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Conceptual uncertainties in modelling the interaction between engineered and natural barriers of nuclear waste repositories in crystalline rocks

Finsterle, S.*; Lanyon, B.*; ${AA}$kesson, M.*; Baxter, S.*; Bergstr$"o$m, M.*; Bockg${aa}$rd, N.*; Dershowitz, W.*; Dessirier, B.*; Frampton, A.*; Fransson, ${AA}$.*; Gens, A.*; Gylling, B.*; Han$v{c}$ilov$'a$, I.*; Holton, D.*; Jarsj$"o$, J.*; Kim, J.-S.*; Kr$"o$hn, K.-P.*; Malmberg, D.*; Pulkkanen, V. M.*; Sawada, Atsushi; Sj$"o$land, A.*; Svensson, U.*; Vidstrand, P.*; Viswanathan, H.*

Nuclear waste disposal in geological formations relies on a multi-barrier concept that includes engineered components which in many cases includes a bentonite buffer surrounding waste packages and the host rock. An SKB's (Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co.) Modelling Task Force project facilitated to improve the overall understanding of rock - bentonite interactions, as 11 teams used different conceptualisations and modelling tools to analyse the in-situ experiment at the $"A$ps$"o$ Hard Rock Laboratory. The exercise helped identify conceptual uncertainties that led to different assessments of the relative importance of the engineered and natural barrier subsystems and of aspects that need to be better understood to arrive at reliable predictions of bentonite wetting.

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