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Report No.

Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory Project; Investigation report for the 2020 fiscal year

Nakayama, Masashi 

The Horonobe Underground Research Laboratory (URL) Project is being pursued by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA). The main aim of this project is to enhance the reliability of relevant disposal technologies for geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste through a comprehensive research and development (R&D) program in the deep geological environment within the host sedimentary rock at Horonobe in Hokkaido, north Japan. In fiscal year 2020, JAEA continued R&D on three important issues specified in the "Horonobe Underground Research Plan from Fiscal Year 2020", which involve "Study on nearfield system performance in geological environment", "Demonstration of repository design options", and "Understanding of buffering behavior of sedimentary rock to natural perturbations". Specifically, 'full scale engineered barrier system (EBS) experiment' and 'solute transport experiment' were carried out as part of "Study on near-field system performance in geological environment". 'Development and testing of EBS emplacement / retrieval and tunnel closure technologies' and 'evaluation of EBS behavior over 100$$^{circ}$$C' were addressed for "Demonstration of repository design options". A study on "Understanding of buffering behavior of sedimentary rock to natural perturbations" was also implemented in two areas, 'evaluation of hydromechanical responses of faults to water pressure changes' and 'development of techniques for evaluating self-sealing behavior of an excavation damaged zone after backfilling'. The results of the R&D, along with those obtained in other departments of JAEA, will reinforce the technical basis for both repository implementation and safety regulation. For the sake of this, JAEA will steadily proceed with this project in collaboration with relevant organizations and universities both domestically and internationally and also widely publish the plans and results of the R&D to ensure their transparency and technical reliability.



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