Salt Club

Rock salt is a candidate rock to host a repository for high-level radioactive waste (HLW) because of its favourable characteristics. Specifically, rock salt provides isolation of the waste from groundwater due to its low hydraulic conductivity.

The most important positive attributes of rock salt for use as a repository host rock are:

To further develop a repository in rock salt, a working group, comprised of scientists and experts in developing disposal in geological rock salt formations, was formed in 2011.


The Salt Club has the mission of, among nations currently considering rock salt as a candidate medium, effectively developing and exchanging scientific information on rock salt as a host rock formation for deep geological repositories for HLW and long-lived radioactive waste (and underground research laboratories, URLs). By promoting information and knowledge exchange, the Salt Club also intends to stimulate interest in other nations with appreciable rock salt deposits to consider rock salt as a viable repository medium. In addition to the technical aspects, the working group also aims at transferring obtained knowledge to programs at different phases of development, fostering education and training of future subject matter experts in the field of rock salt, and cooperating with other NEA working groups (e.g. the Forum on Stakeholder Confidence, FSC) to engender public acceptance and building stakeholder confidence.

Research areas

The Salt Club has the following areas of interest:


Salt Club members are NEA member countries represented by responsible ministries who appoint member country delegates to the Salt Club.

The Salt Club working group is composed of senior technical experts with experience in assembling or reviewing the understanding of salt formations as host rocks for deep geologic disposal projects. Members represent waste management agencies, regulatory authorities, academic institutions, and research and development institutions. Salt Club members have a level of seniority in their organizations such that they are able to mobilize resources to contribute to Salt Club initiatives.

The Netherlands
  • Centrale Organisatie Voor Radioactief Afval (COVRA)
  • Nuclear Services for Energy, Environment & Health (NRG)
United States of America
  • Ministry of Economy, Nuclear Energy Department (MoE NED)
  • United States Department of Energy (USDOE)
  • Sandia National Laboratories (SNL)
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)

Mode of operation and co-operation

The work of the Salt Club will be coordinated by a Steering Group consisting of 8 subject-matter experts. Project topics are driven by common interest among members. The mode of cooperation is by working group meetings, periodic general workshops and the use of electronic media.

Recent news

US-German workshops

Fifth US-German Geotechnical Workshop

The workshop was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico September 8-10, 2014. More than 40 participants attended the workshop. Four main topics were discussed:

  1. Operational safety
  2. Geomechanics issues
  3. Underground research laboratory
  4. Capturing early evolution of salt excavations

Salt reconsolidation principles and applications

The Salt Club report "Salt Reconsolidation Principles and Applications" summaries the scientific basis for granular salt reconsolidation and their direct implications with respect to engineering, design, construction, evolution and performance of lateral closure systems in a salt repository.

Download this report on the secure Salt Club internal web page (password protected | reminder).

Upcoming meetings and workshops

Related links

Salt Club members' area (password protected | reminder)

Last reviewed: 30 May 2015