A cooperative project in the management of radioactive waste storage is currently in progress in the Stripa Mine, located in central Sweden, Fig. 1. The formal agreement between the participants - the Swedish Nuclear Fuel Safety Project (KBS) organized within the Swedish Nuclear Fuel Supply Company (SKBF) and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL), University of California sponsored by the US Department of Energy (DOE) - was written in July 1977 and the work was initiated shortly afterwards. The main tasks in the project are heater experiments and hydrogeological investigations in the Stripa granite. Analysis of instrumentation behaviour and mathematical modelling related to the different experiments constitute an extensive part of the program. Additional support are geophysical measurements and determination of material properties.

Following the Swedish-American work in Stripa is a multilateral project - the Stripa Project - concerning the same subject as previously. Economical and technical support are provided by Canada, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), acting on the basis of the radioactive waste management program, has undertaken to promote the cooperation. Sufficient interest has been established to proceed under the auspices of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and preliminary proposals have been developed.


The organization plan for the Stripa Project is shown in Fig. 2. The Swedish SKBF/KBS organization, in charge of the operation of the Stripa Mine, will act as the host organization for the project. Experimental programs will be recommended by the participating countries and reviewed ~y technical subgroups (TSG's). The technical subgroups cover the fields of hydrology and chemical transport, rock mechanics and engineered barriers. The TSG''s will consist of members from the participating countries and each task will be assigned to a principal investigator. Supervision of the experimental program will be entrusted to a Joint Technical Committee (JTC) composed of representatives of participating countries that are providing financial support to the project. Full membership in the Joint Technical Committee will be contingent on commitment of at least $400.000 (US) per year unless otherwise agreed by the committee. The project is planned to last 4 years.


Below a summary of existing experimental programs within each technical field is given. The programs are preliminary and will be reviewed and commented by the representatives of the different countries in the technical subgroups. The Joint Technical Committee will in each case be responsible for the financial management and the budgeting of the project.

Hydrogeological Investigations

The purpose of the project 18 to design and test methods and instrumente for geologic, hydraulic and geophysic studies in hori~ontal or subhorizontal boreholes to a length of 300 m. where the purpose is to determine hydraulic characteristics and interactions between fractures in the bedrock, see Fig. 3. The project aleo aims at gaining further knowledge on the chemical and physical conditions in the groundwater at great depth in crystalline bedrock by deepening an existing vertical borehole to a depth of 1000 m. In addition, the influence of drift excavation on the hYdraulic conditions will be studied.

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