OPERA Safety Case
|Author||Covra, E.Verhoef, E.Neeft, N.Chapman, C.McCombie|
|Classification||1.01.4.30/72 (WASTE - GEOLOGICAL DISPOSAL IN SALT/CLAY)|
|Remarks||Available at https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/rapporten/2018/01/29/opera-safety-case|
From the publication:
Foreword The principal objective of this report is to present an overview of the results and conclusions of the Safety Case for a geological disposal facility in the Boom Clay of the Netherlands. The present report is a scientific/technical document that describes engineering and geological requirements needed to assure that a safe GDF can be implemented in the Netherlands. A separate, complementary synthesis report deals with the wider, societal issues of disposal. The work has been performed in the framework of the OPERA research programme which also includes some further research topics and these are also mentioned. The principal objectives of OPERA were: " • To examine the feasibility and long-term safety of a" " Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) in the Boom Clay of the" " Netherlands" " • To strengthen the national competences in scientific and" " technical areas related to geological disposal" " • To select - using a structured process - the R&D activities" " to be carried out in the Dutch disposal programme over" " the coming years" " • To inform politicians, the public and the scientific/" " technical community about the progress of geological" " disposal planning in the Netherlands." OPERA is financed by the Dutch authority for nuclear safety and radiation protection (ANVS) and the public limited liability company Electriciteits-Produktiemaatschappij Zuid-Nederland (EPZ) and coordinated by COVRA. The present report is an overall summary of the achievements of the OPERA programme. COVRA acknowledges all the researchers from Dutch and foreign research organisations that have contributed to OPERA. It was decided at the outset to structure the programme and the future work around the develop- ment of a series of Safety Cases for a GDF in the Netherlands; this approach is in line with common international practice. Accordingly, the report is labelled as an Initial Safety Case. However, because of the national context of the geological disposal programme in the Netherlands, and because of the wider than usual range of objec- tives and the correspondingly target readership, there are significant differences between the Initial Safety Case presented here and GDF safety cases from other countries, which have often been prepared in order to meet some specific permitting or licensing requirement. The OPERA safety case is less comprehensive, given that it is an initial analysis that will be followed by further iterations. This initi Safety Case covers only one of the options for geological disposal that are being studied in the Netherlands. The report focuses on clay as a host rock. Because of this, the Netherlands has benefited greatly through the close cooperation which has been possible with the Belgian waste disposal programme, in which comprehensive investigations on Boom Clay as a host rock have been in progress for many years. However, the option of disposal in salt is still open, and significant earlier work has been done in the Netherlands on this potential host rock. In any case, no siting decisions will be taken in the Netherlands for a long time into the future, so that the next generation of safety cases whether in clay or in salt will continue to be generic in nature. On the other hand, the present report is wider in scope than many other safety cases for two reasons. Firstly, because of the wish to make the report accessible to as wide a readership as possible, explanatory material has been included to describe the basic concepts involved in geological disposal and to summarise the current international consensus on the recognised approaches to achieving safety and on the structure of a technical Safety Case for a GDF. Secondly, additional information is included on the overall scope of the OPERA programme since the current report is intended to summarise also the structure of the R&D projects which underpin OPERA. Finally, proposals for future scientific and technical studies which have been developed using the information gathered in the process of safety case preparation are presented at the end of the current report in a roadmap laying out all COVRA’s activities leading eventually to implementation of a GDF in the Netherlands. COVRA is willing to receive any comment readers might have.