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Ventilation experiment in opalinus clay

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.

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Coordinator

EMPRESA NACIONAL DE RESIDUOS RADIOACTIVOS S.A.

Address

Emilio Vargas 7
28043 Madrid

Spain

Administrative Contact

Alvaro R. BECEIRO (Dr)

Participants (11)

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ASSOCIATION FOR RESEARCH AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Spain

COLENCO POWER ENGINEERING LTD

Switzerland

DM IBERIA S.A.

Spain

EEG SIMECSOL S.A.

France

GESELLSCHAFT FUER ANLAGEN- UND REAKTORSICHERHEIT (GRS) MBH

Germany

INSTITUT DE RADIOPROTECTION ET DE SURETE NUCLEAIRE

France

INSTITUT NATIONAL POLYTECHNIQUE DE LORRAINE

France

INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR NUMERICAL METHODS IN ENGINEERING

Spain

NATIONAL COOPERATIVE FOR THE DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE

Switzerland

SOLEXPERTS AG

Switzerland

UNIVERSIDAD POLITECNICA DE VALENCIA

Spain

Project information

Grant agreement ID: FIKW-CT-2001-00126

  • Start date

    1 December 2001

  • End date

    31 May 2004

Funded under:

FP5-EAECTP C

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 623 855

  • EU contribution

    € 530 865

Coordinated by:

EMPRESA NACIONAL DE RESIDUOS RADIOACTIVOS S.A.

Spain