2012:46 Technical Note, Review of Landscape Models used in SR-Site

As part of SSM’s Initial Review phase of SKB’s SR-Site safety assessment for the proposed final disposal of spent nuclear fuel at the Forsmark site, Quintessa was given the assignment to consider whether the landscape models and supporting data utilised by SKB are appropriate and fit for purpose.  This Technical Note summarises the findings of Quintessa’s review.

SKB’s approach to the biosphere assessment for SR-Site seeks to undertake estimations of radiological risk in a manner that is ‘as realistic as possible’.  This has built on a substantial, detailed programme to characterise the near-surface environment at Forsmark and a reconstruction of the development of the landscape since the most recent ice sheet retreat, some 10,000 years ago.  The level of detail in reconstruction and supporting analyses, as well as the quality of the scientific work, is impressive.  However, one consequence of such a strong attention to detail is that it has the potential to obscure the identification and justification of necessary assumptions that are inevitably associated with extending landscape evolution projections over long timescales.