Abstract

Numerical modelling is used to quantify heat and mass transfers around the Oklo site. A 3D model of a reactor, at decametric scale, built with the GOCAD software shows that the functioning of the reactor acts as a powerful but local thermal perturbation. This perturbation increases the temperature within a range of 50 to 250 degrees C, according to assumed heat production, with a spatial extent less than 50 m. The steady state regime is reached very rapidly, in less than 100 years. The heat dissipation is essentially conductive, the reactor inducing only weak fluid movements. A forced convection model has been also investigated, where fluids come from basin scale circulations. It shows that, in the range of the studied filtration velocities, temperatures are not significantly affected by these circulations. Nevertheless, they induce an asymmetry between upstream and downstream parts of the flow. Assuming low permeability, the high temperature increase could have caused local fluid overpressures, which could lead to the development of a radial hydraulic fracturation near the reactor, as has been observed around the reactor 10.

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