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The geological basis for developing concepts for disposal of highly radioactive waste (HLW) in crystalline rock: a state of art compilation
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.
2012 (English)In: Comunicacoes Geologicas, Vol. 99, no 1, 61-68 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Concepts for deep geological disposal of highly radioactive waste from nuclear reactors consider the host rock to be a major barrier to transport of radionuclides that may possibly be released from the repository to the biosphere. This has required development of hydraulic (”geohydrological”) models for predicting possible groundwater contamination and dose rates. They are based on very limited information on the constitution and properties of the large rock mass, making the sophisticated models hypothetic and uncertain in calculation of groundwater flow and transport of dissolved species. Considerable effort has been put in hydraulic modeling of groundwater movement during and after the next glaciation cycle, largely disregarding from possible long-term impact of tectonic movements and seismic events on the transport paths. The rheological performance of the “near-field” rock has been assessed without considering that the rock stresses will cause spalling and fracturing of the rock immediately surrounding the waste containers, which produce heat and generate thermally induced stresses. Modelers of the hydro/mechanical performance of the near-field rock mass tend to neglect the existence of excavation disturbance of the rock around tunnels and drifts, which means that the evolution of groundwater flow in the “near-field” and “far-field” in a time perspective that includes at least one glaciation event has not yet been adequately predicted. In conclusion, one must rely on the engineered barriers, waste containers and embedding clay, for safe disposal of highly radioactive waste and take the rock to serve merely as a mechanical protection of the “chemical apparatus”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 99, no 1, 61-68 p.
Keyword [en]
Civil engineering and architecture - Geoengineering and mining engineering
Keyword [sv]
crystalline rock, hydraulic models, structural models, nuclear waste repositories, Samhällsbyggnadsteknik och arkitektur - Geoteknik och gruvteknik
Research subject
Soil Mechanics
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-3276Local ID: 115ca35a-22d2-4abd-ae77-c103675c8f5cOAI: diva2:976132
Validerad; 2012; 20120517 (svek)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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