In the selection of sites for disposal facilities involving low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste (LILW), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommendations require that “the region in which the site is located shall be such that significant tectonic and surface processes are not expected to occur with an intensity that would compromise the required isolation capability of the repository”. Evaluating the appropriateness of a site therefore requires a deep understanding of the geological and tectonic setting of the area. The Philippines sits in a tectonically active region frequented by earthquakes and volcanic activity. Its highly variable morphology coupled with its location along the typhoon corridor in the west Pacific region subjects the country to surface processes often manifested in the form of landslides.
The Philippine LILW near surface repository project site is located on the north eastern sector of the Island of Luzon in northern Philippines. This island is surrounded by active subduction trenches; to the east by the East Luzon Trough and to the west by the Manila Trench. The island is also traversed by several branches of the Philippine Fault System. The Philippine LILW repository project is located more than 100 km away from any of these major active fault systems. In the near field, the project site is located less than 10 km from a minor fault (Dummon River Fault) and more than 40 km away from a volcanic edifice (Mt. Caguas).
This paper presents an analysis of the potential hazards that these active tectonic features may pose to the project site. The assessment of such geologic hazards is imperative in the characterization of the site and a crucial input in the design and safety assessment of the repository.