Funding: Helmholtz Association and Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Status: current (2018 - 2021)


Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)

Helmholtz Centre Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR)

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Jülich Research Centre (FZJ)

iCross: Integrity of nuclear waste repository systems – Cross-scale system understanding and analysis

Since 2013, site selection procedure for repository, especially for high-level radioactive waste, has begun in Germany. In general, three potential host rocks (clay, crystalline rock and salt formations) are considered for the long-term storage of high-level radioactive waste in a deep geological repository. A wide range of scientific studies is necessary to be able to assess the characteristics, risks and risks involved.

The multidisciplinary collaborative project on repository research "iCross" deals with the topic of safe and durable nuclear waste management. A partial aspect of the project also concerns the microbial processes. Understanding microbial processes and their metabolic activity in the deep biosphere is essential in the selection of possible location as final repositories. System-dependent microbial processes can influence the safety, performance and location characteristics of a potential repository. Related to geomicrobiology, the objectives from this project is to improve the understanding of how microbial life will effect on buffers (bentonite barrier) and host rock systems, and to describe the potential impact of materials (e.g. canister) used in future repositories.

  •  Characterization of the microbial community in host rocks (Opalinus Clay)
  •  Investigation of clay – microorganism – fluid interactions
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