Greenland Analogue Project
Since 2008 SKB, Posiva and NWMO have been carried out a project on Greenland to increase knowledge about the conditions during an ice age.
The Greenland Analogue Project (GAP), a collaborative research project that ran from 2008 to 2013, was initiated to increase the knowledge on glacial hydrological processes and their influence on both surface and subsurface environments relevant to the long term performance of geological repositories for nuclear waste.
A Greenland site in West Greenland, with an existing ice sheet in a crystalline bedrock setting, has served as a natural analogue to future conditions expected for selected repository sites in previously glaciated terrain, such as in Sweden. The Greenland Ice Sheet is the second largest ice sheet in the world, and is comparable to the ice sheets predicted to extend over both Scandinavia and Canada in the future.
Together with partner organizations Posiva (Finland) and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, NWMO (Canada), SKB has now released the positive findings of the GAP. This project brought together specialists, research scientists and engineers from six countries, and focused on increasing scientific understanding of how an ice sheet interacts with areas both above and below ground. This understanding will be used in safety cases – the comprehensive, detailed studies used to evaluate the safety of deep geological repositories over timeframes of up to one million years.
During the project, researchers made direct and indirect observations about the movement of the ice sheet, meltwater runoff, water pressure due to the weight of the ice sheet, water transfer from the ice sheet to areas below the ice surface, and they gained valuable insight into interactions between meltwater and the underlying groundwater systems. The new information and the increased scientific understanding from the Greenland Analogue Project will inform and strengthen future safety cases for deep geological repositories.