Modern2020 Final Conference

Objectives of the Modern2020 2nd International Conference on Monitoring in Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste

The objective is twofold: i) to invite experts to contribute to and participate in discussions on monitoring strategies, on monitoring technologies, on how monitoring can assist dialogue with regulatory agencies, and how monitoring can contribute to confidence building in relation to the geological disposal of radioactive waste; and ii) present and discuss the results of Modern2020 project.

Main topics of the Conference

The conference focuses on monitoring activities to support evaluations of the performance of natural and engineered barriers in a disposal facility as a tool to building confidence in the long term post-closure safety case. The overall understanding of monitoring and its potential role in the disposal process will be presented and discussed in the light of expected monitoring needs, associated technical requirements, and the current state of the art regarding monitoring technologies and their future potential uses. Abstracts were invited on the following topics:

  • Monitoring technologies: Abstracts are solicited with a focus on monitoring in underground environments, covering for example innovations in i) Monitoring sensor technology (low-power consumption or self-powered, energy harvesting & storage, wireless transmission, passive technologies, radiation tolerant etc.); ii) Long-term durability (performance beyond 10 years); iii) Fiber-optics; iv) Non-intrusive technologies (seismic tomography, electrical resisitivity tomography;…); v) End-user procedures for performance qualification (radiation, long live…etc.).

  • Post closure safety and monitoring strategies: Abstracts are solicited covering high level issues regarding the motivation for monitoring in relation to geological disposal facilities and other relevant monitoring programmes where concepts, procedures and strategies might be transferable. Topics of interest include specific objectives, parameter selection procedures, and strategies for implementation. A particular focus should be if/how monitoring during the operational phase could build further confidence in long-term safety (i.e. following closure of the facility). Theoretical as well as practical studies are of interest.

  • Decision-making and response plans: Abstracts are solicited on the use of monitoring data and information to support decision making during the repository operational phase. Topics of interest include planning for evaluating and responding to monitoring results, decision-making processes, and implementation of response plans. A particular focus should be if/how monitoring of the repository engineered barriers and nearby host rock could support decisions and actions taken during the operational phase. Theoretical as well as practical studies are of interest.

  • Long-term integrated monitoring: Abstracts are solicited on the results of long-term (several decades) integrated monitoring programmes. Field experimental set-ups simulating different aspects of geological disposal are an essential tool in the development of geological disposal concepts. Such set-ups involve a lot of monitoring to provide the required data to the investigators. In addition to the use of monitoring data for the primary objectives of the set-up (e.g. model validation), these data also teach us about the sensor reliability in real conditions. In this topic, the focus is mainly on the other functions of monitoring that originally might not have been considered, such as: i) Long-term data management challenges; ii) Monitoring results and decision-making (e.g. adaptation of the experimental programme); iii) Enhancement of communication with external people (e.g. citizen stakeholders) by sharing monitoring data.

  • Citizen stakeholder participation: This session welcomes contributions about strategies for engaging citizen stakeholders in the development of large infrastructure projects that involve monitoring. Contributions relating to experiences of how citizen stakeholder participation in other highly specialized research projects can influence the development of monitoring technology are also of interest.

Applications of monitoring is not restricted to radioactive waste management and the nuclear technologies. Given the international scope of the project, we very much welcome papers with a comparative perspective with other fields.