Share This Article:

Can sealing of rock hosting a repository for highly radioactive waste be relied on?

Abstract Full-Text HTML XML Download Download as PDF (Size:1732KB) PP. 895-905
DOI: 10.4236/ns.2012.431117    3,479 Downloads   6,107 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Multibarrier systems are commonly proposed for effective isolation of highly radioactive waste (HLW). Presently considered concepts take the host rock as a barrier claiming it to retard migration of possibly released radionuclides from HLW containers to the biosphere. This capacity is small unless water-bearing fracture zones intersecting the blasted waste-containing tunnels and excavation-disturbance zones around them can be sealed by grouting and construction of bulkheads, but this is effective only for a very limited period of time as explained in the paper. The disturbed zones thence make the entire repository serve as a continuous hydraulic conductor causing quick transport of released radionuclides up to the biosphere. The dilemma can be solved by accepting the shortcircuiting function of the disturbed zones along the tunnels on the condition that totally tight waste containers be used. Deep holes bored in the site selection phase through the forthcoming repository can be effective pathways for radionuclides unless they are properly sealed. They are small-scale equivalents of tunnels but do not have any excavation damage and can be effectively sealed by using clay and concrete of new types. Applying this principle to very deep boreholes with a diameter of a few decimeters would make it possible to safely store slim, tight HLW canisters for any period of time.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Pusch, R. , Knutsson, S. , Ramqvist, G. , Mohammed, M. and Pourbakhtiar, A. (2012) Can sealing of rock hosting a repository for highly radioactive waste be relied on?. Natural Science, 4, 895-905. doi: 10.4236/ns.2012.431117.

References

[1] Svemar, C. (2005) Cluster Repository Project (CROP). Final Report of European Commission Contract FIR1-CT-2000- 2003, Brussels.
[2] Pusch, R. (2008) Geological storage of radioactive waste. Springer-Verlag, Berlin and Heidelberg. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-77333-7
[3] Liu, X.D., Prikryl, R. and Pusch, R. (2011) THMC- testing of three expandable clays of potential use in HLW repositories. Applied Clay Science, 52, 419-427. doi:10.1016/j.clay.2011.03.021
[4] Marsic, N., Grundfeldt, B. and Wiborgh, M. (2006) Very deep hole concept. SKB Report R-06-59. SKB, Stockholm.
[5] Liedtke, L., Shao, H., Alheid, H.J. and S?nnke, J. (1999) Matrial transport in fractured rock-rock characterization in the proximal tunnel zone. Technical Report, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, Hannover.
[6] Pusch, R. (1994) Waste disposal in rock. Elesevier Publications Co., Amsterdams.
[7] Pusch, R. and Weston, R. (2012) Superior techniques for disposal of highly radioactive waste (HLW). Nuclear Energy, 59, 75-85. doi:10.1016/j.pnucene.2012.01.005
[8] B?rgesson, L., Pusch, R., Fredriksson, A., H?kmark, H., Karnland, O. and Sandén, T. (1992) Final report of the Rock Sealing Project—Sealing of zones disturbed by blasting and stress release. Stripa Project Technical Report TR 92-21, Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Handling Company (SKB), Stockholm.
[9] Pusch, R. (2012) The geological basis for developing concepts for disposal of highly radioactive waste (HLW) in crystalline rock—A state of art compilation. Comunica??es Geológicas, 99, 61-68.
[10] Gray, M.N. (1993) OECD/NEA International stripa project, overview volume 3, engineered barriers. Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co. (SKB), Stockholm.
[11] B?rgesson, L., Pusch, R., Fredriksson, A., H?kmark, H., Karnland, O. and Sandén, T. (1991) Final report of the rock sealing project—Sealing of the near-field rock around deposition holes by use of bentonite grouts. Stripa Project Technical Report TR 91-34, Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Handling Company (SKB), Stockholm.
[12] Bosson, E., Sassner, M., Sabel, U. and Gustafsson, L.-G. (2010) Modelling of present and future hydrology and solute transport at Forsmark. SKB Report R-10-02, Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management AB (SKB), Stockholm.
[13] Alcorn, S.R., Coons, W.E., Christian-Frear, T.L. and Wallace, M.G. (1991) Theoretical investigation of grout seal longevity. SKB Technical Report TR 91-24OECD/NEA International Stripa Project, SKB, Stockholm.
[14] Pusch, R., B?rgesson, L., Karnland, O. and H?kmark, H. (1991) Final report on test 4—Sealing of natural finefracture zone. Stripa Project, Technical Report TR 91-26, SKB, Stockholm.
[15] Witherspoon, P.A., Cook, N.G.W. and Gale, J.E. (1985) Progress with field investigation of Stripa. University of California, San Francisco.
[16] Pusch, R. and Ramqvist, G. (2007) Borehole projects— Final report phase 3. SKB R-07-58, SvenskK?rnbr?nslehantering AB (SKB), Stockholm.
[17] Emmelin, A., Brantberger, M., Eriksson, M., Gustafson, G. and Stille, H. (2007) Rock grouting. Current competence and development for the final repository. SKB R-07-30, SvenskK?rnbr?nslehantering AB (SKB), Stockholm.
[18] Fransson, ?. (2008) Grouting design based on characterization of the fractured rock—Presentation and demonstration of a methodology. SKB R-08-127, SvenskK?rnbr?nslehantering AB (SKB), Stockholm.
[19] Pusch, R., Erlstr?m, M. and B?rgesson, L. (1985) Sealing of rock fractures. A survey of potentially useful methods and substances. SKB Technical Report TR 85-17. Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management AB (SKB), Stockholm.
[20] Pusch, R., Warr, L., Grathoff, G., Pourbakhtiar, A., Knutsson, S. and Mohammed, M.H. (2012) A talc-based cementpoor concrete for sealing boreholes in rock. In preparation.
[21] Warr, L. and Grathoff, G. (2010) Sealing of investigation boreholes: Mineralogical and geochemical borehole plug analyses. SKB Technical Report (in print). Ernst-MoritzArndt-Universit?t Greifswald, Greifswald.
[22] Tauno, R. and Suomen Malmi, O. (2006) Borehole plugging experiment in OL-KR24 at Olkiluoto. Posiva WorkIng Report, Posiva.
[23] Pusch, R. and Yong, R. (2006) Microstructure of smectite clays and engineerimg performance. Taylor & Francis, London and New York.
[24] Pusch, R., Knutsson, S., Al-Taie, L. and Mohammed, M.H. (2012) Optimal ways of disposal of highly radioactive waste. Journal of Natural Sciences, In print.
[25] Pusch, R. and B?rgesson, L. (1992) PASS—Project on alternative systems study. Performance assessment of bentonite clay barrier in three repository concepts: VDH, KBS-3 and VLH. SKB Technical Report TR-92-40, SKB, Stockholm.

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.