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Report No.

Decimeter-scale laboratory studies of thermal, mechanical, hydrological and chemical processes in near-field systems of generic geological waste repositories

Hu, Q. H.*; Zhang, T.*; Shen, Y. Q.*; Tachi, Yukio  ; Fukatsu, Yuta  ; Borglin, S.*; Chang, C.*; Hampton, J.*

In a deep geological repository of high-level nuclear wastes, the near-field systems consist of waste packages, buffer materials, and natural barrier systems. It is expected that the initial thermal loading after waste emplacement will last several hundred years. It is important to investigate the effects of this thermal loading on the near-field components under in situ stress conditions, in terms of thermal-hydrological-mechanical-chemical (THMC) processes and subsequent radionuclide retention and migration. Preliminary tests have been performed via integrated combinations of buffer materials and host rocks, at nm-dm scales, subjected to a range of elevated temperatures under true-triaxial conditions, which is complemented by a suite of nano-petrophysical characterization approaches such as small-angle neutron/X-ray scattering techniques to quantify total pore space and sample size-dependent effective porosity. For multiple-approach radionuclide retention and migration tests before- and after-THMC experiments, a complementary range of tests will include batch, column, and gas diffusion for granular samples, as well as gas/liquid diffusion and fractured core transport tests for intact rock samples under different temperature and pressure conditions.



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