First Meeting of INAGO

INAGO (International Advisory Group on Olkiluoto Investigations) is a new international advisory group, which has been set up by Posiva to support them in making decisions related to their strategic goal of submitting a successful application for a construction licence for the spent fuel repository at Olkiluoto by the end of 2012. Its objectives are to advise Posiva on issues related to the performance and objectives of the underground investigations programme and on the management of the underground activities; to advise on the integration of the ONKALO investigations with the overall characterisation of the Olkiluoto site; to review the main results and reports from the ONKALO programme and from the other continuing investigations on the Olkiluoto site; and to assess the scientific quality and applicability of the research and investigations from an international perspective.

INAGO has six members, who are experts in site characterisation and geosphere research in radioactive waste disposal, and a technical secretary. The members are Cliff Davison (AECL), Paul Degnan (UK Nirex), Andreas Gautschi (Nagra), Bernard Mouroux (Andra), Pekka Särkkä (Helsinki University of Technology) and Peter Wikberg (SKB). Pekka Särkkä is the chair of INAGO and Tim McEwen (SAM) is the technical secretary.

The first meeting of INAGO took place at the end of June in Rauma. It was designed to focus on the programmes that Posiva has drafted for underground characterisation and research in the ONKALO, for monitoring the Olkiluoto site and for Research, Development and Technical Design (RTD). Presentations of Posiva’s programme in these areas were made to the members of INAGO by Posiva staff and by their consultants and contractors.

INAGO were generally complimentary regarding Posiva’s existing and proposed programmes of work on site characterisation, modelling and monitoring, and the organisational structure that has been set up for carrying out the investigations in the ONKALO. Some concerns were raised, however, regarding subjects such as the presence of open boreholes, and their potential influence on both the groundwater flow and hydrochemical systems, the current strength of the safety assessment team, the extent of the proposed geological work during construction of the ONKALO and the use of conceptual models to develop and present the relationships between the geological structure, groundwater flow and solute transport characteristics of the rock mass.

INAGO will meet twice a year and its next meeting is in December 2004. Future meetings are likely to be based around a specific theme of the ONKALO programme.

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