Modelling long-term evolution of cementitious materials used in waste disposal

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This report summarizes the latest developments at SCK•CEN in modelling long-term evolution of cementitious materials used as engineered barriers in waste disposal. In a first section chemical degradation of concrete during leaching with rain and soil water types is discussed. Next we show how the leaching model is coupled with a reactive transport module to determine leaching of cement minerals under diffusive or advective boundary conditions. The module also contains a microstructural model from which hydraulic and transport properties of concrete may be calculated dynamically. This coupled model is simplified, i.e. abstracted prior to being applied to large-scale concrete structures typical of a near-surface repository. Characteristic degradation states of concrete are further linked to distribution ratios that describe sorption onto hardened cement via a linear and reversible sorption process. As concrete degrades and pH drops the distribution ratios are continuously updated. We have thus integrated all major chemical and physical concrete degradation processes into one simulator for a particular scale of interest.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Behaviours of Cementitious Materials in Long Term Storage and Disposal of Radioactive Waste : Results of a Coordinated Research Project
Place of PublicationVienna, Austria
PublisherIAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency
ISBN (Print)978-92-0-139310-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Publication series

NameIAEA Tecdoc


  • Concrete, radioactive waste disposal, chemical degradation, reactive coupled transport

ID: 319893