651-4074-00L  Landfills and Deep Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste

SemesterSpring Semester 2021
LecturersT. Vietor, P. Huggenberger
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentNumber of participants limited to 18.

Geography and Earth System Sciences students UZH may attend this field course at full costs (no subsidies).


651-4074-00 GLandfills and Deep Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste
Lectures Landfills & Contaminated Sites (Peter Huggenberger)
31.03., 01.04., 14.04., 15.04. (Exkursion), 16.04.21

Lectures Deep Geological Disposal (Tim Vietor)
28.04., 29.04., 30.04., 05.05. (Exkursion), 07.05., 12.05. (13-14, Room tba)
48s hrs
31.03.09:15-17:00HG E 23 »
01.04.09:15-17:00HG E 23 »
14.04.09:15-17:00HG E 23 »
15.04.09:15-17:00HG E 23 »
16.04.09:15-17:00LFW B 2 »
28.04.10:15-17:00HG E 23 »
29.04.10:15-17:00HG E 23 »
30.04.10:15-17:00HG E 23 »
05.05.09:15-17:00HG E 23 »
07.05.10:15-17:00LFW B 2 »
12.05.13:15-14:00LFW B 2 »
T. Vietor, P. Huggenberger

Catalogue data

AbstractThis course focuses on the integration of geo-scientific and technical knowledge for the assessment of long-term safety and engineering feasibility of shallow and deep repositories for hazardous and radioactive wastes and for the clean-up of contaminated sites.
ObjectiveThe students learn about the requirements for safe storage/disposal of different types of waste that. They learn that - according to the different chemical and physical properties - there are different requirements for the performance of the waste, engineered and geological barriers. They learn the criteria that are necessary in landfill planning, site evaluation and/or characterization projects or when they are involved in a critical review of a proposed project. The students understand that waste disposal in landfills and in deep geological repositories are interdisciplinary projects and that it implies a high degree of interdisciplinary communication between earth scientists (all sub-disciplines, e.g. mineralogy, sedimentology, rock mechanics, hydrogeology, geophysics, geochemistry), engineers and safety assessment modellers.
The students understand that there may be interactions between the repository components (waste and engineered barriers) and host rock, and, in the case of landfills, repositories act as chemical reactors influencing the technical and geosphere barriers. They are able to take this into account when designing experimental programs designated to understand these processes.
Based on knowledge the students have gained from other courses (hydrogeology, basic principles of contaminant transport, underground excavations etc.) they are able to build up project-oriented geological models of shallow and deep disposal sites. They learn to take this into account when designing geological investigation and Monitoring programs in order to acquire all data that are necessary for an assessment of the performance and the long-term safety of a repository.
The students are aware that long-term safety has an influence on repository design and construction. They realize that this has to be taken into account in engineering and are able to design appropriate investigation programs.
ContentThis lecture course comprises a series of lectures with exercises and excursions. The course is subdivided in two parts: Part 1, Landfills and contaminated sites (lecturer Peter Huggenberger), Part 2, Deep Geological Disposal of Radioactive Waste (lecturer Andreas Gautschi). Topics addressed in the course are
- principles of environmental protection in waste management and how this is applied in legislation.
- role and character of heterogeneities of frequently used geological barriers
- chemistry underlying the leaching of contaminants from the landfilled/contaminated material
- Technical barrier design and function
- Contaminated site remediation: Site evaluation, concepts and methods, advanced monitoring, remediation technologies
- Concepts and long-term safety in radioactive waste management
- Clay rocks and fractured hard rocks as transport barriers for contaminants
- Engineering geology in deep geological disposal
- Investigation methods in deep boreholes (data acquisition for the assessment of long-term safety and data relevant for repository layout and construction)
Lecture notesElectronic copies of overheads
LiteratureA list of recommended literature and internet links will be made available.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course is compulsory for the MSc Earth Science Engineering Geology.

Recommended background for other geoscientists: Basic knowledge in geochemistry, hydrogeology, (borehole) geophysics, engineering geology

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersP. Huggenberger, T. Vietor
Typeend-of-semester examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionA repetition date will be offered in the first two weeks of the semester immediately consecutive.
Additional information on mode of examinationZusätzlich zur mündlichen Semesterendprüfung (Gewichtung 75%) gibt es eine benotete Übung (Gewichtung 25%) im Sinne eines obligatorischen Leistungselements.
Datum mündliche Prüfung für beide Teile: 19. und 20.5.2021

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


Places18 at the most
PriorityRegistration for the course unit is only possible for the primary target group
Primary target groupEarth Sciences MSc (660000)
Applied Geophysics MSc (662000)
Doctorate Earth Sciences (664002)
Doctorate Earth Sciences ETH-UZH (665000)
Doctorate Earth Sciencess UZH-ETH (665100)
Earth and Climate Sciences (Mobility) (674000)
Waiting listuntil 01.03.2021

Offered in

Earth Sciences MasterEngineering Geology: IntegrationOInformation