Geotechnical Society of Edmonton

NEWS 2011

Posted February 28, 2011 (Updated April 1, 2011)

Event: April 15, 2011

GSE/CGS Cross Canada Lecture: Mark Diederichs, Ph.D., P.Eng., Queen's University - Geomechnical Performance of a Deep Geological Repository for Nuclear Waste

Location: Edmonton Petroleum Club (11110 - 108 Street)

Time: 11:45am - 1:30pm

Cost: $30 Members, $35 Non-members, $5 Students

Confirm Attendance (By Apr. 12)

Ontario is in the final stages of licensing for an underground repository for nuclear waste at the Bruce site near Kincardine. An extensive program of investigation and analysis has taken place to determine and ensure that the site adheres to the tenets of selection, namely:

  1. Geological Predictability
  2. Multiple Natural Barriers
  3. Natural Barriers to Protect Groundwater and Surface Water
  4. Seismically Quite
  5. Low Natural Resource Potential
  6. Transport is Diffusion Dominated
  7. Geomechanically Stable

The presentation will give a brief project overview including discussion of the investigations related to tenet 1 through 6 above. The remainder of the talk will discuss the last tenet, geomechanical stability, as there are a number of issues related to stability of the repository at various scales of space and time. This work is ongoing in collaboration with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization, NWMO.

Dr. Mark Diederichs is a Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering at Queen's University. He received his BSc and MSc from the University of Toronto in Geological Engineering. He received and PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo. He joined Queen's University in 2011 after working in consulting, as well as in research and development for the Canadian mining industry. Dr. Diederich's research involves the characterization of heterogeneous rockmasses and prediction of their behavior under engineering disturbances such as tunneling, mining, slope construction and cavern construction. He is also an expert in the brittle damage and fracture of rock in a tunneling environment, and consults and leads research in tunnel construction and support issues related to weak rock and squeezing ground. Dr. Diederichs conducts research in conjunction with major tunneling projects in Canada, Italy, France, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and South America, and acts as an independent reviewer on large complex tunneling projects around the world. He has authored over 160 published scientific articles and received a number of research awards including the Rocha Medal form the International Society of Rock Mechanics, the Geo-Colloquium Award from the Canadian Geotechnical Society, the John Franklin Award from the Canadian Rock Mechanics Association, and recently, the Queen's Chancellor's Award.

The CCLT is organized by the Canadian Geotechnical Society, with funding through the Canadian Foundation for Geotechnique.

Sponsorship provided by:

  • Geo-Slope International
  • BGC Engineering
  • EBA
  • Reinforced Earth Company Ltd.


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9211 - 116 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta
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