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Impact assessment of density change on the buffer material on the coupled thermal-hydraulic and mechanical (THM) behavior in the near-field (Contract research)

Suzuki, Hideaki*; Takayama, Yusuke 

It is anticipated that the coupled thermal hydraulic and mechanical (THM) processes will occur, involving an interactive process with radioactive decay heat arising from the vitrified waste, infiltration of groundwater from the host rock into the buffer material, swelling pressure of buffer material due to its saturation in the near-field of a geological disposal system for high-level radioactive waste repository. In order to evaluate these phenomena in the near-field, the THM model has been developed. In this report, the density dependence of thermal, hydraulic and mechanical properties of the buffer material was investigated to evaluate the near-field environment. These density dependence schemes were added to the coupled THM model. The THM analysis of the in-situ experiment of engineered barrier system (EBS) experiment at the Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory was carried out. As a result, the effect of the density change of the buffer material on the temperature and infiltration behavior of buffer material was found. A case analysis on the long-term behavior of the near field was also carried out. Then, the behavior that the buffer material swelled out toward the backfill material and the density of the buffer material decreasing was shown.

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