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.