Crystalline Club


Deep geological repositories use a combination of engineered and natural barriers to safely contain and isolate radioactive waste from people and the environment. There is a consensus among major nuclear regulatory and monitoring organisations that repositories are the responsible way forward for long-term management of these materials. The area of repository development for long-lived radioactive waste is a strategic area in the work programme of the NEA Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC). Among the different geological formations considered suitable for hosting geological repositories, crystalline rocks are characterised by their high strength, thereby providing cavity stability, low heat sensitivity, permeability and dissolution properties. Although fractures are common in crystalline rocks, the resulting fracture permeability can be resolved by engineered barriers such as waste containment and bentonite backfill.

Many countries are developing or planning to develop geological disposal facilities for radioactive waste in crystalline rocks. Although an advanced scientific and geotechnical understanding of crystalline rocks has been accumulated by the dedicated research carried out by these countries, there are research areas in which member countries may benefit from joint R&D efforts. Recognising the mutual benefits of joint international research efforts and also the successes of the NEA Clay Club and Salt Club, members of the RWMC Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC) requested the NEA to establish a similar group for the study of crystalline rocks.


The key objective of the Crystalline Club (CRC) is to promote the exchange of information and share state-of-the-art approaches/methods to improve understanding of crystalline rocks as a host rock for a high-level radioactive waste repository.


Czech Republic
  • Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (SÚRAO)
  • ÚJV Řež, a.s. (Nuclear Research Institute Rez) (ÚJV)
  • Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS)
  • Bundesamt für kerntechnische Entsorgungssicherheit (BfE)
  • Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR)
  • Bundesgesellschaft für Endlagerung Technology GmbH (BGE TECHNOLOGY)
  • Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
  • Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)
  • Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO)
  • Technologies for Nuclear Energy State Owned Company, Institute for Nuclear Research Pitesti (RATEN ICN)
United States
  • National Operator for Radioactive Waste Management (NORAO)
  • Nuclear Safety Institute of the Russia Academy of Sciences(IBRAE)
  • Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT)
  • Nationale Genossenschaft für die Lagerung radioaktiver Abfälle (Nagra)
  • Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)

Mode of operation

The work programme and modus operandi of the Crystalline Club will be co-ordinated by a Crystalline Club Bureau which is consisting of six experts.  Project topics are driven by common interest among members. The mode of co-operation is by plenary meetings, periodic general workshops and the use of electronic media.

The decision of the Crystalline Club is made in its plenary meeting or through written procedure by mutual agreement.

Related links

Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC)

Crystalline Club members' area (password protected | reminder)


Last reviewed: 21 November 2018