The focus of the Clay Conference – «Clays in natural and engineered barriers for radioactive waste confinement» - is on the disposal of radioactive waste in argillaceous rocks. Clay acts as a natural geological safety barrier and clay-based materials are used as engineered barriers for backfilling disposal tunnels. The subject requires a multidisciplinary approach: experts from the areas of geology, mineralogy, geochemistry, hydrogeology, geomechanics, materials sciences and engineering cooperate in contributing their knowledge and exchanging experience. To this end, more than 500 specialists from numerous waste management organisations, regulatory authorities, universities and research institutes attended the meeting in Brussels.
The «Clay Conference 2015» began with presentations of recent findings by scientists from the waste management programmes of Belgium, Finland, France, Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the EU. Nagra was also present at the event with several members of its technical staff and introduced its work in the form of oral presentations and posters.
The Clay Conference dates back to an initiative of the French waste management organisation Andra and is generally held every two years. This year's conference in March was organised by the Belgian waste management agency ONDRAF/NIRAS. Nagra is proud to be responsible for organising the next conference in the series and will welcome the international clay community to Davos from 25th to 28th September 2017.