The Microbiology In Nuclear waste Disposal (MIND) programme is a unique multidisciplinary project which brings together a broad range of leading research institutions and stakeholders in the field of radioactive waste disposal to address the Euratom 2014-2015 Work Programme topic NFRP 6 – 2014: Supporting the implementation of the first-of-the-kind geological repositories.
The aim with the project is to contribute to a more complete and realistic safety case and to communicate the effects that microbiological processes will have on the geological disposal of intermediate and high level radioactive wastes.
The objectives of the project target key technical issues, involving microbial processes, which must be addressed to facilitate safe implementation of planned geological disposal projects in the EU. The knowledge of system-dependent microbial processes that affect repository safety and performance is incomplete because current safety assessment concepts either ignore microbial processes, or adopt a simplified approach to assess the performance and processes occurring in the waste form, backfill, buffer and host rock systemsThe objectives of this project will increase the understanding of how life processes will influence the safety and performance of future repositories, by focusing on key topics as defined in the most recent version of the IGD-TP strategic research agenda (SRA) (version July 14, 2011).
The following main objectives are planned:
- Improving the geological safety case knowledge of the behaviour of organic containing long-lived intermediate level wastes (ILW) by research on the following objectives
- Improving the safety case knowledge base about the influence of microbial processes on high level waste and spent fuel geological disposal
- Integrate, communicate and disseminate results and conclusions from the above listed objectives to the broad European community involved in radioactive waste disposal
These objectives have been developed with consultation of waste management organizations (WMOs) and are thus targeted at specific remaining issues concerning geological disposal of intermediate and high level radioactive wastes. The objectives are defined by a prioritized top down approach rather than a bottom up approach driven by scientific curiosity. As such, the proposed research does not intend to carry out a complete assessment of the potential impact of microbiology on geological disposal. Rather, it is intended to contribute to a more complete and realistic safety case and to communicate the effects that microbiological processes will have on the geological disposal of intermediate and high level radioactive wastes.