Publication Laka-library:
Summary OPERA Safety Case

AuthorCovra, E.Verhoef, E.Neeft, N.Chapman, C.McCombie
1-01-4-30-73.pdf
DateDecember 2017
Classification 1.01.4.30/73 (WASTE - GEOLOGICAL DISPOSAL IN SALT/CLAY)
Remarks Available at https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/rapporten/2018/01/29/opera-safety-case
Front

From the publication:

Summary

The principal objective of this report is to present an overview of
the results and conclusions of the OPERA Safety Case for a
geological disposal facility (GDF) in the Boom Clay, which will
contain almost all radioactive wastes arising in the Netherlands.
Because it marks a major milestone in the Dutch radioactive waste
management programme, the report also covers other research
performed in the framework of the wider OPERA research
programme.

The OPERA programme and future work on geological disposal is
being structured around the development of a series of Safety
Cases for a GDF in the Netherlands. The national context of the
geological disposal programme, the wider than usual range of
objectives and the wide target readership, mean that there are
significant differences between the Initial Safety Case presented
here and recent national Safety Cases published in other countries.
The OPERA Safety Case is less comprehensive, given that it is an
initial analysis that will be followed by further iterations. This initial
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 but the option of disposal in salt remains open
and no siting decisions will be taken in the Netherlands for many
decades into the future.

On the other hand, the report is wider in scope than many other
national Safety Cases. To make the report accessible to a wide
readership, 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 to structuring a technical Safety Case for a
GDF. In addition, proposals for future scientific and technical studies
have been developed, using the information gathered during
preparation of the Safety Case. These are presented in a roadmap,
laying out all COVRA’s (Centrale Organisatie Voor Radioactief Afval)
ongoing activities leading eventually to implementation of a GDF in
the Netherlands.

The present report is a scientific/technical document. It describes
engineering and geological requirements needed to assure that a
safe GDF can be implemented in the Netherlands. The OPERA
project team is, however, fully aware that a successful GDF
programme must address both technical and societal issues.
OPERA has initiated work on communication with the Dutch public,
to which this report is a contribution. A separate, complementary
synthesis report deals with the wider, societal issues of disposal,
including stakeholder engagement and conditions for an inclusive
process for long-term decision-making on disposal [Heuvel van
den, 2017]. This report by the OPERA Advisory Group also provides
recommendations on how this important issue will be continued in
future projects.