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GEOSAF Project

International Project on Demonstrating the Safety of Geological Disposal


International intercomparison and harmonization projects are one of the mechanisms developed by the IAEA for examining the application and use of its safety standards, with a view to ensuring their effectiveness and working towards harmonization of approaches to the safety of radioactive waste management.

The development of deep geological disposal concepts is moving from the research phase to practical concept implementation and licensing.

Hence the international intercomparison and harmonization project (GEOSAF) has been established in 2008 to work towards harmonization in approaches to demonstrating the safety of geological disposal with a special emphasis on the expectations from the regulatory authorities engaged in the licensing process with respect to the development of the safety case.


The first part of GEOSAF (GEOSAF I) ran from 2008 to 2011 and focused on the development and review of the safety case for geological disposal of radioactive waste. More specifically the French case has been considered for demonstrating the feasibility of a geological disposal in clay formation.


The second part of GEOSAF (GEOSAF II), focusing on operational safety for geological disposal and its impact on long term safety, was launched in 2012 and had its final plenary in May 2015. The objective of the follow-up was to elaborate an approach methodology for operational safety of geological disposal facilities within the context of the overall safety case that integrates both operational and post-closure aspects.


The third part of GEOSAF (GEOSAF III) started in May 2017, is focusing on demonstration of the safety during both the operational and post-closure periods for geological disposal facilities for radioactive waste. Many Member States and international organizations now recognize that activities during the operational phase can potentially impact long-term post-closure safety of the repository. More specially, licensing of a geological disposal facility requires an overall safety case that integrates both operational and post closure safety aspects. The main inputs for GEOSAF III will come from national programmes for geological disposal and specifically existing safety cases, especially from countries where GDF projects have matured over the years to reach advanced milestones. Starting from these examples of implementation of a safety case, GEOSAF III will address in greater depth the concept of Design Target and Safety Envelope for development of disposal project.

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| Last update: Wednesday, 30 August, 2017.