Comparison Between Geological Disposal of Carbon Dioxide and Radioactive Waste in China

  • Ju WangEmail author
  • Zhonghe Pang
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 44)


The large amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the fast development of nuclear power plants in China pose challenges for the safe disposal of CO2 and high-level waste (HLW). Significant progress has been made in both areas. The disposal of CO2 has focused on making commercial use of CO2. Several enhanced oil recovery and enhanced coalbed methane projects have been implemented in China. Seventy disposal sites in 24 major sedimentary basins have been identified for CO2 disposal. The amount of spent fuel will reach about 82,000 t of heavy metal when all of the planned 58 reactors on the Chinese mainland reach the end of their lifetime. A target to build a national HLW repository in around 2050 has been set. CO2 disposal and radioactive waste disposal have much in common, but there are also many differences, including disposal principles and capacity, host media, potential sites, site characterization and cost. The site with the most potential for HLW disposal in China is the Beishan granite site in north-western Gansu Province, while most of the potential sites for CO2 disposal are in the eastern and south-western basins of China. For HLW, only one repository is planned, but for CO2 disposal, many sites are needed. The disposal of CO2 and radioactive waste are facing similar scientific and technical challenges, including site selection, monitoring of disposal site, prediction of how disposal systems will work, safety assessments, and social and economic issues. To meet these challenges, the scientists working in these fields need to intensify the exchange of information and increase cooperation.


Geological disposal of CO2 Geological disposal of radioactive waste High-level radioactive waste China 



The authors would like to express their sincere thanks to Ferenc Toth, the editor of the book, for his encouragement and helpful comments and suggestions on this chapter. Thanks are also due to the three referees of this chapter for their useful reviews.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Research Institute of Uranium GeologyChina National Nuclear CorporationBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Geology and GeophysicsChinese Academy of ScienceBeijingChina

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