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~ - s NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES - NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL DIVISION OF EARTH SCIENCES COMMITTEE ON WASTE DISPOSAL RI:PORT ON DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE ON LAND . . . l Abstract A committee of geologists and geophysicists was established by the Nation Academy of Sciences-National Research Council at the request of the Atomic Enemy Commission to consider the Possi bilities of disposing of high level radic)actz~e wastes in quantity withy the co$~t~ental limits of the United States. The group was charged with assembling the emoting geoic~gic info rn,ation pertinent to clisponal, delineating the unanswered problems as sociated with the disposal schemes proposed, and pout out areas of research Ed de- velopment meriting first attention) the committee is to serve as con- tinuing adviser on the geological anal geophysical aspects of disposal and ache research and development program. an, . ~ ~ ~ ~ . .. , . ~ . - T'ne Committee w:th ~e cooperation of the Johns Hopkins University orgaliized a coherence at P.r~ceton ~ September 1955. After the Princeton Conference members of the committee Expected disposal ~nstaDations and macie '-di~dual studies. Two years ' con- sideration of Me disposal problems leads to certain general conclu- sio-~. Wastes may be disposed of safely at many sites In the United States but, conversely, there are may large areas ~ which it is unlikely that disposal sites can be found, for example, the Atlantic Seaboard. The research to ascertain feasibililv of disposal has for the most part not yet been done. , ~ Di spa ~ ~ ~ c auntie ~ mine ~ In ~ alt beds and salt domes is suggested as the nosaibilitY Promised the most practice immediate solution of the problem. ~ . ~ ~ ~ ~ - . ~ ~ ~ . ~ . ~ ~ ~ ~~ O Disposal could be greatly simplified if the waste could be gotten into solic} form of relatively ~nsol~ible character. ~ the future the Ejection of large volumes of dilute liquid waste into porous rock strata at depth ~ excess of 5, 000 feet may become feasible but means of rendering the waste solutions compatible with the mineral and fraud components of the rock must first be developed. The main difficulties to the ~jec- tion method recognized at present are to prevent clogging of pore space as the solutions are pumped into Me rock and the prediction or control of the rate and direction of movement. This initial report is presented in advance of research and development having beets done to determine many scientific, engi- neer~g and economic factors, and, ~ the absence of essential data, represents considered judgments subject to verification.