Monitoring Programmes

GSL has taken a leading role in the development of monitoring strategy for radioactive waste disposal facilities, particularly in relation to the phase of monitoring on completion of waste emplacement and after closure.  This monitoring is potentially contentious given the need to avoid actions and installations that might violate safety.  GSL has also been involved in the development and implementation of monitoring plans and programmes for waste disposal facilities during construction and operation

Facility Monitoring

GSL staff have been responsible for conducting a range of studies on monitoring plans and programmes for several clients worldwide.  For example:

As part of the scientific team for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in the United States, we have helped to:

  • develop operational and post-closure monitoring strategies to meet regulatory requirements and programme needs,
  • develop procedures to feed monitoring data into performance assessment (PA) and compliance studies, and
  • develop procedures to handle unexpected results (trigger values).

We have developed a high-level monitoring plan for the development of low-level waste (LLW) facilities at Dounreay and taken the plan forward to implementation for an operational facility.  This work included:

  • ranking monitoring parameters by significance,
  • assessing monitoring practicality,
  • evaluating the feasibility of producing meaningful data,
  • developing monitoring programmes and reporting arrangements for individual monitoring parameters and authorisation conditions.

Post-Closure Monitoring Strategy

GSL has been involved in the planning and conduct of a series of European Commission (EC) research initiatives on post-closure monitoring, including the MoDern and Modern 2020 projects.

GSL staff have assisted the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in the coordination of an international project on the engineered barrier system.  This work has included collation and interpretation of responses from a wide range of national waste management programmes to an NEA questionnaire that addressed the issue of repository monitoring.