Iternational Nuclear Fuel Cycle Fact book-USD0E

Method for Underground Nuclear Waste Storage

ABSTRACT

A method of disposing nuclear waste in underground rock formations is presented.  The method includes the steps of selecting a land area having a rock formation positioned there-below of a depth able to prevent radioactive material placed therein from reaching the surface and drilling a vertical wellbore from the surface into the underground rock formation or repository. A plurality of horizontal laterals or horizontal wellbores is drilled from the vertical wellbore into the underground rock formation. Nuclear waste to be stored within these laterals is encapsulated in a special waste canister and these nuclear waste canisters are positioned within the horizontal laterals wherein they are sealed to prevent loss and leakage. Means are also provided by which these canisters are adapted to allow retrievability of the canisters from the wellbore at a later date and to return the waste to the surface.