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Backfilling and Sealing of Underground Repositories for Radioactive Waste in Salt, Phase II (BAMBUS II)

Project ID: FIKW-CT-2000-00051
Funded under: FP5-EAECTP C


This report presents results of the BAMBUS II project (Backfilling and Sealing of Underground Repositories for Radioactive Waste in Salt), undertaken as a joint project by FZK (DE, co-ordinator), BGR (DE), DBE (DE), G.3S (FR), GRS (DE), IfG (DE), NRG (NL), UPC (ES), and US DOE/CBFO (USA) between August 2000 and April 2003. The project was funded by the European Commission and the national governments and authorities.
The principal scientific objective of the project was to extend the basis for optimising the repository design and construction and for predicting the long-term performance of the following barriers in a repository for radioactive waste in rock salt: (i) the host rock including the Excavation Disturbed Zone (EDZ) around emplacement rooms, (ii) the backfill (crushed salt), and (iii) the materials used for constructing durable waste containers. The work was divided into in situ studies, laboratory investigations, modelling studies, and desk studies.
In situ investigations were carried out in the Asse salt mine subsequent to completion of the large-scale TSDE (Thermal Simulation of Drift Emplacement) in which two simulated emplacement drifts had been electrically heated to between 170 and 200 °C by disposal cask mock-ups over more than eight years. In one drift, backfill, two heaters, and measuring instruments were recovered. Local conditions in backfill and surrounding rock were examined and samples of native salt and consolidated backfill were studied in laboratories. Instruments were retrieved for analysis of their performance during the experiment execution and for recalibration. Extensive geophysical studies characterized the development of the EDZ around excavations.

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