Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory Project; Investigation program for the 2021 fiscal year
The Horonobe URL Project is being pursued by the JAEA to enhance the reliability of relevant disposal technologies for geological disposal of High-level Radioactive Waste through investigations of the deep geological environment within the host sedimentary rock at Horonobe Town in Hokkaido, north Japan. In 2021 fiscal year (2021/2022), JAEA continue to conduct research on "Demonstration of EBS in geological environment", "Demonstration of disposal concept", and "Validation of buffer capacity of the sedimentary rock to tectonism", which are the important issues shown in the Horonobe underground research plan after 2020 fiscal year. The main studies to be conducted in 2021 fiscal year are as follows. As "Demonstration of EBS in geological environment", we will shift to the test under the condition that the influence of heating is eliminated in the full scale EBS experiment. As "Demonstration of disposal concept", as a demonstration of the closure techniques, it details the conditions under which long-term transitions in the tunnel and surrounding bedrock have a significant impact on safety assessments. And we will continue engineering scale experiment to confirm the workability and performance of plugs and laboratory tests to examine the interaction between backfilling materials and buffer materials. As "Validation of buffer capacity of the sedimentary rock to tectonism", we will analyze the results of the hydraulic disturbance test and continue to study the hydraulic disconnection of faults/fissures in the Wakkanai Formation. As an advancement of technology for investigating and evaluating areas where the flow of groundwater is extremely slow, a boring exploration will be conducted to confirm the three-dimensional distribution of the fossil seawater area.