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Report No.
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Confirmation of the applicability of low alkaline cement-based material in the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory

Nakayama, Masashi; Niunoya, Sumio*; Minamide, Masashi*

In Japan, any high-level radioactive waste repository is to be constructed at over 300m depth below surface. Tunnel support is used for safety during the construction and operation, and shotcrete and concrete lining are used as the tunnel support. Concrete is a composite material comprised of aggregate, cement and various additives. Low alkaline cement has been developed for the long term stability of the barrier systems whose performance could be negatively affected by highly alkaline conditions arising due to cement used in a repository. Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has developed a low alkaline cement, named as HFSC (Highly fly-ash contained silicafume cement), containing over 60wt% of silica-fume (SF) and coal ash (FA). JAEA is presently constructing an underground research laboratory (URL) at Horonobe for research and development in the geosciences and repository engineering technology. HFSC was used experimentally as the shotcrete material in construction of part of the 350m deep gallery in Horonobe URL in 2013. The objective of this experiment was to assess the performance of HFSC shotcrete in terms of mechanics, workability, durability, and so on. HFSC used in this experiment is composed of 40wt% OPC (Ordinary Portland Cement), 20wt% SF, and 40wt% FA. This composition was determined based on mechanical testing of various mixes of the above components. Because of the low OPC content, the strength of HFSC tends to be lower than that of OPC in normal concrete. The total length of tunnel constructed using HFSC shotcrete is about 112m at 350m deep drift. The workability of HFSC shotcrete was confirmed by this experimental construction. In this report, we present detailed results of the in-situ construction test.

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