Can we give cost estimates for small inventories/countries? What are the options for such countries using Deep Isolation as part of a regional or multinational disposal solution?
The short answer would be, yes. Costs are dependent on the details around specific geology, community needs, existing laws, and regulatory requirements unique to each country. Depending on the information provided by an interested party, we are capable of generating a cost estimate with varying depths.
Our recent white paper gives an illustrative scenario for a small inventory. It looks at disposal of 4,200 spent fuel assemblies, representing 2,000 tonnes of heavy metal, at a single site in shale geology. The total cost of construction is estimated at about 650 million euros, less than a third of the full lifecycle cost of disposing of that waste in a typical mined repository. This cost comparison was done using the best information available and generated making some assumptions. In creating a more detailed cost comparison for a specific case we would work with our partner to limit assumptions and create a more specific cost analysis based on needs.
We also see significant opportunities for economies of scale through regional and multinational initiatives on horizontal boreholes, both in terms of collaborative investment in further demonstration and testing of the technology and through collaboration on a shared repository.