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How do scientists uncover phenomena and explain their connections? How do engineers design machines, methods and infrastructure? At omega tau, experts give detailed answers. Over the last ten years, we have produced over 350 episodes in which we dug deeper, until we ran out of questions. Join us on our journey through the world of science and engineering: the closer you look and listen, the more interesting things get.


episode 368: Nuclear Waste Disposal and Storage

Guest: Gareth Law, Heini Reijonen, Sophie Haapalehto
Host: Markus Voelter   Shownoter: Pascal Becker

In this episode we cover the final storage of nuclear waste in underground facilities. We start out with a conversation about the basic process and the chemistry and physics of nuclear waste with Gareth Law, a professor of radiochemistry at the university of Helsinki. We then discuss geological issues with Heini Reijonen of the Geological Survey of Finland. Our third conversation is about the Onkalo storage facility in Finland with Sophie Haapalehto, who works for Posiva, the operator of the site.

Here are a few additional links you might want to check out:

  • Design and Performance of Engineered Barrier Systems for the Finnish Deep Geological Repository (Presentation, PDF)
  • A Novel Adaptation Mechanism Underpinning Algal Colonization of a Nuclear Fuel Storage Pond (Paper, PDF)
  • Discharges and Environmental Monitoring Annual Report 2019 (Sellafield) (HTML)
  • Monitoring beaches near Sellafield for radioactive material (Report, HTML)
  • Estimation of Global Inventories of Radioactive Waste and Other Radioactive Materials (Report, PDF)

Introduction Gareth Law and Nuclear Power 00:02:44

Gareth Law | Radiochemistry | Pressurized water reactor | Uranium-235 | Plutonium-239 | Activation product | Nuclear reprocessing | Yellowcake

Waste in Nuclear Power Plants and Short-Term Storage 00:25:11

Radioactive waste (The World Nuclear Waste Report 2019 - Focus Europe)

Long-Term Storage of Nuclear Waste 00:50:21

Nuclear transmutation | Deep borehole disposal | Bentonite | Pictogram by International Atomic Energy Agency to warn future generations (OmegaTau 359 - Modern Fission Reactors)

Introduction Heini Reijonen and Geological Stable Regions for Nuclear Waste 01:36:34

Geological Survey of Finland | Integrated Water Flow Model (IWFM) (OmegaTau 81 - Geophysical Modeling in Oil Exploration)

Storages in the Future 02:13:46

Voyager Golden Record

Introduction Sophie Haapalehto and Posiva Waste Repository 02:27:14

Posiva Oy | Onkalo spent nuclear fuel repository | Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant | KBS-3


 2021-05-01  3h15m