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A PILOT FACILITY IN THE ARGILLACEOUS LAYER BENEATH THE NUCLEAR SITE AT MOL.

Objective

IN 1974 SCK/CEN LAUNCHED A R&D PROGRAMME CONCERNING THE POSSIBILITIES FOR DISPOSAL OF HIGH LEVEL SOLIDIFIED AND ALPHA-BEARING RADIOACTIVE WASTES IN A CONTINENTAL STRATIFORM CLAY FORMATION (BOOM CLAY) SITUATED BELOW ITS OWN SITE. SITE INVESTIGATIONS, SAFETY STUDIES, REPOSITORY DESIGN, CONCEPTUALISATIONS AND IN SITU RESEARCH CONFIRM PROGRESSIVELY THE FAVOURABLE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HOST ROCK AND THE SITE FOR DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE.
MANY PARTICULAR AREAS REQUIRE FURTHER STUDIES AND TESTS ON A LARGER SCALE AND IN SITU DEMONSTRATIONS UNDER REALISTIC CONDITIONS. THE AREAS IDENTIFIED ARE RELATED TO THE CONSTRUCTION ON AN INDUSTRIAL SCALE OF AN UNDERGROUND REPOSITORY IN PLACTIC CLAY, THE OPERATION OF AN UNDERGROUND FACILITY, THE INTERACTION BETWEEN THE REPOSITORY AND THE IMMEDIATE TESTS, STUDIES AND DEMONSTRATIONS WILL CONTRIBUTE TO INCREASE THE CONFIDENCE IN THE TECHNICAL PRACTIVABILITY, THE ECONOMICAL FEASIBILITY AND THE SAFETY OF THE DISPOSAL OPTION IN DEEP CLAY.
THE DIRECT DEMONSTRATIONS DEAL WITH THE CONSTRUCTABILITY OF REAL SCALE GALLERIES WITHOUT PARTICULAR CONDITIONING OF THE ROCK, THE CHOICE AND DIMENSIONING OF A REALISTIC LINING AND SUPPORT SYSTEM, THE INTERACTION BETWEEN THE UNDERGROUND STRUCTURES AND THE IMMEDIATE GEOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT, THE INFLUENCE OF HEAT AND RADIATION UPON THE UNDERGROUND STRUCTURES AND THE IMMEDIATE GEOLOGIC ENVIRONMENT, THE BACKFILLING AND ITS BEHAVIOUR IN TIME, THE PERFORMANCE OF VARIOUS SYSTEM COMPONENTS DURING THE OPERATIONAL PHASE AND MONITORING SYSTEMS.
WITHIN THE HADES PROJECT A TECHNOLOGICAL TEST RELATED TO A GALLERY LINING TECHNIQUE ACCORDING TO THE CONVERGENCE-CONFINEMENT PRINCIPLE IS PERFORMED BY ANDRA (FRANCE). (SEE CONTRACT FI1W/0112).
The activities of the Centre d'Etude de l'Energie Nucleaire, Studiecentrum voor Kernenergie (CEN/SCK) between 1985 and 1989 in the framework of the HADES demonstration/pilot project were reported. The overall objective of the HADES programme was the evaluation of the technical feasibility and safety of the disposal of radwaste in a deep clay formation. The pilot phase was aimed at demonstrating the system behaviour for those components of the system and those operations and issues which can be demonstrated directly.

The time period considered covered the first phase of the development programme of the pilot project which included:
the construction of a concrete lined test drift of about 30 m in length with a useful inner diameter of 3.5 m (in the lining, a number of openings or ports are foreseen for emplacing the various tests and sensors for the general auscultation in the host rock);
a mine by test for the investigation of the response of the surrounding clay on the excavation;
the CERBERUS test, a combined heating irradaition test aimed at evaluating by simulation (electrical heaters and cobalt-60 radiation source) the impact of a high level waste (HLW) canister on its imediate near field;
design of a gallery heating test for the demonstration by simulation of the behaviour of a concrete lined gallery structure and of the surrounding clay mass in a temperature field.
THE DEMONSTRATION PILOT PHASE OF THE HADES PROJECT IS DEVELOPED IN TWO PHASES, WHICH ARE COMPLEMENTARY TO EACH OTHER AND IN PART PARALLEL.
B.1. PHASE I : THE CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF A TEST DRIFT WITH TESTS RELATED TO :
B.1.1. MINING TECHNOLOGY (DIGGING, LINING, EXTRADOS BACKFILLING, RHEOLOGY);
B.1.2. RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL (EXPERIMENTAL EMPLACEMENT, BACK-FILLING, DEGRADATION OF WASTE MATRICES AND MIGRATION OF RADIO-NUCLIDES, IN SITU IRRADIATION OF CLAY, THERMO-MECHANICAL BEHAVIOUR OF CLAY AND GALLERY STRUCTURES, MONITORING AND AUSCULTATION SYSTEMS).
B.2. PHASE II CONCERNING :
B.2.1. DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF A PILOT FACILITY.
B.2.2. TESTS AND OBSERVATIONS ON HANDLING, EMPLACEMENT, HACKFILLING AND RETRIEVAL OF DUMMIES AND FINALLY ACTUAL RADIOACTIVE WASTES.
THE PERFORMANCE OF B.2. IS SCHEDULED BEYOND THE ACTUAL CONTRACT PERIOD.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

BELGIAN NUCLEAR RESEARCH CENTRE
Address
200,Herrmann Debrouxlaan 40-42
1160 Bruxelles
Belgium

Participants (1)

ANDRA
France
Address

Paris