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Uncertainty and the associated conservatism are the key problems in application of radionuclide retention for the purpose of improving safety statements around geologic disposal of high-level waste. The uncertainty may be divided into conceptual, modeling and experimental. Experimental uncertainties can be lowered by straightforward approaches. Contrary to this, conceptual uncertainties include lack in principle understanding on how scavenging processes in nature actually take place, including to which extent such processes can be considered to be in equilibrium, steady-state or under transient conditions. Consequently, it is not clear if the picture used for these processes is sufficiently well related to reality and how coupling of different processes result in a bulk or average impact.

From a practical point of view, irrespective of the reasons for the large deviations in retention data for different radionuclides, the basic problem is that the large discrepancies cannot yet be related to specific processes and thus reduction in uncertainties is not defendable. The approach of the project is to provide a methodology for such defendable decrease in the uncertainty.

Preceding experiences and parallel projects

There are two previous projects within the EURATOM program specifically dealing with the crystalline host rock far-field retention, namely RETROCK and FUNMIG. A separate project (CATCLAY) is operating dealing with sorption in clay host rock. An information exchange with that project will ensure that overlap is avoided and that the outcome of that project is considered in the present one. Several sorption processes are treated under the ReCosy Collaborative Project and the present project will benefit from those activities.
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Supported by

European Union's European Atomic Energy Community's (Euratom) Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2011

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