The behavior of heated bentonite buffer is critical for the security and long-term performance of a geological repository for high-level radioactive waste (HLW). While laboratory column experiments have been conducted to investigate compacted bentonite and coupled THMC (thermal-hydro-mechanical and chemical) processes for a moderate temperature range of up to 100 °C, data for a higher temperature range are limited. Understanding bentonite behavior and coupled THMC processes under higher temperatures (e.g., up to 200 °C) could allow for a more economic repository design and would expand the data and knowledge base for more reliable modeling. In this study, a bench-scale experiment was conducted in a compacted bentonite column experiencing both heating up to 200 °C in the center and hydration from a sand-clay boundary surrounding the column. During the experiment run for 1.5 years, frequent X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning of bentonite provided insights into the spatiotemporal evolution of (1) hydration/dehydration, (2) clay swelling/shrinkage, (3) displacement, and (4) mineral precipitation. After the experiment, a comprehensive post-dismantling characterization of bentonite samples was conducted. Results showed that the bentonite hydration was axi-symmetrical despite the initial heterogeneity due to packing, confirming the ability of bentonite to seal fast flow/transport paths. Compared to a non-heated control experiment, the heated column showed greater CT density variations along the radial distance, indicating that homogenization of bentonite might be more difficult if a temperature gradient is maintained in the repository. Precipitation of an anhydrite layer occurred in the inner hot zone, pointing to potential concerns about salt precipitation causing canister corrosion. Ultimately, the experiments provided a high-resolution window into the strongly dynamic and coupled behavior of bentonite exposed to heating, hydration and swelling, which will be valuable for improving modeling of coupled processes, especially for the early state of a HLW repository.

Hydro-mechanical behavior of heated bentonite buffer for geologic disposal of high-level radioactive waste: A bench-scale X-ray computed tomography investigation / C. Chang, S. Borglin, C. Chou, L. Zheng, Y. Wu, T.J. Kneafsey, S. Nakagawa, M. Voltolini, J.T. Birkholzer. - In: APPLIED CLAY SCIENCE. - ISSN 0169-1317. - 232:(2023), pp. 106792.1-106792.14. [10.1016/j.clay.2022.106792]

Hydro-mechanical behavior of heated bentonite buffer for geologic disposal of high-level radioactive waste: A bench-scale X-ray computed tomography investigation

M. Voltolini
Penultimo
;
2023

Abstract

The behavior of heated bentonite buffer is critical for the security and long-term performance of a geological repository for high-level radioactive waste (HLW). While laboratory column experiments have been conducted to investigate compacted bentonite and coupled THMC (thermal-hydro-mechanical and chemical) processes for a moderate temperature range of up to 100 °C, data for a higher temperature range are limited. Understanding bentonite behavior and coupled THMC processes under higher temperatures (e.g., up to 200 °C) could allow for a more economic repository design and would expand the data and knowledge base for more reliable modeling. In this study, a bench-scale experiment was conducted in a compacted bentonite column experiencing both heating up to 200 °C in the center and hydration from a sand-clay boundary surrounding the column. During the experiment run for 1.5 years, frequent X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning of bentonite provided insights into the spatiotemporal evolution of (1) hydration/dehydration, (2) clay swelling/shrinkage, (3) displacement, and (4) mineral precipitation. After the experiment, a comprehensive post-dismantling characterization of bentonite samples was conducted. Results showed that the bentonite hydration was axi-symmetrical despite the initial heterogeneity due to packing, confirming the ability of bentonite to seal fast flow/transport paths. Compared to a non-heated control experiment, the heated column showed greater CT density variations along the radial distance, indicating that homogenization of bentonite might be more difficult if a temperature gradient is maintained in the repository. Precipitation of an anhydrite layer occurred in the inner hot zone, pointing to potential concerns about salt precipitation causing canister corrosion. Ultimately, the experiments provided a high-resolution window into the strongly dynamic and coupled behavior of bentonite exposed to heating, hydration and swelling, which will be valuable for improving modeling of coupled processes, especially for the early state of a HLW repository.
High-level radioactive waste repository; Engineered barrier; Compacted bentonite; X-ray CT imaging; Hydro-mechanical behavior; Coupled THMC processes
Settore GEO/06 - Mineralogia
Settore GEO/09 - Georisorse Miner.Appl.Mineral.-Petrogr.per l'amb.e i Beni Cul
Settore GEO/05 - Geologia Applicata
21-dic-2022
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Chang_AppClSci_Bentonite.pdf

accesso riservato

Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 10.65 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
10.65 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/949373
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact