Geofirma Engineering was recently awarded a 5-year contract by the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) to assist the NWMO in evaluating the performance of proposed Deep Geologic Repositories (DGRs) for the safe long term disposal of used nuclear fuel. The NWMO program is now in a site selection phase with several potential sites for hosting a DGR in crystalline rock in Northern Ontario and sedimentary formations in Southern Ontario. Site characterization activities are underway and have advanced to initial borehole drilling and testing. Geofirma will be creating detailed numeric models that integrate geoscience data with repository designs to assess the long term repository performance (over 1 million years). The transport of radionuclides in groundwater to potential impact points such as water supply wells and surface water will be simulated for a number of scenarios. Geofirma will also perform gas transport modelling of corrosion products to assess both gaseous radionuclide concentrations and potential repository pressurization. Geofirma was selected to perform this work based on our more than 15 years of experience in modelling DGR performance for hypothetical repository settings and designs. Geofirma also completed similar assessments to support the ongoing licensing process for the proposed Ontario Power Generation (OPG) DGR for Low and Intermediate Level Radioactive Waste at the Bruce Nuclear Power site.

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