Siting and Geoscience

The location that emerges from a siting process must be technically capable of hosting the wastes concerned, should allow sufficient technical flexibility to optimise repository design to the site characteristics, and must be recognised by all stakeholders as an appropriate choice. Many technical and non-technical factors have to be balanced to the satisfaction of groups with differing views. Environmental impacts, transport of materials, societal impacts, costs and regulatory constraints are all prime issues for consideration. In the case of a volunteering siting approach, site characterisation has to be intimately coupled to the process of tailoring the repository design and the associated safety case to any proposed location that can be shown to satisfy the diverse technical and socioeconomic constraints.

In addition, the siting and design of critical infrastructure (nuclear power stations, reprocessing plants, interim storage facilities, or geological disposal facilities), or facilities that are considered to have high hazard potential, need to consider the long-term natural hazards to which the site might be susceptible. The importance of the requirement to assess and endeavour to quantify natural hazard risk was emphasized by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and associated tsunami, where several sensitive facilities were affected (most publically, the Fukushima Dai-itchi nuclear power plant, but also some petrochemical and industrial sites). Assessing hazards is particularly important when siting a new facility.

The MCM team has the expertise needed to address this complex activity. It has extensive direct experience in the planning and execution of programmes for identifying and evaluating repository sites, taking all these factors into account. The capabilities of MCM are based on relevant siting work stretching over four decades and involving several national programmes.

Key Capabilities:

  • Siting of critical facilities
  • Multi-hazard Probabilistic Hazard Assessment
  • Probabilistic Fault Displacement Hazard Assessments for a site
  • Expert Elicitation
  • Bayesian Belief Networks

For further details of our past projects, see the links below.

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