Abstract

The Minimum Disturbance (MD) Design embodies a fully integrated approach for the credible and defensible siting, design, and development of deep underground vaults (repositories) for safe disposal of long-lived radioactive wastes/materials (LLRMs). The MD Design is based on the following five basic concepts:

1. Target Exploration.

2. Flexible Design.

3. Mechanical Mining.

4. In-Room Waste Emplacement.

5. A Climatically and Chemically Controlled Waste Emplacement Environment.

Each of these basic concepts is designed to:

• Reduce human-induced perturbations to the geologic setting;

• Optimize the waste containment and isolation function of the disposal system;

• Simplify the computation of safety and risk assessments; and

• Reduce uncertainties in both computation and system performance.

The fundamental philosophy of the MD Design, coined by my tutor and friend Dr. Carl-Olof Morfeldt, is:

The art is not to overmaster nature by means of technology, but — with a deeper knowledge of geology — to adapt the engineering to nature.

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