Upscaling of a dual-permeability Monte Carlo simulation model for contaminant transport in fractured networks by genetic algorithm parameter identification

  • F. CadiniEmail author
  • J. De Sanctis
  • I. Bertoli
  • E. Zio
Original Paper


The transport of radionuclides in fractured media plays a fundamental role in determining the level of risk offered by a radioactive waste repository in terms of expected doses. Discrete fracture networks methods can provide detailed solutions to the problem of modeling the contaminant transport in fractured media. However, within the framework of the performance assessment (PA) of radioactive waste repositories, the computational efforts required are not compatible with the repeated calculations that need to be performed for the probabilistic uncertainty and sensitivity analyses of PA. In this paper, we present a novel upscaling approach, which consists in computing the detailed numerical fractured flow and transport solutions on a small scale and use the results to derive the equivalent continuum parameters of a lean, one-dimensional dual-permeability, Monte Carlo simulation model by means of a genetic algorithm search. The proposed upscaling procedure is illustrated with reference to a realistic case study of \( {}^{239}{\text{Pu}} \) migration taken from literature.


Radioactive waste repository Performance assessment Fracture networks Upscaling Monte Carlo simulation Genetic Algorithms 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Cadini
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. De Sanctis
    • 1
  • I. Bertoli
    • 1
  • E. Zio
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di EnergiaPolitecnico di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Chair on Systems Science and the Energetic Challenge, European Foundation for New Energy—Électricité de France Ecole Centrale Paris and SupelecParisFrance

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