< All Topics

How is the DGR designed to protect human health?

The design of our Deep Geological Repository (DGR) places utmost priority on the protection of human health. Through rigorous planning, engineering, and operational protocols, we’ve incorporated several layers of safety to ensure that the DGR poses no risk to the public. Here are the key elements of how the DGR is designed to protect human health:

1. Isolation and Containment:

  • The DGR is built several hundred meters below the Earth’s surface in a stable geological formation. This depth provides a natural barrier that isolates the stored used nuclear fuel from the human environment.

2. Multi-Barrier System:

  • In addition to natural geological barriers, engineered barriers such as canisters, seals, and buffer materials are used to further contain and isolate the used nuclear fuel. This “belt-and-suspenders” approach ensures multiple layers of protection.

3. Defense-in-Depth:

  • A concept borrowed from military strategy, this involves having multiple independent safety measures in place. If one barrier fails, others will still function, providing a robust defense against any potential release of radioactivity.

4. Passive Safety:

  • The DGR is designed to maintain safety without requiring active human intervention or mechanical systems. This means that even in the event of unforeseen situations like power failures, the repository remains secure.

5. Stringent Regulations:

  • The design, construction, and operation of the DGR are subject to rigorous oversight by regulatory bodies. This ensures that all activities meet or exceed national and international safety standards focused on human health protection.

6. Continuous Monitoring:

  • Advanced monitoring technologies are employed to constantly assess both the stored materials and the surrounding environment. This provides a real-time safety net, allowing for immediate response to any anomalies.

7. Emergency Preparedness:

  • Comprehensive emergency plans are in place and are regularly tested to ensure a prompt and effective response in the unlikely event of an incident. These plans are designed to protect the health and safety of both workers and the surrounding communities.

8. Public Engagement:

  • We maintain open channels of communication with the public and stakeholders to keep them informed about the safety measures in place, thereby fostering trust and confidence in the DGR’s ability to protect human health.

9. Long-Term Adaptability:

  • The DGR is designed for ongoing adaptability to technological advancements and new safety methods. This ensures that it continues to meet the best available safety standards to protect human health even over an extended period.

By incorporating these key elements into the design and operation of our DGR, we aim to ensure the highest possible standards of human health protection, now and for generations to come.