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Rock structure control of groundwater flow and stability – disposal of hazardous waste in abandoned mines
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.
Ascend Technologies Ltd, Southampton, UK,.
C M BEASY Ltd Ashurst, Southampton, UK.
C M BEASY Ltd Ashurst, Southampton, UK.
Number of Authors: 4
(English)In: Engineering Geology, ISSN 0013-7952, E-ISSN 1872-6917Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Multibarrier isolation of hazardous waste is proposed by organizations and companies responsible for underground disposal of such waste. The host rock of repositories is of majorimportance and considerable effort has been made to assess its buffering capacity. This depends on the rate and distribution of groundwater flow after construction and filling the disposal rooms, which can be drifts and caverns in abandoned mines. The basis of determining these quantities is the rock structure, which is defined according to a categorization system that is practical and useful for groundwater and rock mechanical modeling on any scale. Computational models for the hydraulic and mechanical performance of the rock have been developed and used for calculating the risk of contamination of groundwater in nearby wells for drinking water. A reference case of disposal of used batteries in a large mine cavern shows that isolating the waste with expandable clay gives acceptable water quality for any period of time. Rock excavation damage creates continuous major flow paths that are responsible for the contamination of the wells by interacting with fracture zones and makes clay necessary for long-term isolation of the waste. Future changes of the water-bearing discontinuities in the rock by creep and external impact of seismicity and glaciations reduce its role to be a mechanical protection of the waste.

National Category
Geotechnical Engineering
Research subject
Soil Mechanics
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-36825OAI: diva2:1010169
Available from: 2016-10-02 Created: 2016-10-02 Last updated: 2016-11-29

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Pusch, Roland
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