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Report No.

Evolution of radionuclide transport and retardation processes in uplifting crystalline rocks

Metcalfe, R.*; Kawama, Daisuke*; Benbow, S. J.*; Tachi, Yukio  

A safety case for an underground radioactive waste repository must show that the surrounding geosphere barrier will prevent or adequately retard radionuclide migration via groundwater, despite any future environmental changes. Uplift is one such environmental change that may affect some potential repository sites. This may be a particularly important issue in Japan, where possibly in future repository sites undergoing tectonically driven uplift might be considered. At early stages of a project to site a radioactive waste repository, generic safety cases are typically based on simplified/conservative assessment models. However, at an actual repository site, more realistic models are needed that account for the long-term geoenvironmental evolution and their impacts on radionuclide migration/retention. Here we review the state of knowledge about how properties of fractured crystalline rocks evolve during uplift, based on studies in Japan. Hence, we propose how this knowledge may be incorporated in assessment models in a way that strikes appropriate balance between being sufficiently realistic and sufficiently simple to allow exploration of parameter uncertainty.



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