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Gas transport modelling at different spatial scales of a geological repository in clay host rock

  • Jacques Wendling
  • Darius JustinaviciusEmail author
  • Manuel Sentis
  • Brahim Amaziane
  • Alexander Bond
  • Nicola J. Calder
  • Eloi Treille
Original Article
  • 14 Downloads

Abstract

The work presented in this article is a part of the international European Commission FORGE project which studied the behaviour of repository gases in the context of radioactive waste disposal. Experimental work is essential to understand the main transport mechanisms for gas and to determine the main geophysical parameters. However, while laboratory and rock experiments can help to investigate the short- and partly the middle-term behaviour of gas in a rock formation, long-term predictions have to be based on numerical simulations. Numerical simulation of long-term gas behaviour in a deep geological repository was one of the aims in the FORGE project. The objectives of the FORGE modelling were to describe the state-of-the-art consideration of gas in performance assessment, and to propose an updated treatment of gas issues in long-term safety assessments for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. Three benchmark exercises for a hypothetical geological repository in clay host rock ranging in scale from a single disposal cell to the whole repository were defined. To provide added value to this benchmark, a feature not yet well represented in typical gas simulations was introduced: the explicit representation of the interfaces between the excavation disturbed zone and the engineered elements within the excavation, such as waste canisters, bentonite plugs, and access drifts. In order to assess gas transport behaviour at the whole repository scale, models were developed with ‘mathematical’ or ‘numerical’ upscaling techniques for small-scale features. The assessment across different modelling scales revealed the main long-term gas migration pathways and led to the conclusion that the explicit representation of interfaces is not important.

Keywords

Radioactive waste repository Clay host rock FORGE project Gas modelling benchmark 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Atomic Energy Community’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2009–2013) under Grant Agreement no. 230357, the FORGE project.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Wendling
    • 1
  • Darius Justinavicius
    • 2
    Email author
  • Manuel Sentis
    • 3
  • Brahim Amaziane
    • 4
  • Alexander Bond
    • 5
  • Nicola J. Calder
    • 6
  • Eloi Treille
    • 1
  1. 1.The French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (ANDRA)Châtenay-MalabryFrance
  2. 2.Lithuanian Energy Institute (LEI)KaunasLithuania
  3. 3.Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI)BruggSwitzerland
  4. 4.IPRA-CNRSPAU CedexFrance
  5. 5.QuintessaBirchwoodUK
  6. 6.Geofirma Engineering LtdOttawaCanada

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