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Performance Indicators Quantifying the Contribution of Safety Functions to the Confinement of Radionuclides in a Geological Repository System

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Eef Weetjens
Affiliation:
eweetjen@sckcen.be, SCK-CEN, Performance Assessments Unit, Mol, Belgium
Jan Marivoet
Affiliation:
jmarivoe@sckcen.be, SCK-CEN, Performance Assessments Unit, Mol, Belgium
Suresh C. Seetharam
Affiliation:
sseethar@sckcen.be, SCK-CEN, Performance Assessments Unit, Mol, Belgium
Corresponding
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Abstract

The main indicators for the evaluation of the safety of a geological repository are the dose or the risk that are estimated for a sufficiently representative set of possible evolution scenarios. In recent years complementary sets of safety and performance indicators have been developed within national geological disposal programmes and international projects. Whereas safety indicators aim at giving an indication on the level of safety provided by the repository system, performance indicators aim at illustrating how the repository system works. Most sets of performance indicators that have been introduced hitherto in safety cases of geological repositories are related to the multi-barrier concept; they quantify or illustrate the contribution of the main engineered and natural barriers to the confinement of the radionuclides within the repository system. However, the application of the defence-in-depth principle to geological disposal has led to the introduction of safety functions in safety cases. Because of the paramount role played by the multi-safety-functions concept in recent safety cases, we have derived performance indicators that quantify the contribution of the main safety functions to the confinement of radionuclides in the geological repository system. The considered safety functions are containment, limitation of release and retardation. The proposed performance indicators are based on time-integrated activity or radiotoxicity fluxes released from the main successive compartments of the repository system. The proposed indicators can be applied to individual radionuclides as well as to a weighted sum of all radionuclides.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2010

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References

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