Natural Analogues

The two-billion-year-old natural reactor in Africa

Two billion years ago, parts of an African uranium deposit spontaneously underwent nuclear fission. Scientists deduced the natural chain reaction fission continued for hundreds of thousands of years. They’ve also learned lessons about how underground storage of spent nuclear fuel is a safe solution.

Cigar Lake uranium deposit

Cigar Lake is one of the large unconformity-type uranium deposits of Proterozoic age which characterise the Athabasca Basin uranium province in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. It is notable from the other deposits in the region in that it is located entirely below the surface at approx. 450 m depth. There is no surface expression of its existence and it was discovered by a systematic drilling campaign through promising geological strata (Bruneton, 1987).

Learn more by downloading this pdf.

The Natural Analogue Working Group

Owing to the considerable upsurge of interest on the topic of natural analogues, a group of individuals working for or in national waste disposal programmes, took the initiative of establishing, in June 1985, NAWG, the Natural Analogue Working Group (originally under the auspice of the European Commission). Its members research natural analogues around the world.

Learn more about the NAWG and its research.


IAEA Repository study

The International Atomic Energy Agency has conducted a study of Repositories. Download the study here.

International Approaches to Nuclear Waste Disposal in Geological Formations has released its fifth worldwide review of the geological challenges of radioactive waste isolation. Download the technical report.


Tour a nuclear reactor refurbishment

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has launched an interactive look inside a nuclear reactor refurbishment, similar to ones happening at Bruce Power and Darlington.

Protections in place

Learn more about ceramic fuel pellets used in CANDU reactors and used fuel and uranium dioxide dissolution studies.

Used Fuel and Uranium Dioxide Dissolution Studies – A Review (PDF).

This article addresses uranium chemistry and geological disposal of radioactive waste.

Learn more about copper canisters that will hold the spent nuclear fuel.

An update on the copper corrosion program for the long‐term management of used nuclear fuel in Canada.

Read a new study from Science Direct (Nov 2020)

Learn more about the mechanical and hydro-mechanical behaviour of host sedimentary rocks for Deep Geological Repository for spent nuclear fuel.

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