Publicatie Laka-bibliotheek:
OPERA Safety Case

AuteurCovra, E.Verhoef, E.Neeft, N.Chapman, C.McCombie
Datumdecember 2017
Opmerking Available at

Uit de publicatie:


The principal objective of this report is to present an overview of
the results and conclusions of the Safety Case for a geological
disposal facility in the Boom Clay of the Netherlands. The present
report is a scientific/technical document that describes engineering
and geological requirements needed to assure that a safe GDF can
be implemented in the Netherlands. A separate, complementary
synthesis report deals with the wider, societal issues of disposal.
The work has been performed in the framework of the OPERA
research programme which also includes some further research
topics and these are also mentioned. The principal objectives of
OPERA were:
" •	 To examine the feasibility and long-term safety of a"
"	 Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) in the Boom Clay of the"
"	 Netherlands"
" •	 To strengthen the national competences in scientific and"
"	 technical areas related to geological disposal"
" •	 To select - using a structured process - the R&D activities"
"	 to be carried out in the Dutch disposal programme over"
"	 the coming years"
" •	 To inform politicians, the public and the scientific/"
"	 technical community about the progress of geological"
"	 disposal planning in the Netherlands."

OPERA is financed by the Dutch authority for nuclear safety and
radiation protection (ANVS) and the public limited liability company
Electriciteits-Produktiemaatschappij Zuid-Nederland (EPZ) and
coordinated by COVRA. The present report is an overall summary of
the achievements of the OPERA programme. COVRA acknowledges
all the researchers from Dutch and foreign research organisations
that have contributed to OPERA. It was decided at the outset to
structure the programme and the future work around the develop-
ment of a series of Safety Cases for a GDF in the Netherlands; this
approach is in line with common international practice. Accordingly,
 the report is labelled as an Initial Safety Case. However, because of
 the national context of the geological disposal programme in the
 Netherlands, and because of the wider than usual range of objec-
 tives and the correspondingly target readership, there are significant
 differences between the Initial Safety Case presented here and GDF
 safety cases from other countries, which have often been prepared
 in order to meet some specific permitting or licensing requirement.

 The OPERA safety case is less comprehensive, given that it is an
 initial analysis that will be followed by further iterations. This initi
 Safety Case covers only one of the options for geological disposal
 that are being studied in the Netherlands. The report focuses on
 clay as a host rock. Because of this, the Netherlands has benefited
 greatly through the close cooperation which has been possible with
 the Belgian waste disposal programme, in which comprehensive
 investigations on Boom Clay as a host rock have been in progress
 for many years. However, the option of disposal in salt is still open,
 and significant earlier work has been done in the Netherlands on
this potential host rock. In any case, no siting decisions will be taken
in the Netherlands for a long time into the future, so that the next
generation of safety cases whether in clay or in salt will continue to
be generic in nature.

On the other hand, the present report is wider in scope than many
other safety cases for two reasons. Firstly, because of the wish
to make the report accessible to as wide a readership as possible,
explanatory material has been included to describe the basic
concepts involved in geological disposal and to summarise the
current international consensus on the recognised approaches to
 achieving safety and on the structure of a technical Safety Case for
 a GDF. Secondly, additional information is included on the overall
 scope of the OPERA programme since the current report is
 intended to summarise also the structure of the R&D projects
 which underpin OPERA. Finally, proposals for future scientific and
 technical studies which have been developed using the information
 gathered in the process of safety case preparation are presented
 at the end of the current report in a roadmap laying out all COVRA’s
 activities leading eventually to implementation of a GDF in the
 Netherlands. COVRA is willing to receive any comment readers
 might have.