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  • Heater Experiment: Rock and bentonite Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical (THM) processes in the near-field of a thermal source for development of deep underground high level radioactive waste repositories (HE)
FP5

Heater Experiment: Rock and bentonite Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical (THM) processes in the near-field of a thermal source for development of deep underground high level radioactive waste repositories (HE)

Project ID: FIKW-CT-2001-00132
Funded under: FP5-EAECTP C

Abstract

The long-term safety of geological repositories for radioactive waste depends on a multibarrier system consisting of a combination of engineered and geological barriers. Interactions between these different barriers are important issues for waste disposal. In this project, investigations were carried out with the aim of understanding processes occurring during the transient phase of the repository lifetime when the buffer and the host rock start to resaturate, influenced by pore pressure, temperature gradients, and suction. The focus of the work was on the interaction between a clay formation (Opalinus Clay) and a clay-based buffer material (highly compacted bentonite).
The objective of the experiment is to improve the understanding of the coupled thermo-hydromechanical (THM) processes in a host rock-buffer system, based on experimental observations and numerical modelling. In detail, the basic objectives are:
- Long-term monitoring in the vicinity of the heat source during hydration and heating Phases [...]
- Determination of the properties of the barrier and host rock using results from laboratory and in situ experiments [...]
- Study of the interaction between the host rock and the bentonite buffer, as well as validation and refinement of existing tools for modeling THM processes.
- Study of the reliability of instrumentation and measuring techniques, e.g. inspection of sensors after dismantling the experimental set-up.
To achieve the defined objectives, the experiment was accompanied by an extensive programme of continuous monitoring, experimental investigations on-site and in laboratories and numerical modelling of coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical processes. Finally, the experiment was dismantled to provide laboratory samples of post-heating buffer and host rock material.

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Record Number: 8412 / Last updated on: 2007-02-15
Category: PROJ
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