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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Thermal–hydraulic–mechanical modeling of a large-scale heater test to investigate rock salt and crushed salt behavior under repository conditions for heat-generating nuclear waste


The Thermal Simulation for Drift Emplacement heater test is modeled using two simulators for coupled thermal-hydraulic-mechanical processes. Results from the two simulators are in very good agreement. The comparison between measurements and numerical results is also very satisfactory, regarding temperature, drift closure and rock deformation. Concerning backfill compaction, a parameter calibration through inverse modeling was performed due to insufficient data on crushed salt reconsolidation, particularly at high temperatures. We conclude that the two simulators investigated have the capabilities to reproduce the data available, which increases confidence in their use to reliably investigate disposal of heat-generating nuclear waste in saliferous geosystems.

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