Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses

image of 3D simulation
animation of numerical simulations

CNWRA® scientists build numerical simulations to model the behavior of geologic repositories. This simulation shows the evolution of liquid water content near an emplacement tunnel for high-level radioactive waste. Cooler colors represent wetter regions. The red region has dried completely in response to decay heat from the emplaced waste.

image of a model of complex source zone geometry

CNWRA scientists have developed models that reflect complex source zone geometry and wave propagation through faulted geologic terrain, information essential for modern site characterization.

Established in 1987 as a federally funded research and development center, the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA®) is sponsored by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Mission of the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses

The overall mission of the CNWRA is to resolve technical and regulatory issues related to a potential geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.

Wesley C. Patrick, Ph.D., Executive Director of CNWRA

John Stamatakos, Ph.D., Director of CNWRA Programs

CNWRA Technical Strengths

Evolving from and expanding on its initial mission, CNWRA has developed a unique and powerful range of technical expertise, computer software, laboratory facilities, and field research sites. The Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses focuses these capabilities on solving and addressing complex earth sciences and engineering problems related to:

  • Transportation of radioactive materials
  • Storage and disposal of radioactive wastes
  • Environmental assessments
  • Safety evaluations of nuclear fuel cycle facilities
  • Decommissioning of nuclear facilities

In addition to providing comprehensive technical assistance and research support to the NRC, the CNWRA extends its expertise to other U.S. government agencies within a multidisciplinary, integrated framework.

CNWRA now performs work for commercial clients as well as local, state, and foreign governments and agencies with responsibilities related to radioactive materials.

Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.