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|Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd. (AECL) is constructing an Underground Research Laboratory (URL), a major component of-the Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program. In July 1988. AECL and the US Department of Energy commenced a cooperative research program that included extending the URL shaft by 190 m (623 ft) to the 443-m (1,453 ft) depth. The shaft extension, 4.6-m- diam (15-ft-diam), was excavated by full-face blasting using a burn cut. A Galloway stage accommodated the research activities and the sinking contractor's requirements. Blast designs incorporated controlled blasting techniques to minimize blast-induced damage on the shaft walls. The full-face method has been very effective, with 3.5-m (11.5-ft) rounds being advanced.|