Geological Disposal 

The long-term storage of nuclear waste links with the choice of waste forms and is of equal importance,  for example the methods use for storage impact on the materials chosen for immobilisation. The group at Sheffieldleads in the development of deep borehole technologies for long-term storage, while at the same time is developing new approaches for traditional vault based geological storage.

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Final disposal of nuclear waste involves geological disposal of a variety of waste types deep under the ground. Due to their radioactive nature, these wastes must be stored for > 100,000 years, until the radioactivity has reduced to the original activity of the UO2 ore from which it originated. The group at Sheffield is a world-leader in the development of geological disposal scenarios, including traditional vault-based geological disposal and innovative deep-borehole disposal technology. Working closely with waste management organisations in the UK, Europe and the USA, we design and assess the performance of wasteforms for disposal, evaluate the efficacy of engineered barrier materials and use novel methods to understand the potential transport of radionuclides from the wasteforms to the geo- and bio-spheres.


  • Professor Neil Hyatt, RAEng and Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Chair in Radioactive Waste Management, research interests in manufacture and performance assessment of glass and ceramic materials for the immobilisation of plutonium residues, legacy intermediate level wastes and high level wastes from reprocessing operations.
  • Professor Russell Hand, Professor of Glass Science and Engineering, research interests in the durability of nuclear waste glasses in high pH environments.
  • Professor John Provis, Professor of Cement Materials Science and Engineering, research interests in the development, characterisation and exploitation of advanced and non-traditional cement and concrete technology for nuclear waste immobilisation and other applications.
  • Professor Fergus Gibb, Professor of Petrology and Geochemistry, research interests in disposal of higher activity wastes and development of very deep disposal concepts.
  • Dr Karl Travis, Senior Lecturer in computational materials science, research interests are in the development of deep borehole geological disposal concepts for higher activity wastes and modelling the consequences of irradiation of wasteform materials.
  • Dr Hajime Kinoshita, Lecturer in Materials Chemistry, research interests in electrochemical leaching of nuclear wasteforms for prediction of long-term performance and low temperature synthesis of ceramics for nuclear waste immobilisation.
  • Dr Claire Corkhill, Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow in Geological Disposal of Nuclear Waste, research interests are in the mechanisms of dissolution of higher activity wastes under geological disposal conditions and understanding the immobilisation of radionuclides by cementitious materials.

Geological Disposal