Coupled THM modelling of engineered barriers for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel isolation
Erdem Toprak, Sebastia Olivella, Xavier Pintado, 2017. "Coupled THM modelling of engineered barriers for the final disposal of spent nuclear fuel isolation", Radioactive Waste Confinement: Clays in Natural and Engineered Barriers, S. Norris, J. Bruno, M. van Geet, E. Verhoef
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This paper describes the thermohydromechanical (THM) simulation of engineered barrier systems (EBS) for the final disposal of nuclear spent fuel in Finland. The bentonite barriers were simulated with the Barcelona Basic Model and the model was calibrated from laboratory tests. The evolution of gap closure and the presence of a fracture intersecting the disposal were analysed. The simulations were performed in 2D axisymmetrical geometries. Full 3D simulations were carried out in order to check the effect of the third dimension. The time required for the barriers to reach full saturation, the maximum temperature, deformations and displacements at the buffer–backfill interface and the homogenization of components both locally and globally are the main interests. The effect of rock fracture and the hydraulic conductivity of the rock are subjected to 2D sensitivity analyses.
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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.