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The excavation damaged zone (EDZ) around the backfilled tunnels of a geological repository represents a possible release path for radionuclides, corrosion and degradation gases that needs to be adequately addressed by safety assessment (SA) modelling tools. The hydromechanical phenomena associated with the creation and temporal evolution of the EDZ are of high complexity, precluding detailed representations of the EDZ in conventional SA. Thus, simplified EDZ models mimicking the safety-relevant features of the EDZ are required. In this context, a heuristic modelling approach has been developed to represent the creation and evolution of the EDZ in an abstracted and simplified...

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