Influence of fracture networks on radionuclide transport fromsolidified waste forms

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Analysis of the effect of fractures in porous media on fluid flow and mass transport is of great interest in many fields including geotechnical, petroleum, hydrogeology and waste management. This paper presents sensitivity analyses examining the effect of various hypothetical fracture networks on the performance of a planned near surface disposal facility in terms of radionuclide transport behaviour. As it is impossible to predict the initiation and evolution of fracture networks and their characteristicsin concrete structures over time scales of interest, several fracture networks have been postulated to test the sensitivity of radionuclide release from a disposal facility. Fluid flow through concrete matrix and fracture networks are modelled via Darcy’s law. A single species radionuclide transport equation isemployed for both matrix and fracture networks, which include the processes advection, diffusion, dis-persion, sorption/desorption and radioactive decay. The sensitivity study evaluates variations in fracture network configuration and fracture width together with different sorption/desorption characteristicsof radionuclides in a cement matrix, radioactive decay constants and matrix dispersivity.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-175
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Issue number15/04
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2014


  • Fracture flow and transport, concrete, performance assessment, concrete degradation

ID: 127501