Geoenvironmental Research Centre
Canolfan Ymchwil Ddaearamgylcheddol

Centre Wins University Award

2014–06–02

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The Geoenvironmental Research Centre (GRC) has received the Global Challenge Award for its pioneering work in nuclear waste disposal.

Recognised as an ‘exemplar of excellence’ by Cardiff University for its work with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the GRC has developed a simulation programme to investigate how clay barriers used in nuclear waste disposal will perform. The programme, called COMPASS, has influenced the design of new repositories in Finland and Sweden.

Professor Hywel Thomas, Director of the GRC, commented: “We are delighted to have won the Global Challenge Award. Our research prompted a major rethink in the design and construction of nuclear waste repositories. The findings increased international governments’ confidence in the ability to accurately model and forecast the behaviour of engineered clay barriers. Subsequently, several countries have issued licences and begun building nuclear waste repositories.”

Stefan Mayer, Leader of the Disposal Team in the Department of Nuclear Energy, IAEA, praised the GRC’s “substantial contribution” to “training young professionals and to promoting the safe development of disposal worldwide.”

The Global Challenge Award is one of five Innovation and Impact Awards to be presented by the University at a gala dinner on 17th June. The GRC is also in the running for a People’s Choice Award. This offers the public an opportunity to vote for their favourite finalist – and win two tickets, plus dinner, for the opening night of Cape Town Opera’s latest production of ‘Showboat’ at Wales Millennium Centre.

To vote for a winning finalist, either:

• Tweet @cardiffuni your reason for choosing a particular project. Don’t forget to include the hashtag for that project (see above)

• Leave a comment on the Cardiff University Facebook post about the Awards: www.facebook.com/cardiffuni

• Leave a comment about the project’s film on the Cardiff University YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/cardiffuni