National Geological Screening for a GDF - Northern Ireland region
There are no plans to site a GDF in Northern Ireland. This screening report is purely a technical exercise. Any future policy decision on geological disposal in Northern Ireland would be a matter for the Executive.
Our work shows that we may find a suitable geological setting for a GDF in a small part of this subregion.
Rock can be seen at the surface in some of this subregion such as sea cliffs, inland cliffs in the Mourne Mountains and the Ring of Gullion and in man-made excavations such as quarries or road cuttings. Combined with some deep boreholes and geophysical investigations, this gives us an understanding of the rocks present and their distribution.
There are granites and similar strong rocks around Newry, in which we may be able to site a GDF. We would need to do more work to find out whether these rocks have suitable properties and thicknesses in the depth range of interest for a GDF.
Some of the subregion has been mined to depths below 100m for lead resources, around Keady, County Armagh and near Newtownards, County Down. In these areas the mining is likely to have affected the way in which water moves through the rock. Also possible exploration in the future in these areas means that it is more likely that future generations may disturb a facility.
For further information, read the report below.
We have also produced a summary of the geological attributes of the Northern Ireland Region.