The Science and Technology Program

This program was distinct from, but parallel to, the licensing effort at Yucca Mountain. The role of S&T was to advance technologies not previously considered, to identify new or substantially revised scientific methods or tools, thus providing a better understanding of the repository environment. The S&T program goals were to reduce cost, reduce uncertainty, enhance performance, develop new technologies, and overall greatly enhance the repository system, its performance, and its defensibility during and beyond the License Application defense.

Fukushima: JAEA-LBNL Collaboration on Repository Geoscience and Technology Development

In the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in Japan in 2011, LBNL-EESA and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) have collaborated to develop numerical methodologies for understanding and predicting the long-term transport of radionuclides within and among different surface-environmental compartments (farmland and forest soils, water bodies, soil pore water and groundwater systems) in Japan. This research, initiated in June 2014, also contributes to the R&D activities related to environmental remediation and decommissioning after the accident.

Funded by DOE-SC-Biological and Environmental Research

Used Fuel Disposition

The Used Fuel Disposition (UFD) Campaign was initiated in 2009 to support the Blue Ribbon Panel review of high-level nuclear waste policy in the United States. Our work is organized in the these areas: Natural Systems Research, Engineered Barrier Research, System-Level Modeling, and International Activities within UFD.

Funded by DOE-NE-Nuclear Energy

International Disposal R&D

Nuclear power is used by many countries that have employed various strategies for the safe and effective use of nuclear energy and disposal of nuclear waste. International Projects focuses on integration and dissemination of scientific understanding and technological advances associated with nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal throughout the world.

Ground-Motion Analysis and Soil-Structure-Interaction (SSI) Modeling

LBNL-ESD researchers are currently supporting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's need for further technical information about a set of related technical topics. The main objective of the project is to develop the technical basis for new NRC staff guidance to applicants and licensees on critical issues related to the seismic analysis and design of new nuclear power plants (NPPs), in the broad area of time-domain soil-structure-interaction (SSI) modeling.


Waste-Form-Degradation Modeling

A long-standing problem in the analysis of nuclear waste glass degradation (or corrosion) rates is the short-term time scales associated with laboratory studies. One approach to this problem has been to study archaeological glasses, particularly where the environment within which they existed can be well constrained over time. In this study, concluded in 2014, we made use of a micro-continuum modeling approach to capture the spatial distribution and identity of reaction products developing over time as a result of the archaeological glass corrosion, while also matching the time scales of alteration where possible. Importantly for future studies, our model captured the approximate mineralogical zoning, as well as the identity of the newly formed secondary phase smectite.


The DECOVALEX (Development of Coupled Models and their Validation against Experiments) Project is a unique international research collaboration for advancing the understanding and mathematical modeling of coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) and thermo-hydro-chemical (THC) processes in geological systems.

Funded by DOE-NE-Nuclear Energy

Mont Terri

Mont Terri The Mont Terri Project is an international research project for the hydrogeological, geochemical and geotechnical characterization of a clay/shale formation suitable for geologic disposal of radioactive waste (Zuidema, 2007; Bossart and Thury, 2007). The project, which was officially initiated in 1996, utilizes an underground rock laboratory, which lies north of the town of St-Ursanne in…

Colloid Formation and Migration Project

The Colloid Formation and Migration (CFM) Project is an international research project for the investigation of colloid formation/bentonite erosion, colloid migration, and colloid-associated radionuclide transport, relevant to both NBS and EBS areas of UFDC. This collaborative project is one of several experimental R&D projects associated with the Grimsel Test Site (GTS) in the Swiss Alps, a URL…