An appropriate QMS, which is among the first tools required for repository site characterisation, will save on effort by reducing errors and the requirement to resample and reanalyse–but this can only be guaranteed by continuously assessing if the system is truly fit-for-purpose and amending it as necessary based on the practical experience of the end-users on-site. A QA audit of hydrochemical datasets for boreholes HDB-1–11 from Horonobe URL project by JAEA has been carried out by the application of a formal QA analysis which is based on the methodology previously employed for groundwaters during the recent site characterisation programme in Sweden. This methodology has been successfully applied to the groundwaters of the fractured crystalline rocks of the Fennoscandian Shield and has now been adapted and applied to some of the ground- and porewaters of the Horonobe URL area. This paper will present this system in the context of the Japanese national programme and elucidate improvements made during hands-on application of the borehole investigation QMS. Further improvements foreseen for the future will also be discussed with a view of removing inter-operator variability as much as is possible. Only then can confidence be placed in URL project or repository site hydrochemical datasets.

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