Numerical Study of PRACLAY Seal Test in Mol, Belgium

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The paper gives first an overview on the PRACLAY project, which includes the PRACLAY seal test, in Underground Research Facility (URF) in Mol, Belgium. The PRACLAY Seal Test is performed to examine the feasibility of hydraulically sealing the heated part of the PRACLAY gallery from the rest of the gallery. The annular seal is horizontally installed, and it is mainly composed of compacted MX80 bentonite and steel structure. The PRACLAY Seal Test is a complex system with coupled THM processes. Prior to installation of the PRACLAY seal, feasibility analyses were performed to provide support to the decision made for PRACLAY seal: especially to optimize the initial state of the bentonite (dry density, water content, saturation degree, etc.), the technological voids as well as the hydration strategy. Numerical simulations are based on the finite element code, and several models (1D, 2D axisymmetric and 2D plane strain) were studied. A large number of THM parameters for bentonite used in the calculations are carefully determined based on the extensive literature review and the latest laboratory experiments.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2nd Int. Symposium on Computational Geomechanics (CD-ROM)
Place of PublicationRhodes, Greece
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
Event2nd Int. Symposium on Computational Geomechanics - Cavtat-Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 27 Apr 201129 Apr 2011


Conference2nd Int. Symposium on Computational Geomechanics


  • Boom clay, Praclay Seal test, swelling pressure, bentonite, permeability, technological void, THM modeling

ID: 101003