Sub-surface storage in rock-salt layers

Dorset Example

“2.4 kilometres underneath south Dorset lies a layer of Triassic rock salt, and Portland is one of four locations in the United Kingdom where the salt is thick enough to create stable cavities. Portland Gas  has applied to excavate 14 caverns to store 1,000,000,000 cubic metres  of natural gas, which is 1% of the UK’s total annual demand. The caverns will be connected to the National gas grid at Mappowder via a 37-kilometre  pipeline. The surface facilities will be complete to store the first gas in 2011, and the entire cavern space should be available for storage in winter 2013.”  Wikipedia     (NOTE, 2011: This project appears to be on hold)

“Dorset's new gas pipeline. It's one of Dorset's biggest ever engineering projects. Fourteen gas-storage caverns will be dug under the sea at Portland, and will connect to the national grid via an 18km pipeline.”

BBC web news, April 2009

Sub-surface storage of radioactive waste in rock-salt domes

German Example

“Near Gorleben, a village of about 700 inhabitants on the Elbe River, lying in the far north-east of the state of Lower Saxony, are two surface interim repositories for radioactive waste. Further, there is a conditioning plant and a mine in a salt deposit partially explored for and planned as a final repository. By road, Gorleben lies 124 km southeast of Hamburg (Germany’s second largest city with 1.7 million inhabitants), 155 km northeast of Hanover (516,000). It was named as the location for a “nuclear disposal center” on 22 February 1977.

Imaginative resistance by locals and people from all over Germany scuttled the plan to build a nuclear reprocessing plant in the region known as Wendland. Since 1983 weakly and highly radioactive waste has been stored in the interim repositories, since 1995 highly radioactive waste has been brought there and parked in caskets called Castor (acronym for cask for storage and transport of radioactive material).”