Can sealing of rock hosting a repository for highly radioactive waste be relied on?
2012 (English)In: Natural Science, ISSN 2150-4091, E-ISSN 2150-4105, Vol. 4, no 11A, 895-905 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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.
Hazardous Waste, Repositories, Crystalline Rock, Rock Sealing Engineered Barriers, Civil engineering and architecture - Geoengineering and mining engineering
Samhällsbyggnadsteknik och arkitektur - Geoteknik och gruvteknik
Research subject Soil Mechanics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-12643DOI: 10.4236/ns.2012.431117Local ID: bcda5f74-2ccb-4134-af4d-480b82f93090OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-12643DiVA: diva2:985594
Godkänd; 2012; 20121030 (mohhat)2016-09-292016-09-29Bibliographically approved