Might deep boreholes clear up our nuclear waste drawback?

A diagram of what a waste borehole might look like, with various additional objects included for scale.

Enlarge / An artist’s impression of a deep borehole for nuclear waste disposal by Sandia Nationwide Laboratories in 2012. Pink strains present the depth of mined repositories: Onkalo is the Finnish one, and WIPP is the US DOE repository for protection waste in New Mexico. (credit score: Sandia Nationwide Laboratories)

There’s one factor each deliberate everlasting repository for spent nuclear gasoline has in widespread: They’re all underground mines.

Like all mine, a mined repository for nuclear waste is a posh feat of engineering. It should be excavated by blasting or a boring machine, it should preserve the tunnels secure utilizing rock helps, and it should have air flow, seals, and pumps to deal with groundwater and make it secure for folks and equipment. In contrast to a mine, nonetheless, a repository should additionally transport and entomb canisters of radioactive waste, and it should be engineered to exacting requirements that make sure the tunnels will preserve the canisters secure for a lot of millennia.

There may be an alternate concept that dispenses with most of these downsides: disposal in deep boreholes. However can they be each possible and secure?

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