Modeling the effect of excavation-disturbed-zone porosity increase on groundwater inflow to an underground repository

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The excavation of underground radioactive waste repositories produces conditions where the repository is underpressured relative to the surrounding host rock, resulting in groundwater inflow to the repository. Groundwater has been shown to enhance gas generation from emplaced waste forms, which in turn expedites repository pressurization. Repository pressurization from waste-generated gas results in an increased driving force for dissolved radionuclide movement away from the repository. Repository excavation also produces a zone surrounding the repository having disturbed hydrologic and geomechanical properties. Within this disturbed rock zone (DRZ), intrinsic permeability and porosity change over time due to the formation of microfractures and grain ... continued below

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5 p.

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Freeze, G.; Ruskauff, G.; Christian-Frear, T. & Webb, S. August 1, 1998.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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The excavation of underground radioactive waste repositories produces conditions where the repository is underpressured relative to the surrounding host rock, resulting in groundwater inflow to the repository. Groundwater has been shown to enhance gas generation from emplaced waste forms, which in turn expedites repository pressurization. Repository pressurization from waste-generated gas results in an increased driving force for dissolved radionuclide movement away from the repository. Repository excavation also produces a zone surrounding the repository having disturbed hydrologic and geomechanical properties. Within this disturbed rock zone (DRZ), intrinsic permeability and porosity change over time due to the formation of microfractures and grain boundary dilation. Additionally, elastic and inelastic changes in pore volume, driven by excavation-related stress redistribution, may cause variations in the near-field fluid pressure and fluid saturation distributions that influence groundwater flow toward the repository excavation. Increased permeability, decreased pore-fluid pressure, and partially saturated conditions within the DRZ also contribute to enhancing potential release pathways away from the repository. Freeze et al. describe an enhanced version of TOUGH2 (called TOUGH28W) and its application to model the coupled processes of gas generation, multiphase flow and geomechanical deformation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) repository. This paper describes a new application of TOUGH28W that couples time-dependent DRZ property changes with multiphase groundwater flow around an underground excavation at WIPP. The results are relevant not only to other salt repositories, but also to repositories in other geologic formations where groundwater inflow and DRZ effects are a concern.

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5 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE98006153

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  • TOUGH `98 workshop, Berkeley, CA (United States), 4-6 May 1998

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  • Other: DE98006153
  • Report No.: SAND--98-1820C
  • Report No.: CONF-980559--
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 656583
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc712015

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  • August 1, 1998

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  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • May 5, 2016, 8:41 p.m.

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Freeze, G.; Ruskauff, G.; Christian-Frear, T. & Webb, S. Modeling the effect of excavation-disturbed-zone porosity increase on groundwater inflow to an underground repository, article, August 1, 1998; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc712015/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.