WIT Press

Safety Assessment For Disposal Of Hazardous Waste In Abandoned Underground Mines


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WIT Press


A. Peratta & V. Popov


Disposal of hazardous chemical waste in abandoned underground mines is believed to be an achievable, low risk and relatively cheap way of disposal of hazardous waste. The objective of the FP5 EC project Low Risk Disposal Technology (LowRiskDT) was to investigate the prerequisites for using this alternative, to outline suitable design and construction technology and to make a performance assessment with special respect to environmental safety and cost. Calculations were made of the isolating capacity of reference repositories in terms of the concentration of hazardous ion species appearing in the far-field groundwater. Relevant flow and dispersion models were applied to the reference cases representing different rock structures and flow path patterns. The release and migration of dissolved hazardous chemical species with special respect to groundwater protection are determined for the worst-case scenario. A numerical tool has been developed that can be used for analysis of transport of contaminants from underground repositories. The tool can take into account fracture zones, non-homogeneous domains, and can be used to model the processes in the far field, near field and on the interface of the far field and near field. The waste-isolating capacity has been estimated for underground mines in two types of geological media: crystalline rock and limestone. Two types of hazardous waste were considered: Dichlorvos and batteries/zinc. Keywords: hazardous waste disposal, underground mines, safety assessment. 1 Introduction The safety assessment, which was applied in the LowRiskDT project, was performed taking into account the quality of the groundwater on a certain distance from the mine in the direction of the flow of the groundwater. Since no


hazardous waste disposal, underground mines, safety assessment.