Expertise and Experience

McKinley Consulting has a wide area of expertise, gained over many decades in the industry and can manage projects of any size.

Repository design

Development of advanced disposal concepts, assessment and comparison of options, tailoring of designs to site conditions, testing of concepts in URLs.


Repository DesignRepository Design


Although most “conventional” repository concepts were developed in the ‘70s and ‘80s, changed boundary conditions and advances in science and technology have required development and assessment of novel alternatives, especially for geological disposal of higher activity wastes.

The team worked intensively in the early studies in this area in Japan and, since then, on transfer and tailoring to other national programmes (UK, Korea, USA,…).


Following from early work to support the development of “traditional” concepts for disposal of both higher and lower activity wastes (focused on robustness), a key technical area of expertise has been development of alternative concepts, particularly for deep geological disposal, that benefit from advances in science and technology and result from a more holistic assessment of the requirements for such facilities. This has been extended recently to include the special boundary conditions resulting from need to show resilience in terms of operational safety, build stakeholder acceptance and tailor concepts / designs to specific sites / specific types of “problem” wastes, particularly for the challenges resulting from a volunteering approach to siting.

Such design work is greatly facilitated by production of high quality images and animations –


Relevant publications include:

  • McKinley, I.G. and Hardie, S.M.L. (2020). Waste Management in a Warming World. Nuclear Engineering International, Q2, 25-28.
  • McKinley, I.G., Masuda, S., Hardie, S.M.L., Umeki, H., Naito, M. and Takase, H. (2018). Public acceptance as a driver for repository design. Journal of Energy, Volume 2018, Article ID 7546158, 8 pages.
  • Hardie, S.M.L., McKinley, I.G., Lomperski, S., Kawamura, H. and Beattie, T. (2016). Management options for Fukushima corium. Progress in Nuclear Energy, 92, 260-266.
  • Kawamura, H., McKinley, I.G. (2013). Direct disposal of spent fuel: developing solutions tailored to Japan. Proc. ICEM 2013 (CD).
  • McKinley I.G. and Takase H. (2010) Repository engineering and demonstration: special challenges for TRU. Proc. ICEM’10, (CD-ROM), 6pp.
  • McKinley I.G. and Scourse E.M. (2009). Materials aspects of advanced repository concepts for higher toxicity waste, Sci. Basis Nucl. Waste Manag., XXXIII, 127-134.
  • McKinley I.G., Alexander W.R. and Blaser P. (2007). Development of geological disposal concepts. In Alexander W.R. & McKinley L.E. (Eds) Deep geological disposal of radioactive waste, Elsevier, pp. 41-76.
  • Kitayama K., Ueda H., Sakabe Y., Umeki H., McKinley I.G. and Kaku K.A. (2005). Structured approach for stepwise design of HLW repositories tailored to volunteer sites. Proc. IAEA Conf. Safety of Radioactive Waste Disposal, Tokyo.
  • McKinley I.G., Neall F., Smith P.A., West J.M. and Kawamura H. (2004). Evolution of the Cavern Extended Storage (CES) concept for flexible management of HLW, Sci. Basis Nucl. Waste Manag., XXVII, 931-936.

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