US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A geologist in the field with a box of core samples. Core samples are taken using a drilling rig (in background), and are used to determine the deep structure of rocks. The rock seen here is tuff, composed of solidified and welded volcanic ash. Its physical, mechanical and chemical properties make it useful as a potential storage basin for long-term nuclear waste disposal. Chambers deep underground in the tuff would house vitrified nuclear waste in special storage bins, and the rock must remain stable for tens of thousands of years to ensure that the waste remains isolated.
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