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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Evaluation of the Impact of Thermal-Hydrological-Mechanical Couplings in Bentonite and Near-Field Rock Barriers of a Nuclear Waste Repository in Sparsely Fractured Hard Rock

  • Author(s): Rutqvist, J.
  • Chijimatsu, M.
  • Jing, L.
  • Millard, A.
  • Nguyen, T.S.
  • Rejeb, A.
  • Sugita, Y.
  • Tsang, C.-F.
  • et al.

As part of the international DECOVALEX III project and the European BENCHPAR project, this paper evaluates the impact of thermal-hydrological-mechanical (THM) couplings on the performance of a bentonite back-filled nuclear waste repository in sparsely fractured hard rock. The significance of THM coupling on the performance of a hypothetical repository is evaluated by several independent coupled numerical analyses. Moreover, the influence of a discrete fracture intersecting a deposition hole is discussed. The analysis shows that THM couplings have the most impact on the mechanical behaviour of bentonite-rock system, which is important for repository design considerations.

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