Andrew Bunger, Ph. D.

Assistant Professor
Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

Andrew Bunger is an Assistant Professor in the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He joined the University of Pittsburgh last year after spending 10 years in Melbourne, Australia working in the Geomechanics Group within the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). His research interests include the mechanics of hydraulic fractures, coupled fluid-shale interaction, and the emplacement dynamics of magma-driven dykes and sills. His experience includes research for the oil and gas industry, geothermal industry, mining industries, and carbon sequestration. He holds a PhD in Geological Engineering from the University of Minnesota.

His presentation, Wellbore Integrity Research Priorities for Nuclear Waste Disposal in Deep Boreholes, is summarized below:

Disposal of both high level nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel in deep boreholes completed in low permeability formations has been proposed and periodically considered since the 1950s. The current reference design entails drilling a 17” borehole to ~5 km depth, completing the final ~2 km of cased and cemented wellbore in crystalline basement rock. After placement of waste canisters, the currently-proposed design entails removal of the casing from the upper ~3 km after which this section will be filled with layers of cement, clay, and/or asphalt. This talk will outline research areas in wellbore integrity that will be priorities for nuclear waste disposal in deep boreholes, highlighting wellbore integrity topics that appear in issues papers on deep borehole disposal as well as experiences from the petroleum and deep geothermal industries.

Dr. Bunger's colleague, Dr. Daniel G. Cole, Director of the Nuclear Engineering Program, will present some portions of the PowerPoint.