays an
important role in policy making
and is neutral to CCS
technologies
Undeveloped legislation
No political issues observed
No CCS policy
GHG emission not a challenge,
committed to reduce further
SWITZERLAND
Public opinion has been neutral
to CCS activities
Political differences exist
No CCS policy; focus- higher
economic growth
Need more stringent policy to
reduce emissions
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
Policy
Regulation
Institutions
Classification
Significant overlap for NWD
waste is divided into two
categories: heat and non-heat
generating waste;
Legal status of CO2 not defined
Too
much
public
participation for NWD
Ill defined institutions and
managements for both
Significant overlap for NWD
Radioactive wastes classified
into LLW, ILW and HLW;
Classification of CO2 is not
clear
Significant institution al overlap
in both
Radioactive wastes classified into
LLW, ILW and HLW;
Classification of CO2 varies at
industrial level as industrial
product and at regulator level as
waste
Limited public involvement for
NWD
Well-defined
settings
for
NWD, poorly managed
Ill-defined settings for CCS
adopted from
Limited public participation for
both
Well developed institutions for
NWD activities
CCS projects regulated by
existing institutions under mining
regime
CCS regime
mining laws
Ill-defined CCS Law
Inconsistent NWD regime
CCS still developing, adopted
from mining and petroleum laws
indirect
Public and political opposed to
both technologies
Fragmented and
NWD regulations
both
With nuclear phase-out planned
– considering CCS options and
obliged under EU laws
GERMANY
Well defined laws on NWD
to
Public opposed
technologies
Public and
oppose both
parties
Nuclear dependent economy
but obliged under EU Laws
to transpose CCS
No defined nuclear policy
Highly fossil-fuel dependent,
hence CCS pro
political
CZECH REPUBLIC
Disposal of waste depends
upon classification -LLW,ILW,
HLW and spent nuclear fuel;
Legal status of CO2 not defined
No overlaps observed
Limited public involvement for
NWD
Ill defined settings and
managements for both
Undeveloped CCS regime
Inconsistent NWD regime
No public opposition to both
technologies
Less
nuclear
dependent
economy - considering CCS
with closure of NPP and
obliged under EU laws
LITHUANIA
Radioactive wastes classified
into LLW, ILW and HLW;
Status of CO2 is as a pollutant
like other GHG gases
No overlaps observed
Limited public involvement for
NWD
Well
defined
structural
arrangements,
poor
management of NWD
Ill-defined settings
Undeveloped CCS regime,
adopted from mining and waste
laws
Fierce public opinion on
nuclear and no opposition to
CCS
Well defined laws on NWD
Relies on nuclear for economic
growth and GHG reduction
No CCS policies
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
TABLE 8.9. CROSS COUNTRY COMPARISONS OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE AND CO2 DISPOSAL
AUSTRALIA
222
Waste is classified as HLW,
Alpha toxic waste , ILW and
LLW;
Legal status of CO2 not clear
No overlaps observed
Public
involvement
a
noticeable feature for NWD
Structural arrangements illdefined for NWD
Ill-defined settings for CCS
Undeveloped CCS regime
NWD Laws updated and well
defined
Neutral public opinion to both
Nuclear dependent economy
No CCS policies
SWITZERLAND
Relatively little attention has been paid to the analysis of the institutional aspects relating to
radioactive waste and CO2 disposal. What is particularly apparent in these analyses is the
lackadaisical effort devoted to analysing the influence that policy, institutional and regulatory
settings may exert in terms of defining the extent of the uptake of nuclear energy and fossil
with CCD options. After all, many of the major concerns about these two technologies relate
to their disposal and the consequential medium to long term environmental impacts. The
analyses undertaken in this chapter have demonstrated the criticality of this argument.
While the policy, regulatory and institutional settings are well defined for radioactive waste
disposal, for CO2 disposal they are either undeveloped or underdeveloped in most of the
countries included in this project. Further, for CO2 disposal (and for CCD, more generally),
considerably more analysis is required. For example, it would be necessary to define the legal
status of CO2 because in some of the countries, it is treated as an industrial product, whilst in
others it is considered as a waste. In contrast, radioactive waste laws classify waste into
various categories, and their final disposal and safety assessments are carried out on the basis
of a near universal classification.
From a policy perspective, nuclear energy plays a major role in the electricity economy
complex in all countries considered in this chapter, except Australia. However, most of the
countries considered face a major challenge in safely disposing of their radioactive waste.
Other areas that are poorly developed include the regulatory arrangements for long term
liability for the disposed CO2 and the property rights related to the exploration of potential
sites for CO2 disposal.
Information gaps were observed in the institutional settings for CCD in Germany, Lithuania,
the Republic of Korea and Switzerland and in the regulatory settings in the Republic of Korea
and Switzerland.
Public awareness and consultation plays an important role in the policy and regulatory design
for both technologies. Analysis in this chapter suggests that most of the acts and laws have
provisions for public consultation, but such consultation does not take place in reality in most
countries. This has significantly contributed to the increases in project duration and costs, and
to the timely evolution of policy, institutional and regulatory design.
Much of the cost analyses of the two technologies have focused on direct costs. The issue of
transaction cost has been paid scant attention. This could lead to gross underestimation of
costs and significantly affect the assessment of the potential these technologies offer in
redressing the climate change challenge. Thus the assessment frameworks for comparing CO2
and radioactive waste disposal should include aspects such as costs of changes in existing
institutions and regulatory settings, costs of specialists or training in licensing and safety
issues – more generally, the transaction costs.
REFERENCES TO CHAPTER 8
[8.1]
[8.2]
[8.3]
ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION, International Energy Outlook
2009, US Department of Energy, Washington, DC (2009).
INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY, World Energy Outlook 2009, OECD/IEA,
Paris (2009).
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT, Our government, Australian Government,
Canberra (2011) http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/our-government
223
[8.4]
[8.5]
[8.6]
[8.7]
[8.8]
[8.9]
[8.10]
[8.11]
[8.12]
[8.13]
[8.14]
[8.15]
[8.16]
[8.17]
[8.18]
[8.19]
[8.20]
[8.21]
[8.22]
224
SÚRAO, Radioactive Waste Repository Authority, (in Czech), Prague (2011)
http://www.surao.cz/cze/Uloziste-radioaktivnich-odpadu.
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT,
Regulatory and Institutional Framework for Nuclear Activities, Czech Republic,
Nuclear Legislation in OECD Countries, OECD, Paris (2003).
INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY, Executive Summary and Key
Recommendations, OECD/IEA, Paris (2010):
http://www.iea.org/Textbase/npsum/czechrep2010SUM.pdf
INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY, Deep Geological Radioactive
Waste Disposal in Germany: Lessons Learned and Future Perspective, IAEA, Vienna
(2006).
WORLD NUCLEAR ASSOCIATION, Nuclear Power in Germany, WNA, London
(2011) http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf43.html.
VAE, Management of long-lived radioactive waste, Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant
Project, VAE, Vilnius (2011)
http://www.vae.lt/en/pages/management_of_long_lived_radioactive_waste
WORLD NUCLEAR ASSOCIATION, Nuclear Power in Lithuania, WNA, London
(2011) http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf109.html .
UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE,
Kyoto Protocol, UNFCCC, Bonn (2011)
http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php
ŠTREIMIKIENE, D., Lithuania, Lithuanian Energy Institute, Vilnius (2008)
http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/publications/energy_indicators/section5.pdf
WORLD NUCLEAR ASSOCIATION, Nuclear Power in South Korea, WNA,
London (2011) http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-OS/South-Korea/
WORLD NUCLEAR ASSOCIATION, Nuclear Power in Switzerland, WNA, London
(2011) http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-OS/Switzerland/
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT,
Regulatory and Institutional Framework for Nuclear Activities, Australia, Nuclear
Legislation in OECD Countries, OECD, Paris (2003).
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT,
Regulatory and Institutional Framework for Nuclear Activities, Germany, Nuclear
Legislation in OECD Countries, OECD, Paris (2003).
RATA, General Information, RATA, Vilnius (2011)
http://www.rata.lt/en.php/about_rata/general_information
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT,
Regulatory and Institutional Framework for Nuclear Activities, Korea, Nuclear
Legislation in OECD Countries, OECD, Paris (2003).
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT,
Regulatory and Institutional Framework for Nuclear Activities, Switzerland, Nuclear
Legislation in OECD Countries, OECD, Paris (2003).
AUSTRALIAN TRADE COMMISSION, Clean Energy: Carbon Capture and Storage
(CCS), ATC, Canberra (2012) http://www.austrade.gov.au/Invest/Opportunities-bySector/Clean-Energy/CCS/default.aspx
UCL CARBON CAPTURE LEGAL PROGRAM, Transposition of the EU CCS
Directive: Status in selected Member States, UCL, London (2011) http://wwwsuat.ucl.ac.uk/cclp/ccseutransposition.php
INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY, Carbon Capture and Storage. Legal and
Regulatory Review – 2nd Edition, OECD/IEA, Paris (2011).
[8.23] GLOBAL CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE INSTITUTE, Strategic Analysis
of the Global Status of CCS - Country Study South Korea, GCCSI, Canberra (2009).
[8.24] SFOE (Swiss Federal Office of Energy), CO2 Act, (in German), Department of the
Environment,
Transport,
Energy
and
Communications,
Bern
(2011)
http://www.bfe.admin.ch/themen/00526/00531/index.html?lang=en
[8.25] INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY, Carbon Capture and Storage Legal and
Regulatory Review – 1st edition, OECD/IEA, Paris (2011).
[8.26] GLOBAL CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE INSTITUTE, Strategic Analysis
of the Global Status of CCS - Country Study, The European Union, GCCSI, Canberra
(2009).
[8.27] AUSTRALIAN RADIATION PROTECTION AND NUCLEAR SAFETY AGENCY,
Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of
Radioactive Waste Management: Australian National Report, ARPANSA Publishing,
Canberra (2003).
[8.28] HOY, A., Revealed: A Nuclear Nightmare in Sydney's Backyard, Friends of the Earth
Australia, Sydney (2003) http://www.foe.org.au/anti-nuclear/issues/oz/ansto/revealeda-nuclear-nightmare-in-sydneys-backyard/
[8.29] WORLD NUCLEAR ASSOCIATION, Nuclear Power in Czech Republic, WNA,
London (2011) http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf90.html
[8.30] EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Towards implementation of transparency and
participation in radioactive waste management programmes, Final Summary Report
ARGONA, EC, Brussels (2010) http://www.argonaproject.eu/docs/arg-del23bargona_final_summary_report-f.pdf
[8.31] DW-WORLD.DE, German Nuclear Storage Facility Hit by Safety Scandal, DWWorld, Bonn (2008) http://www.dw.de/german-nuclear-storage-facility-hit-by-safetyscandal/a-3618649
[8.32] DW-WORLD.DE, Germany Faces Shortage of Nuclear Safety Experts, DW World,
Bonn (2007) http://www.dw.de/germany-faces-shortage-of-nuclear-safety-experts/a2857122-1
[8.33] VAE, What does the State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate (VATESI) say about
business perspectives of the construction of the new Visaginas NPP, VAE, Vilnius
(2011) http://www.vae.lt/en/pages/vatesi
[8.34] KOREA ECONOMIC INSTITUTE, The Domestic and International Politics of Spent
Nuclear Fuel in South Korea: Are We Approaching Meltdown?, Academic Paper
Series, 5 3 (2010).
[8.35] COURIER MAIL, State Government drops ZeroGen project after taxpayers pump
$150 million into the plan, Courier Mail, Brisbane (2010)
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/state-governmnet-drops-zerogenproject-after-taxpayers-pump-150-million-into-the-plan/story-e6freoof1225973217568
[8.36] GLOBAL CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE INSTITUTE, Strategic Analysis
of the Global Status of Carbon Capture and Storage – Country Study Australia,
GCCSI, Canberra (2009).
[8.37] CO2GEONET, Legal and Regulatory Issues for the Implementation of the EU
Directive on the Geological Storage of CO2, 1st CGS Europe Knowledge Sharing
Workshop at the 6th CO2GeoNet Open Forum, 9–11 May 2011, Venice (2011)
http://www.co2geonet.com/UserFiles/file/Open%20Forum%202011/PDFpresentations/3-01_Shogenova.pdf
[8.38] GERMAN ENERGY BLOG, Federal Cabinet Approves Draft CCS Bill, GEB, Berlin
(2011) http://www.germanenergyblog.de/?p=5962
225
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
3E
Energy Economy Environment
ACT
Australian Capital Territory
ADP
Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action
AEA
Atomic Energy Act
AECL
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
AERB
Atomic Energy Regulatory Board
AkEnd
Working Group for Selection Process for the Final Disposal Sites
ANSTO
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization
ARGONA
Arenas for Risk Governance
ARPANSA
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act
atm
atmosphere
BAS
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
BfE
Federal Agency for Energy
BfS
Federal Agency for Radiation Protection
BGR
Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources
BIP
borehole image processing
BMU
Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and
Nuclear Safety
BMWi
Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy
BWR
boiling water reactor
CANDU
Canada Deuterium Uranium
CaO
calcium oxide
CARMA
Carbon Management in Power Generation
CCD
CO2 capture and disposal
CCS
carbon capture and storage
CDM
Clean Development Mechanism
CDU
Christian Democrat Union
CEZ
Czech Power Company
CF
certified framework
CH
Switzerland
CLR
CO2 leakage risk
CMP
Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto
Protocol
CO2
carbon dioxide
COP
Conference of the Parties
227
CRP
coordinated research project
CUAEPP
Bulgarian Nuclear Safety Authority
DALY
disability adjusted life year
DBE
German Society for Building and Operating Final Disposal for Wastes, Ltd.
DE
Germany
DETEC
Federal Department
Communication
DFAT
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
DOE
Department of Energy
DOGF
depleted oil and gas fields
DRET
Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
EBRD
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
EC
European Commission
ECBMR
enhanced coal bed methane recovery
ENSI
Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate
EOR
enhanced oil recovery
EPA
Environmental Protection Agency
EPBC
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conversation
ERAM
Morsleben Repository for Radioactive Waste
ETS
emissions trading scheme
ETT
effective trapping threshold
EU
European Union
for
Environment,
EURATOM European Atomic Energy Community
FDP
Liberal Democrat Party
FEP
features, events and processes
FOEN
Swiss Federal Office for the Environment
FTT
fracture toughness test
GCCSI
Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute
GESTCO
geological storage of CO2
GFZ
German Research Centre for Geosciences
GHG
greenhouse gas
GIS
geographical information system
GPS
global positioning system
Gt
billion t
GTCC
gas turbine combined cycle
GW
gigawatt
228
Transportation,
Energy
and
HCD
hydraulic conductor domains
HFO
heavy fuel oil
HLW
high level waste
HRD
hydraulic rock domains
HSD
hydraulic soil domain
HSK
Principal Nuclear Safety Division
HTU
hydraulic testing unit
IAEA
International Atomic Energy Agency
IATA
International Air Transport Association
IEA
International Energy Agency
IGCC
integrated gasification combined cycle
ILW
intermediary level waste
IPCC
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
IRS
Indian Remote Sensing
IS
Indian Standard
JRC
Joint Research Centre
KAERI
Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute
KBS
nuclear fuel safety
KEG
Swiss Nuclear Law
KHNP
Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company, Ltd.
KNOC
Korea National Oil Corporation
KRMC
Korea Radioactive Waste Management Corporation
KRS
Korean reference disposal system
kt
thousand t
kW·h
kilowatt hour
LCA
life cycle assessment
LCI
life cycle inventory
LCIA
life cycle impact assessment
LILW
low and intermediary level waste
LISS III
Linear Imaging Self Scanning Sensor III
LLW
low level waste
Ma
million years
MCMPR
Ministerial Council on Mineral and Petroleum Resources
mD
millidarcy
MgO
magnesium oxide
229
MKE
Ministry of Knowledge Economy
MOE
Ministry of Environment
MOST
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
MOX
mixed oxide
MPa
megapascal
MSK
Medvedev-Sponheuer-Karnik
mSv
millisievert
Mt
million t
MW
megawatts
MW·h
megawatt hour
Na
sodium
NA2O
sodium oxide
NAGRA
National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste
NEA
Nuclear Energy Agency
NGO
non-governmental organization
NIMBY
not in my back yard
NLECI
National Low Emissions Coal Initiative
NPP
nuclear power plant
NSDF
near surface disposal facilities
NSW
New South Wales
NT
Northern Territory
OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OEH
Office of Environment and Heritage
OFEN
Federal Energy Office
OFSP
Federal Office of Public Health
OMM
upper marine molasses
OSM
upper freshwater molasses
PAF
potentially affected fraction
PDF
potentially disappeared fraction
PEL
permissible exposition limits
PFL
Posiva flow log
PHWR
pressurized heavy water reactor
PWR
pressurized water reactor
QLD
Queensland
RATA
Radioactive Waste Management Agency
230
RAWRA
Radioactive Waste Repository Authority
RBMK
high power channel type reactor
RINOVA
Risk perceptions, public communication and innovative governance in
knowledge society
RW
radioactive waste
SA
South Australia
SF
spent fuel
SFOE
Swiss Federal Office of Energy
SKB
Swedish Nuclear Fuel & Waste Management Company
SL ILW
short lived intermediary level waste
SNF
spent nuclear fuel
SPD
Social Democratic Party
SS
stainless steel
SÚJB
State Office for Nuclear Safety
TAS
Tasmania
tHM
ton of heavy metal
TMH
thermal mechanical hydraulic
UCTE
Union for the Co-ordination of the Transmission of Electricity
UNFCCC
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
USM
lower freshwater molasses
VAE
Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant
VATESI
State Nuclear Power Safety Inspectorate
VET
vulnerability evaluation framework
VIC
Victoria
VSP
vertical seismic profile
WA
Western Australia
WIPP
Waste Isolation Pilot Plan
WWER
Water Water Energy Reactor
ZEP
Zero Emissions Platform
231
CONTRIBUTORS TO DRAFTING AND REVIEW
Bajpai, R.
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), India
Barkatullah, N.
International Atomic Energy Agency
Bauer, C.
Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland
Chaplow, R.
Robert Chaplow Associates Limited, United Kingdom
Choi, J.-W.
Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Republic of Korea
Fischer, W.
Forschungszentrum Jülich Gmbh, Germany
Georgiev, G.
Sofia University St. Kliment, Bulgaria
Hake, J.-F.
Forschungszentrum Jülich Gmbh, Germany
Havlova, V.
Nuclear Research Institute Rez Plc, Czech Republic
Koh, Y.K.
Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Republic of Korea
Kupitz, J.
Forschungszentrum Jülich Gmbh, Germany
Lee, J.-Y.
Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Republic of Korea
Paz Ortega, E.
Cuba Energia, Cuba
Ryu, J.H.
Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Republic of Korea
Schumann, D.
Forschungszentrum Jülich Gmbh, Germany
Sharma, D.
University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia
Simons, A.
Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland
Streimikiene, D.
Lithuanian Energy Institute, Lithuania
Toth, F.L.
International Atomic Energy Agency
Vojtěchová, H.
Nuclear Research Institute Rez Plc, Czech Republic
West, J.
British Geological Survey, United Kingdom
233
@
No. 23
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Techno-economic Comparison of Geological Disposal of Carbon Dioxide and Radioactive Waste
IAEA-TECDOC-1758
Techno-economic Comparison
of Geological Disposal
of Carbon Dioxide and
Radioactive Waste
International Atomic Energy Agency
Vienna
ISBN 978–92–0–110114-3
ISSN 1011–4289
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