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《岩石力学与岩土工程学报(英文版)》 2013-03
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TIMODAZ:A successful international cooperation project to investigate the thermal impact on the EDZ around a radioactive waste disposal in clay host rocks

Xiangling Li * ESV EURIDICE CIE (The European Underground Research Infrastructure for Disposal of Nuclear Waste in Clay Environment), Mol, Belgium  
Disposal of spent nuclear fuel and long lived radioactive waste in deep clay geological formations is one of the promising options worldwide. In this concept of the geological disposal system, the host clay formation is considered as a principal barrier on which the fulfillment of key safety functions rests. Between 2006 and 2010, the European Commission project TIMODAZ, which gathered 15 partners from 8 countries, has investigated the coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) effects on clay formations for geological disposal of radioactive waste, and specific attention was paid to investigating the thermal effect on the evolution of the damaged zone (DZ). Three types of potential host clay formations were investigated: the Boom Clay (Belgium), the Opalinus Clay (Switzerland) and the Callovo-Oxfordian argillite (France). Intensive experimental (laboratory and in situ in underground research laboratories) and numerical studies have been performed. Multi-scale approach was used in the course of the project. High degree of similarities between the failure modes, sealing process, stress paths, deformation, etc., observed in laboratories and in situ has been obtained, which increased the confidence in the applicability of laboratory test results and up-scaling perspective. The results of the laboratory and in situ tests obtained allowed the parameters for numerical models at various scales to be derived and provided the basis for the simplified performance assessment models that are used to assess the long-term safety of a repository. The good cooperation between the numerical modeler and experimenters has allowed an in-depth analysis of the experimental results and thus better understanding the underlying processes, and consequently increased the capabilities to model the THM effects in claystones. This paper presents the main achievements obtained by TIMODAZ project and shows how a European scientific community investigates a problem of concern in a collaborative way and how the obtained main results are applied to the performance assessment of a geological repository.
【Fund】: funded by the European Commission through the TIMODAZ project within the 6th framework programme (Contract Number: FI6W-CT-2007-036449)
【CateGory Index】: TU42
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