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Microstructure controls physical properties of smectite clay
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6851-4839
2019 (English)In: Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering, ISSN 1792-9040, E-ISSN 1792-9660, Vol. 9, no 3, p. 63-98Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Environmental protection by isolation of radionuclides escaped from High-Level Radioactive Waste stored underground in crystalline rock can be achieved by surrounding the metal canisters by smectite clay, which provides hindrance of radionuclides to migrate into the surroundings, and ductile embedment of them for absorbing seismic and tectonic displacements in the host rock. The waste-isolating capacity of the expansive clay is explained by its high hydrophilic capacity and large specific surface area giving low porosity and limited interconnectivity of the voids, which both makes such clay low-permeable and gives it a very low through-diffusion rate of anionic species like iodine, and of some cationic radionuclides. The expandability of such clay means that it can swell and undergo self-healing in case of microstructural contraction caused by heating. The mechanisms involved in permeation and ion exchange are described based on conceptual microstructural models and their theoretical analogies. Stress/strain phenomena involved in saturation with fluids, desiccation, shearing under deviatoric conditions, and creep strain under stable conditions or at failure are described as well. Longevity matters, which have been richly treated in the literature, is given limited space. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
UK: Scientific Press International Limited , 2019. Vol. 9, no 3, p. 63-98
Keywords [en]
Smectite clay, montmorillonite, microscopy, clay microstructure
National Category
Engineering and Technology Geotechnical Engineering
Research subject
Soil Mechanics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-75706OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-75706DiVA, id: diva2:1346212
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 1;2019-09-02 (johcin)

Available from: 2019-08-27 Created: 2019-08-27 Last updated: 2019-09-02Bibliographically approved

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