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Monitoring experience associated with nuclear waste disposal and its application to CO2 sequestration projects

Michael J. Stenhouse
Michael J. Stenhouse
Monitor Scientific, 3900 S. Wadsworth Blvd, Suite #555, Denver Colorado 80235,
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David Savage
David Savage
Quintessa Limited, 24 Trevor Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 6FS, UK
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January 01, 2004


Monitoring is a key component of the development and operation of nuclear waste repositories, and some of the underlying considerations and lessons learned can benefit projects involving the geological storage of CO2. Before reviewing the general monitoring objectives for nuclear waste repositories, the key differences between nuclear waste disposal and CO2 storage projects are emphasized. The philosophy underlying monitoring after closing/sealing a repository is discussed. Important aspects of this philosophy include the need to collect adequate baseline data representative of the unperturbed site, and the desire to engender public confidence, but not at the expense of compromising the protective barriers of the repository itself. Pre-operational and operational monitoring provide important data that feed into safety assessment calculations, either as input data or as information that can be used to confirm, and/or refine, predictions. Using a specific example of a deep (geological) repository, monitoring experience at the WIPP site in New Mexico is discussed, focusing on methods and techniques that are relevant to CO2 sequestration projects. Such monitoring includes geotechnical (characterization of the evolving behaviour of underground facilities), groundwater (quality and quantity), environmental (impacts on ecosystems), and subsidence (to support subsidence predictions for the WIPP site located in bedded salt formations).

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide

Shelagh J. Baines
Shelagh J. Baines
BP Exploration and Production Company, Sunbury, UK
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Richard H. Worden
Richard H. Worden
Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
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Geological Society of London
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2004




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