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Ventilation experiment in opalinus clay

Objective

The objective of the "VE Experiment" is to evaluate "in situ" the consequences of desaturation in consolidated clay formations. Specifically, the design of the repository, in terms of drifts spacing and repository size, depends on the thermal load that the rock and the engineered clay barrier may accept, which depends directly on their degree of saturation. It is, therefore, vitally important that the desaturation - resaturation times of the rock be assessed, along with their impact on the future resaturation times of the engineered clay barrier, from the point of view of repository design optimisation. Furthermore, desaturation may give rise to cracking on drying, which would increase the area disturbed by excavation of the drifts (EDZ), in terms of a substantial increase in its hydraulic conductivity.
The main objectives of the project may be summarised as follows:
1. Estimation of desaturation and resaturation times in clay rock, produced by drift ventilation.
2. Estimation of the saturated hydraulic conductivity of the rock (macro-scale) and comparison with values obtained at smaller scales: laboratory testing, in-situ hydraulic testing. Evaluation of the scale effect impacting this important parameter.
3. Estimation of evolution of the EDZ, in terms of changes in hydraulic conductivity and of displacements caused by the generation of cracks on drying.

Expected deliverables:
A set of scientific and technical reports including a final report, which should provide information of the "in situ" desaturation - resaturation consequences in consolidated clay formations during the operational and post-closure phases of a repository. The results will improve the scientific basis for the safety assessment of nuclear waste deep geological disposal.

Coordinator

EMPRESA NACIONAL DE RESIDUOS RADIOACTIVOS S.A.
Address
Emilio Vargas 7
28043 Madrid
Spain

Participants (11)

ASSOCIATION FOR RESEARCH AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Spain
Address
Alenza 1
28003 Madrid
COLENCO POWER ENGINEERING LTD
Switzerland
Address
Mellingerstrasse 207
5405 Baden
DM IBERIA S.A.
Spain
Address
Pedro Muguruza 8, 2A A
28036 Madrid
EEG SIMECSOL S.A.
France
Address
Rue Troyon 18
92316 Sevres
GESELLSCHAFT FUER ANLAGEN- UND REAKTORSICHERHEIT (GRS) MBH
Germany
Address
Theodor-heuss-strasse 4
38011 Braunschweig
INSTITUT DE RADIOPROTECTION ET DE SURETE NUCLEAIRE
France
Address
Av. Du General De Gaule 77/83
92140 Clamart
INSTITUT NATIONAL POLYTECHNIQUE DE LORRAINE
France
Address
Rue Doyen Marcel Roubault
54501 Vandoeuvre-les-nancy
INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR NUMERICAL METHODS IN ENGINEERING
Spain
Address
S/n,gran Capitan S/n, Campus Norte, Edificio C1
08034 Barcelona
NATIONAL COOPERATIVE FOR THE DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE
Switzerland
Address
Hardstrasse 73
5430 Wettingen
SOLEXPERTS AG
Switzerland
Address
Schulstrasse 6
8603 Schwerzenbach
UNIVERSIDAD POLITECNICA DE VALENCIA
Spain
Address
S/n,camino De Vera S/n
46022 Valencia