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Can sealing of rock hosting a repository for highly radioactive waste be relied on?
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1365-8552
El-Tekno AB.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.
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2012 (English)In: Natural Science, ISSN 2150-4091, E-ISSN 2150-4105, Vol. 4, no 11A, 895-905 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Multibarrier systems are commonly proposed for effective isolation of highly radioactive waste (HLW). Presently considered concepts take the host rock as a barrier claiming it to retard migration of possibly released radionuclides from HLW containers to the biosphere. This capacity is small unless water-bearing fracture zones intersecting the blasted waste-containing tunnels and excavation-disturbance zones around them can be sealed by grouting and construction of bulkheads, but this is effective only for a very limited period of time as explained in the paper. The disturbed zones thence make the entire repository serve as a continuous hydraulic conductor causing quick transport of released radionuclides up to the biosphere. The dilemma can be solved by accepting the short-circuiting function of the disturbed zones along the tunnels on the condition that totally tight waste containers be used. Deep holes bored in the site selection phase through the forthcoming repository can be effective pathways for radionuclides unless they are properly sealed. They are small-scale equivalents of tunnels but do not have any ex-cavation damage and can be effectively sealed by using clay and concrete of new types. Applying this principle to very deep boreholes with a diameter of a few decimeters would make it possible to safely store slim, tight HLW canisters for any period of time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 4, no 11A, 895-905 p.
Keyword [en]
Hazardous Waste, Repositories, Crystalline Rock, Rock Sealing Engineered Barriers, Civil engineering and architecture - Geoengineering and mining engineering
Keyword [sv]
Samhällsbyggnadsteknik och arkitektur - Geoteknik och gruvteknik
National Category
Geotechnical Engineering
Research subject
Soil Mechanics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-12643DOI: 10.4236/ns.2012.431117Local ID: bcda5f74-2ccb-4134-af4d-480b82f93090OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-12643DiVA: diva2:985594
Note
Godkänd; 2012; 20121030 (mohhat)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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