THM simulation of a large scale mock-up test in Belgium – the “OPHELIE” experience

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Abstract

The most promising design for a High Level Radioactive Waste (HLW) repository in Belgium is the disposal in a deep clay formation. The design involves also several engineered barriers to seal the access shafts and galleries. In the design developed in the late 1980’s, a non-saturated bentonite based material was chosen to backfill the disposal galleries. Prior to demonstrating this design under in-situ conditions, a surface mock-up test called “OPHELIE” has been operated to study the THM(C) behaviour of the selected buffer material. This paper presents firstly the experimental set-up, and the measurements obtained during the mock-up operation. The experimental results - including the temperature, water volume injected, swelling pressure - will then be compared with the THM modelling results obtained using the Finite Element code LAGAMINE. It has been encouraging to see that the modelling results, based on the parameters derived from the laboratory THM characterisation program, agree reasonably well with the experiments. The main mechanism controlling the THM process in the Mock-up has thus correctly been modelled.

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the GEOPROC2006 international symposium (on CD)
Place of PublicationNanjing, China
Pages274-280
Publication statusPublished - May 2006
EventGeoProc 2006. 2nd international conference on coupled T-H-M-C processes in Geo-systems: fundamentals, modeling, experiments & applications - HoHai University, Nanjing, China
Duration: 22 May 200624 May 2006

Conference

ConferenceGeoProc 2006. 2nd international conference on coupled T-H-M-C processes in Geo-systems: fundamentals, modeling, experiments & applications
CountryChina
CityNanjing
Period2006-05-222006-05-24

Keywords

  • HLW repository, geological disposal, engineered barriers system (EBS), non-saturated bentonite, buffer, Thermal-Hydro-Mechanical (THM) behaviour, swelling pressure, saturation degree, THM simulation, Finite Element mothod

ID: 257271