Our Team

With many years of comprehensive knowledge and experience in multi-disciplined fields

Dr Fiona Neall

  • Position: Associate Consultant
  • Expertise: Geochemistry, Radiochemistry, Communication to technical audiences, the media and general public, Radioactive waste management
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

With more than 20 years experience, including 15 years as a consultant, in the radioactive waste management industry in a wide range of areas, including direct involvement in repository projects requiring an integrated approach to repository design, safety assessment and site characterisation.


Linkedin  ResearchGate

Involvement in design development and engineering projects in several countries has also allowed an unusual breadth of experience concerning tailoring repository concepts for specific sites or environments and optimisation of the concepts for practicality, operational safety and cost.

A strong geological and geochemical background with experience in providing geochemistry and geochemical modelling support to safety assessments, as well as laboratory, URL and field programmes, the use of experimental and natural analogue information, and production of consistent models and databases.

In-depth expertise of cement chemistry, interactions of cement/concrete with the surrounding engineered and geological environment, and long-term physico-chemical evolution of cement/concrete systems.


  • Dragon spent fuel carbon evolution in a GDF – project for RWM involving development of a conceptual geochemical and radiological model for pyrolytic carbon and graphite evolution in the post-closure period, including the supporting arguments, as part of the criticality safety assessment for these wastes.  Confirming criticality safety under GDF ILW near-field conditions allows the potential for disposal of this small waste stream as cement-encapsulated ILW, avoiding reprocessing and repackaging of the experimental spent fuel.
  • Team leader for the project to identify preferred disposal options for depleted, natural and low-enriched uranium and author of the report synthesising the results of the Uranium Integrated Project Team work over three years evaluating the operational and post-closure safety and engineering feasibility of wasteform, packaging and disposal concept options for DNLEU.  Nearer-surface disposal concepts (depth < ~200m) were included in this project alongside geological disposal options. DNLEU was considered as a ‘third’ waste type in addition to RWM’s categories of low heat generating waste (L/ILW) and high heat generation waste (HLW and spent fuel) because of the size of the potential UK inventory of these materials.  The project resulted in a change to RWM’s reference disposal concept for DNLEU.
  • Co-author (with Russell Alexander) of a review of the Swedish SFR (low level waste) repository safety assessment process with identification of ways in which near-field problems and open questions identified by regulatory review can be handled in future safety assessments;
  • Posiva Safety Case 2012 – editor of the Complementary Considerations Report that brings together the analogue (natural, anthropogenic and site-specific) arguments supporting the whole safety case for the SF repository at Olkiluoto. In addition, author of chapters on naturally-occurring radionuclides (NORM and TENORM), discussed in detail as background and context for consideration of the significance of the safety case results;
  • Co-author (with Russell Alexander) of an assessment for Posiva of potential perturbations around the spent fuel repository at Olkiluoto caused by the excavation and operation of the ONKALO facility, Olkiluoto, Finland.
  • Main contributing author on repository design and safety assessment to the NDA report on geological disposal options for vitrified high-level waste (HLW) and spent nuclear fuel (SF) in the UK (reported as Baldwin, Chapman & Neall 2008). Also a supporting role in the associated project for ILW disposal options (Hicks et al. 2008);
  • Posiva/SKB KBS-3H Safety studies – main author of the Complementary Evaluations of Safety Report (Posiva 2007-10) and co-author of the safety assessment Summary Report (Posiva 2007-06). Experience as part of the team developing and assessing implementation of the novel horizontal variant of the well-known KBS-3 disposal concept at the Finnish Olkiluoto site;
  • Co-author (with Russell Alexander) of a review of the understanding of hyperalkaline plume impacts on radionuclide migration carried out for RWMC (Japan).  This was a wide-ranging review of the influence of potential hyperalkaline effects arising from the interaction between a cementitious repository and groundwater, and included a final section with suggestions for how models used for post-closure safety assessment could be better supported by natural analogue data and understanding with respect to radionuclide migration in the geosphere.
  • Member of the Nagra technical support group for the JNFL Rokkasho L-1 (ILW) repository;
  • Teaching components of courses (e.g. Repository design, construction and operation; Cement and cementitious materials in the disposal of radioactive waste; Development of a Safety Case) at the ITC School (Meiringen, Switzerland).
  • Input to the Nirex workshop (2001) considering the repercussions for EBS/near-field performance of the proposed delayed backfilling concept for disposal of ILW (reported in Nirex Report N/059, July 2002);

Radwaste publications (to 2012)
Safety assessment:
Alexander W.R. and Neall F.B. (2012): Re-examination of selected aspects of the likely evolution of the SFR-1 near field. Report for SKB, Stockholm, Sweden.
Kent J., Neall F.B. and Newton J. (2016): Geological Disposal. Factors affecting the disposability of unirradiated DU tails and MDU.  RWM Technical Note 1207-DCD-1-1, Issue 1.2, August 2016.
McKinley L., Neall F.B. and Alexander W.R. (2002): A study on technical information for natural analogues. Nagra Project Report NPB 02-22, Nagra, Wettingen, Switzerland.
McKinley I.G., Neall F.B., Scourse E.M. and Kawamura H. (in press): What really happens to the “vanishing overpack”?Proc. MRS 2011 XXXV International Symposium “Scientific basis for nuclear waste management”. Buenos Aires,  2-7 October 2011.
Neall F.B. (Ed.) (2012): Safety Case-2012. Complementary Considerations for a Spent Fuel Repository at Olkiluoto. POSIVA Report 2012-11. Posiva, Eurojoki, Finland.
Neall F.B., Pastina B., Smith P.A., Gribi P., Snellman M. and Johnson L. (2008): Safety Assessment of a KBS-3H Spent Nuclear Fuel Repository at Olkiluoto : Complementary Evaluations of Safety. POSIVA Report 2007-10 (and SKB R-08-85). Posiva, Eurojoki, Finland
Neall F.B. and Smith P.A. (Eds.) (2004): H12: Examination of safety assessment aims, procedures and results from a wider perspective. JNC Technical Report JNC TY1400 2004-001, JNC (now JAEA), Tokai-mura, Japan.
Neall F.B. (Ed.) (1995): Kristallin-I Results in Perspective. Nagra Technical Report NTB 93-23. Nagra, Wettingen, Switzerland.
Smith P.A., Neall F.B., Snellman M., Pastina B., Nordman H., Johnson L. and Hjerpe T. (2007). Safety Assessment for a KBS-3H Spent Nuclear Fuel Repository at Olkiluoto: Summary Report. POSIVA Report 2007-06. Posiva, Eurojoki, Finland.

Cementitious systems:
Blaser P., McKinley I.G., Alexander W.R. and Neall F.B. (2003): TRU – Scenarios and alternative concepts. Nagra Project Report NPB 03-09, Nagra, Wettingen, Switzerland.
McKinley I.G., Neall F.B., Ando K. and Kawamura H. (1999): Optimisation of designs for TRU engineered barrier systems. ICEM’99, September 1999, Nagoya, Japan.
McKinley I.G., Kawamura H., Neall F.B. and Ando K. (2000): Repository design optimisation for long-lived ILW. In Scientific basis for nuclear waste management  XXIV, 663, 843-850.
McKinley I.G., Alexander W.R. Kickmaier W. and Neall F.B. (2004): The bentonite/cement problem – cutting the Gordian knot. Proc. Numo-Posiva International Workshop on Bentonite / Cement Interaction in Repository Environments. Tokyo, 14-16 April 2004.
Neall F.B. (1994): Modelling of the near-field chemistry of the SMA repository at the Wellenberg site. PSI Report 94-17 and Nagra Technical Report NTB 94-03. Nagra, Wettingen, Switzerland.
Neall F.B. (1995): The pH and composition of fluids arising from a cementitious repository - implications for a high pH plume. PSI Technical Memorandum TM-44-95-07, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland.
Neall F.B. (1998): The hyperalkaline plume: Status of understanding and priorities for future work. Nagra Internal Report NIB 98-14. Nagra, Wettingen, Switzerland.
Neall F.B. and Alexander W.R. (1999): Examination of the potential effects of cement leaching on radioactive waste containment in a cementitious repository: overview report. Nagra Project Report NPB 98-13. Nagra, Wettingen, Switzerland.
Neall F.B., Smith P.A., Owada H. and Mihara M. (2000): SANTA-CHEM: A Nagra-JNC co-developed hyperalkaline water-rock interaction code: Code description and applications. Nagra Technical Report NTB 00-10, Nagra, Wettingen, Switzerland.
Neall F.B., Schlickenrieder L. & Alexander W.R. (2001): Establishing a long-term R&D / D&V programme for disposal of Japanese TRU wastes. Nagra Project Report NPB 01-22, Nagra, Wettingen, CH.
West J.M., McKinley I.G., Neall F.B., Rochelle C.A., Bateman K. and Kawamura H. (2006): Microbiological effects on the Cavern-Extended Storage (CES) repository for radioactive waste. J. Geochem. Explor. Spec. Issue, v. 90, 114-122.

Alexander W.R. and Neall F.B. (2011): NDA RWMD Colloid Strategy Review Workshop. NDA RWMD Harwell, 10-11th March, 2011. MCM International Technical Note to NDA-RWMD, MCM-TN-11-01, MCM International, Baden-Dättwil, Switzerland.
Alexander W.R. and Neall F.B. (2007): Assessment of potential perturbations to Posiva’s SF repository at Olkiluoto from the ONKALO facility. Posiva Working Report WR-07-35. Posiva, Eurojoki, Finland.
McKinley I.G., Neall F.B., Kawamura H. and Umeki H. (2006): Geochemical optimisation of a disposal system for high-level radioactive waste. J. Geochem. Explor. Spec. Issue, v. 90, 1-8.
McKinley I.G. and Neall F.B. (2002): Geochemical optimisation of EBS design for HLW. Abstract, Proc. Goldschmidt Conference 2002, p.A502.
Neall F.B. (2001): A review of Drigg (UK LLW repository) trace element geochemistry. Report for British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. (BNFL).
Neall F.B., Bennett D.G., Jones A. and Wilson J. (2014): Understanding the evolution of the carbon component of Dragon reactor fuel during the post-closure phase of geological disposal.  Galson Sciences Ltd report to RWM, Report 1405-1, Version 1.1, September 2014.

Repository design, engineering and operation
Baldwin T., Chapman N.A. and Neall F.B. (2008): Geological Disposal Options for High-Level Waste and Spent Fuel. NDA Report 5570, January 2008.
Hicks T.W., Baldwin T.D., Hooker P.J., Richardson P.J., Chapman N.A., McKinley I.G. and Neall F.B. (2008): Concepts for the Geological Disposal of Intermediate-level Radioactive Waste. NDA Report 0736-1, April 2008.
Kaku K., McKinley I.G., Chapman N.A. & Neall F.B. (2002): Review of handling and emplacement technology for high-level waste – QA/QC, operational safety and accidental cases. Nagra Project Report NPB 02-09, Nagra, Wettingen, CH.
Kaku K., Neall F.B., McKinley I.G., Chapman N.A., Blaser P., McCombie C. and McEwan T. (2003): Status report: Repository concepts and multi-barrier analysis. Nagra Project Report NPB 03-07, Nagra, Wettingen, Switzerland.
McKinley I.G., Neall F.B., Kawamura H. & Ando K. (2000): Repository design optimisation for long-lived ILW. In Scientific basis for nuclear waste management  XXIV, 663, 843-850.
McKinley I.G. and Neall F.B. (2003): Optimisation of EBS design for spent fuel disposal in the R.O.C. Nagra Project Report NPB 03-012, Nagra, Wettingen, Switzerland.
McKinley I.G., Neall F.B. and Kawamura H. (2003): Cavern Extended Storage – A concept which optimises security and flexibility of spent fuel management. IAEA-CN-102 Meeting, 2-6 June 2003, Vienna.
McKinley I.G., Neall F.B. and Kaku K. (2003): Remote handling, safety culture and QM. Nagra Project Report NPB 03-08, Nagra, Wettingen, Switzerland.
McKinley I.G., Kaku K., Neall F.B., Kawamura H. and Asano E. (2004): Assessment of the operational phase safety of deep geological repositories for radioactive waste. Proc. PSAM 2004, Berlin.
Neall F.B. and Kaku K. (2002): Alternative repository concepts. Nagra Project Report NPB 02-18, Nagra, Wettingen, Switzerland.
Neall F.B., McKinley I.G., Smith P.A., West J.M., Johnson L.H. and Kaku K. (2004): Alternative Repository Concepts FY2003: Project input from Nagra. Nagra Project Report NPB 04-03, Nagra, Wettingen, CH.
Neall F.B. (2016): Integrated Project Team on Uranium Phase 2. [Task DCD-5] Preferred disposal concept options for depleted, natural and low enriched uranium.  Report 1207-DCD-5-1 Version 1.1, March 2016.
Neall F.B., White M.J., Smith J.C. and  McTeer, J. (2014): Geological Disposal. Concept Development Integrated Project. Task 2.1.2 Waste groups and their requirements on disposal concepts.  Report 1150r-1 Version 1.1, March 2014.
Nold A., Kickmaier W., McKinley I.G. and Neall F.B. (2001): Study on transport and remote handling system for the emplacement of high-level waste: Conceptual design for underground handling and emplacement technology. Nagra Project Report NPB 01-02, Nagra, Wettingen, Switzerland.
Older publications
Neall F.B. (1987): Sulphidation of iron-rich rocks as a precipitation mechanism for large Archaean gold deposits in Western Australia: thermodynamic confirmation. Geology Department & University Extension, University of Western Australia, Publication No. 11, 265 - 269.
Neall F.B. and Phillips G.N. (1987): Fluid – wall rock interaction in an Archean hydrothermal gold deposit: a thermodynamic model for the Hunt Mine, Kambalda. Econ. Geol., 82, 1679 – 1694.
Phillips G.N., Groves D.I., Ho S.E. and Neall F.B. (1986): A metamorphic replacement model for genesis of Archaean gold deposits. Proc. International Conference on the Metallogeny of the Precambrian (IGCP Project 91), Geological Survey (UUG), Prague 1986, p.125 – 132.
Phillips G.N., Groves D.I., Neall F.B., Donnelly T.H. and Lambert I.B. (1986): Anomalous sulphur isotope compositions in the Golden Mile, Kalgoorlie. Econ. Geol., 81, 2008 – 2015.
Sandiford M., Neall F.B. and Powell R. (1987): Metamorphic evolution of aluminous granulites from Labwor Hills, Uganda. Contrib. Mineral. Petrol., 95, 217 - 225.
Thiel D.V. and Neall F.B. (1989): VLF surface impedance measurements for ice-depth mapping in the Antarctic. J. Glaciology., 35, 197 – 200.

Where to find us?

Oberer Rainweg 15, Frick, CH 5070, Switzerland
Phone Number
+41 56 2840 321
+41 78 8658 886 (mobile)