Hydrogeologic Characteristics of Fractured Rocks for Waste Isolation — The Stripa Experience
Fractured crystalline and argillaceous rocks have been proposed as alternative host rocks for storage or disposal of high level radioactive waste. In a properly selected repository site the matrix porosity and permeability of these rocks should be such that no flow can occur through the rock blocks and hence the fracture system will provide the only pathway for radionuclides to migrate away from the repository. Our knowledge of the permeability of fractured rock masses has, until recently, been limited to borehole investigations in the upper 100 meters of the earth’s crust. In general, these investigations have been conducted under the assumption that fractured rock masses can be treated as a slightly different form of porous media. This assumption has been carried forward into the more recent studies of the hydrology of fractured rocks conducted at depths of up to 1000 meters as part of nuclear waste disposal programs.
KeywordsRock Mass Fracture Rock Fracture Aperture Fracture Rock Mass High Level Radioactive Waste
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