EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Evaluation of the geological context for deep disposal options in Serbia

Koen Beerten1, Koen Lenie2, Petar Stejić3, and Dalibor Arbutina4
Koen Beerten et al.
  • 1SCK CEN, Engineered and Geosystems Analysis, Mol, Belgium (
  • 2Leniko, Schilde, Belgium
  • 3Geological Survey of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia
  • 4Public Company Nuclear Facilities of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia

The Republic of Serbia wishes to evaluate the various options for disposal of radioactive waste and used sources. The evaluation is supposed to be based on international solutions for radioactive waste, the current and future waste inventory of Serbia, and the various possible solutions for final disposal. A high-level assessment of the geological situation in Serbia, as well as an initial screening for suitable host rock material, is inherently included in such an evaluation, and is the aim of the current work.

Based on available information such as orohydrographical and morphostructural maps, the 1:300.000 geological map, individual but undisclosed 1:100.000 geological mapsheets, the 1:500.000 neo-Alpine tectonic map of Serbia, seismic hazard maps for different return periods, and various scientific publications dealing with the geological and tectonic evolution of Serbia and surroundings, several initial recommendations can be formulated that will support and assist the decision-making process in finding a suitable site (and host rock).

Roughly, the territory can be divided into two different regions with contrasting tectonic behaviour. South of the Danube, the relief intensity is significant and mountain massives with altitudes up to 2000 m and more are present. The most important morphostructural units include the Dinarides, the Vardar Zone, the Serbo-Macedonian Massif and the Carpatho-Balkanides. This region is characterised by outcropping and subcropping material that underwent significant deformation during various tectonic pulses in the past, resulting in a vast area with rather impermeable meta-sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. Neo-Alpine tectonics from the Oligo-Miocene onwards resulted in significant vertical uplift of the southern massifs, this pattern being interrupted by isolated and closed subsiding depressions. Throughout the region south of the Danube, magmatic rocks of various age, type and composition can be found, which are elsewhere being considered in international solutions for geological disposal. The same is valid for the previously mentioned meta-sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, which include flysch sequences, and several schist and gneiss occurrences.

North of the Danube, the Pannonian Basin is characterised by significant subsidence, up to several thousand meters since the Oligo-Miocene. The basin is filled with continental clastic deposits, with several prominent clay occurrences of sufficient thickness and depth. Clay rock and (plastic) unlithified clay are often being considered in international solutions for geological waste disposal.

The neo-Alpine tectonic map indicates the presence of numerous faults: gravitational, reverse and strike-slip. Quite a number of these have shown significant activity in the Pliocene and Quaternary, most notably those that mark the boundary between outcropping massifs and subsiding areas (e.g., between the Carpatho-Balkanides and the marginal part of the Pannonian Basin). Near those faults, historical seismic activity has been recorded with magnitudes up to M = 6.5. Seismic hazard seems to be highest in the central and southern part of the country.

In summary, this short geological reconnaisance of Serbia suggests that basic geological knowledge is available that will help evaluating the various disposal options, both in terms of host rock material (thickness and depth) and a stable geological environment.

How to cite: Beerten, K., Lenie, K., Stejić, P., and Arbutina, D.: Evaluation of the geological context for deep disposal options in Serbia, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-5103,, 2022.