Sandia Science for Salt Repositories

Sandia has a long history of leading the world on research into geologic salt deposits, especially for permanent disposal of radioactive waste.

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The DOE Office of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) repository research and development program seeks to provide a sound technical basis for multiple viable disposal options, increase confidence in the robustness of generic disposal concepts, and develop science and engineering tools needed to support disposal concept implementation. Sandia, Los Alamos, and Lawrence Berkeley National labs are conducting research into salt, which includes the Brine Availability Test in Salt (BATS) field test at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a DOE Office of Environmental Management facility.  BATS is leveraging the existing infrastructure associated with the WIPP to advance science informing generic disposal concepts.

Waste Isolation Pilot Plant


Sandia leads the Brine Availability Test in Salt (BATS) heater test, which is currently underway at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), near Carlsbad New Mexico.

Nuclear Energy



Sandia leads the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy’s Spent Fuel & Waste Science & Technology campaign for disposal research in salt.