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.

Natural analogues

Development of NA concepts in support of radwaste disposal safety cases, planning and initiation of NA projects, reviews of NA projects, use of NAs in public communication materials.


Natural Analogues Natural Analogues


The team have been involved continuously with NAs since this area started to expand in the early 1980s, produced the first comprehensive overviews of use to support repository safety assessments and helped establish and run the Natural Analogues Working Group (NAWG).

They have also planned, implemented and documented some of the largest and most successful NA projects – many of which are being run as international collaborations.

The importance of NAs to communicate key technical issues to the general public was recognised at an early stage and resulted in the “Traces of the Future” video, a wide range of tailored articles and brochures for different audiences and ongoing advanced multi-media projects.


The team have continual experience in the application of natural analogues to support disposal of radioactive waste, from the first consideration of this issue in the early ‘80s to recent applications focused on the challenges of supporting formal safety cases for such disposal. Apart from several overviews of analogue applications and key roles in some of the largest international projects in this field (e.g., Poços de Caldas, Maqarin), specific analogue approaches have been critically reviewed to identify their fundamental limitations (especially with regard with radiochemical model testing) and more integrated programmes to reach required technical and communication goals suggested.



Relevant publications include:

  • Klein, E., Hardie, S.M.L., Kickmaier, W. and McKinley, I.G. (2021). Testing repository safety assessment models for deep geological disposal using legacy contaminated sites. Science of the Total Environment, 776, 145949.
  • McKinley, I.G., Kawamura, H, Hardie, S.M.L., Klein, E., Beattie, T. M. (2015). Key natural analogue input required to build a safety case for direct disposal of spent fuel in Japan, Swiss J. Geosciences, 108, 147-154.
  • Miller W., Alexander R., Chapman N, McKinley I.G. and Smellie J. (2000). Geological disposal of radioactive waste & natural analogues, Pergamon.
  • McKinley I.G. and Alexander W.R. (1996). On the incorrect derivation and use of in-situ retardation factors from natural isotope profiles, Radiochim. Acta, 74, 263-267.
  • Chapman, N.A., McKinley, I.G., Shea, M.E., Smellie, J.A.T. (eds.), The Pocos de Caldas project: natural analogues of processes in a radioactive waste repository. J. Geochem. Explor. Volumes 45 (part I) and 46 (part II), (1992). Published in book form by Elsevier, (1993).




Natural Analogue Working Group

McKinley Consulting are members of NAWG and regularly attend and present at the bi-annual NAWG Meetings.

Further details of the Natural Analogues Working Group can be found on their website :

Where to find us

Badstrasse 20b, Ennetbaden,
CH 5408, Switzerland
Phone Number
+41 56 2840 321
+41 78 8658 886 (mobile)