An improved model for through-diffusion experiments: application to strontium and tritiated water (HTO) diffusion in Boom Clay and compacted illite
M. Aertsens, L. Van Laer, N. Maes, J. Govaerts, 2017. "An improved model for through-diffusion experiments: application to strontium and tritiated water (HTO) diffusion in Boom Clay and compacted illite", Radioactive Waste Confinement: Clays in Natural and Engineered Barriers, S. Norris, J. Bruno, M. van Geet, E. Verhoef
Download citation file:
Through-diffusion experiments are conventional experiments to measure the transport parameters of radionuclides in clays. Typically, a regular replacement of the outlet volume by a tracer-free volume is performed. In the classical approach, this type of through-diffusion experiment is modelled by assuming a zero concentration in the outlet volume. Nonetheless, this assumption is not always correct, usually because the outlet volume is insufficiently large or the time between two consecutive replacements of the outlet volume is too long. Therefore, a model was developed disregarding this assumption and, instead, considers the tracer concentration in the outlet volume to evolve, as in the experiments: the flux into the outlet volume increases the tracer concentration and, at each replacement, the tracer concentration in the outlet volume is set to zero. The model was used to reproduce the diffusion of strontium (Sr) and tritiated water (HTO) in illite and Boom Clay. Model results yielded good matches with the tracer evolution in the inlet and the outlet, and the tracer profile in the core at the end of the experiment.
Figures & Tables
It is internationally accepted that the safest and most sustainable option for managing radioactive waste is geological disposal, utilizing both engineering and geology to isolate the waste and contain the radioactivity.
This Special Publication contains 25 scientific studies presented at the 6th conference on ‘Clays in natural and engineered barriers for radioactive waste confinement’ held in Brussels, Belgium in 2015. The conference and this resulting volume cover many of the aspects of clay characterization and behaviour considered at various temporal and spatial scales relevant to the confinement of radionuclides in clay, from basic phenomenological process descriptions to the global understanding of performance and safety at repository and geological scales.
The papers in this volume consider research into argillaceous media under the following topic areas: large-scale geological characterization; general strategy for clay-based disposal systems; geomechanics; mass transfer; bentonite evolution and gas transfer.
The collection of different topics presented in this Special Publication demonstrates the diversity of geological repository research.