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FP5

Engineered Barrier Emplacement Experiment in Opalinus Clay for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste in Underground Repositories - EB, Final report

Project ID: FIKW-CT-2000-00017
Funded under: FP5-EAECTP C

Abstract

The EB experiment was a full-scale test for the demonstration, in a horizontal drift, of an emplacement technique of the clay barrier, using a granular bentonite material in the upper part of this barrier and bentonite blocks at the bottom. The test has been carried out in a 6 m long section of a niche excavated in Opalinus Clay of the Mont Terri underground laboratory.
A steel dummy canister, with the same dimensions and weight as the real reference canisters, was placed on top of a bed of highly compacted bentonite blocks (in turn lying on a concrete bed), and the rest of the clay barrier volume was backfilled with a Granular Bentonite Material (GBM), made of very highly compacted pellets of different sizes. Hydromechanical instrumentation and an artificial hydration system (to accelerate the saturation of the clay barrier) were installed, and the test section sealed with a concrete plug. The evolution of the hydromechanical parameters along the hydration, both in the barrier and in the clayey rock formation, have been monitored during about 1,5 years, and modelled using the CODEBRIGHT code.

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