EPJ Nuclear Sci. Technol.
Volume 8, 2022
Euratom Research and Training in 2022: challenges, achievements and future perspectives
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Section||Part 2: Radioactive waste management|
|Published online||15 December 2022|
Modelling of the long-term evolution and performance of engineered barrier system
BRGM, 3 Avenue Claude Guillemin, 45060, Orléans, France
2 IRSN, PRP-DGE/SRTG/LETIS, BP 17, 92262, Fontenay-aux-Roses Cedex, France
3 SCK CEN, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, Institute for Environment, Health and Safety, Mol, 2400, Belgium
4 SKB, Stockholm, Sweden
5 Andra, 1/7, Rue Jean Monnet, Parc de la Croix-Blanche, 92298 Châtenay-Malabry Cedex, France
6 MINES ParisTech, PSL University, 75272, Paris, France
7 UFZ, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research–UFZ, Leipzig, Germany
8 NAGRA, Nagra Hardstrasse 73, Postfach 280, 5430, Wettingen, Switzerland
9 UDC, Centro de Investigaciones Científicas Avanzadas (CICA), ETS Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidade da Coruña, A Coruña, Spain
10 Laboratory for Waste Management, Paul Scherrer Institut, 5232, Villigen, Switzerland
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received in final form: 6 September 2022
Accepted: 10 October 2022
Published online: 15 December 2022
Components of the so-called “multiple-barrier system” from the waste form to the biosphere include a combination of waste containers, engineered barriers, and natural barriers. The Engineered Barrier System (EBS) is crucial for containment and isolation in a radioactive waste disposal system. The number, types, and assigned safety functions of the various engineered barriers depend on the chosen repository concept, the waste form, the radionuclides waste inventory, the selected host rock, and the hydrogeological and geochemical settings of the repository site, among others. EBS properties will evolve with time in response to the thermal, hydraulic, mechanical, radiological, and chemical gradients and interactions between the various constituents of the barriers and the host rock. Therefore, assessing how these properties evolve over long time frames is highly relevant for evaluating the performance of a repository system and safety function evaluations in a safety case. For this purpose, mechanistic numerical models are increasingly used. Such models provide an excellent way for integrating into a coherent framework a scientific understanding of coupled processes and their consequences on different properties of the materials in the EBS. Their development and validation are supported by R&D actions at the European level. For example, within the HORIZON 2020 project BEACON (Bentonite mechanical evolution), the development, test, and validation of numerical models against experimental results have been carried out in order to predict the evolution of the hydromechanical properties of bentonite during the saturation process. Also, in relation to the coupling with mechanics, WP16 MAGIC (chemo Mechanical AGIng of Cementitious materials) of the EURAD Joint Programming Initiative focuses on multi-scale chemo-mechanical modeling of cementitious-based materials that evolve under chemical perturbation. Integration of chemical evolution in models of varying complexity is a major issue tackled in the WP2 ACED (Assessment of Chemical Evolution of ILW and HLW Disposal cells) of EURAD. WP4 DONUT (Development and improvement of numerical methods and tools for modeling coupled processes) of EURAD aims at developing and improving numerical models and tools to integrate more complexity and coupling between processes. The combined progress of those projects at a pan-European level definitively improves the understanding of and the capabilities for assessing the long-term evolution of engineered barrier systems.
© F. Claret et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2022
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