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The GRC is among the designated members of the IAEA NETWORK OF CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE, for its work on high level nuclear waste disposal.


The Geoenvironmental Research Centre has a long track record of scientific excellence in the geological disposal of radioactive waste. The Centre has been instrumental in several national and internationally funded research programmes. The Centre has been working on aspects of the thermal, hydraulic, chemical and mechanical behaviour of barrier systems in geological repositories, collaborating with major organisations such as IAEA, NDA, SKB and BARC.


The objectives of the Network are as follows:

  • To encourage the transfer and preservation of knowledge and technologies.
  • To supplement national efforts and promote public confidence in waste disposal schemes.
  • To contribute to the resolution of key technical issues.

Professor Hywel Thomas, Director of the GRC, is the Chair of IAEA’s Network on Geological Disposal and is involved in the EU Technology Platform on Implementing Geological Disposal.

For the last thirty years, the GRC has been involved in various research and training activities in the geological disposal of radioactive waste.

Training programmes involved include:

  • International Workshop on Obtaining Site Data and Developing Numerical Simulations to Characterise and Assess Processes Relevant to Bentonite Barriers and Near-field Interactions, 9th – 13th September 2013
  • Programme for Education, Training and Research on Underground Storage (PETRUS II) 2007-2011
  • IAEA Interregional Training Course on Numerical Simulation with Experimental Data, 2008

The GRC has conducted extensive research on both experimental and computational modelling aspects in this area. Such programmes include: