Uncertainty in the reactive transport model response to analkaline perturbation in a clay formation

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The mineral alteration in the concrete barrier and in the clay formation around long-lived intermediate-level radioactive waste in the French deep geological disposal concept is evaluated using numerical modeling. There are concerns that the mineralogical composition of the surrounded clay will not be stable under the high alkaline pore fluid conditions caused by concrete (pH {approx} 12). Conversely, the infiltration of CO{sub 2}-rich groundwater from the clay formation into initially unsaturated concrete, at the high temperature (T {approx} 70 C) produced from the decay of radionuclides, could cause carbonation, thereby potentially affecting critical performance functions of this barrier. This could ... continued below

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Burnol, A.; Blanc, P.; Xu, T.; Spycher, N. & Gaucher, E.C. March 15, 2006.

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Description

The mineral alteration in the concrete barrier and in the clay formation around long-lived intermediate-level radioactive waste in the French deep geological disposal concept is evaluated using numerical modeling. There are concerns that the mineralogical composition of the surrounded clay will not be stable under the high alkaline pore fluid conditions caused by concrete (pH {approx} 12). Conversely, the infiltration of CO{sub 2}-rich groundwater from the clay formation into initially unsaturated concrete, at the high temperature (T {approx} 70 C) produced from the decay of radionuclides, could cause carbonation, thereby potentially affecting critical performance functions of this barrier. This could also lead to significant changes in porosity, which would affect aqueous diffusive transport of long-lived radionuclides. All these processes are therefore intimately coupled and advanced reactive transport models are required for long-term performance assessment. The uncertainty in predictions of these models is one major question that must be answered. A mass-transfer model response to an alkaline perturbation in clay with standard model values is first simulated using the two-phase non-isothermal reactive transport code TOUGHREACT. The selection of input parameters is thereafter designed to sample uncertainties in a wide range of physico-chemical processes without making a priori assumptions about the relative importance of different feedbacks. This 'base-case' simulation is perturbed by setting a parameter to a minimum, intermediate or maximum value or by switching on/off a process. This sensitivity analysis is conducted using grid computing facilities of BRGM (http://iggi.imag.fr). Our evaluation of the preliminary results suggests that the resaturation and the heating of the near-field will be of long enough duration to cause a limited carbonation through all the width of the concrete barrier. Another prediction is the possibility of self-sealing at the concrete/clay interface. Further research is however required to discuss the effect of such evolution on the desirable performance function of both barriers.

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  • TOUGH2 Symposium, Berkeley, CA,03/17/2006

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  • Report No.: LBNL--63403
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 926308
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc895979

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  • March 15, 2006

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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Burnol, A.; Blanc, P.; Xu, T.; Spycher, N. & Gaucher, E.C. Uncertainty in the reactive transport model response to analkaline perturbation in a clay formation, article, March 15, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc895979/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.