Measuring diffusion coefficients of dissolved He and Ar in three potential clay host formations: Boom Clay, Callovo-Oxfordian Clay and Opalinus Clay
E. Jacops, N. Maes, C. Bruggeman, A. Grade, 2017. "Measuring diffusion coefficients of dissolved He and Ar in three potential clay host formations: Boom Clay, Callovo-Oxfordian Clay and Opalinus Clay", Radioactive Waste Confinement: Clays in Natural and Engineered Barriers, S. Norris, J. Bruno, M. van Geet, E. Verhoef
Download citation file:
For the long-term management of high- and intermediate-level radioactive waste and/or spent fuel, many countries prefer disposal in a geological repository. In Belgium, Switzerland and France, argillaceous formations are being explored as potential host formations for this purpose. In this context, knowledge of the diffusion coefficient of He is relevant within two research areas: first, diffusion coefficients are used in safety calculations to evaluate the balance between gas generation (mainly H2) and gas dissipation; and, second, the diffusion coefficients of He and Ar are needed in the diffusion models of natural tracers. Owing to the lack of data on the diffusion coefficients of He and Ar for the different clay host formations, diffusion experiments with dissolved He and Ar were performed on Boom Clay, Opalinus Clay and Callovo-Oxfordian Clay. Samples were confined in a diffusion cell, and diffusion coefficients were measured by using the double through-diffusion technique. The diffusion coefficients (Dp or Dpore) for He in Boom Clay, Callovo-Oxfordian Clay and Opalinus Clay are 12.6×10−10, 4.51×10−10 and 7.13×10−10 m2 s−1, respectively. The diffusion coefficients for Ar in Boom Clay, Callovo-Oxfordian Clay and Opalinus Clay are 18.6×10−11, 4.06×10−11 and 3.65×10−11 m2 s−1, respectively.