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Coupled hydro-mechanical–chemical process modelling in argillaceous formations for DECOVALEX-2011

  • A. E. Bond (a1), S. Benbow (a2), J. Wilson (a1), C. McDermott (a3) and M. English (a3)...

Abstract

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Radioactive Waste Management Directorate have been participating in the current DECOVALEX-2011 project (development of coupled models and their validation against experiments) one task of which has been examining the Mont Terri Ventilation Experiment (VE). This long-term (>9 years), field-scale experiment in the Opalinus Clay near the Swiss–French border, was designed to examine the coupled hydraulic–mechanical–chemical changes caused in the tunnel and in the surrounding geology, by the controlled ventilation of a 1.65 m diameter micro-tunnel.

In contrast to many conventional benchmarking and validation exercises, a key aspect of the VE as examined in DECOVALEX was that some data were held back and participants were required to make predictions of key metrics for the future evolution of the system. This paper presents an overview of the work conducted by the Quintessa and University of Edinburgh team including selected results. The coupled models developed include multiphase flow, elastic deformation and chemical processes in both detailed and upscaled geometries.

The models have been able to replicate the observed desaturation around the tunnel, tunnel deformation and localized failure, vapour migration in the tunnel, and the transition in redox conditions into the host rock.

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Copyright

© [2012] The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

References

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Bond, A.E., Millard, A., Nakama, S., Zhang, C. and Garitte, B. (2012a). Approaches for representing hydro-mechanical coupling between engineered caverns and argillaceous porous media at Ventilation Experiments. Mont Terri. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, In review.
Bond, A.E., Benbow, S.J., Wilson, J., Millard, A., Nakama, S., English, E., McDermott, C. and Garitte, B. (2012b). Reactive and non-reactive transport modelling in partially water saturated argillaceous porous media around the Ventilation Experiment, Mont-Terri. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, In review.
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Garitte, B., Bond, A., Millard, A., Zhang, C., English, M., Nakama, S. and Gens, A. (2012) Analysis of hydro-mechanical processes in a ventilated tunnel in an argillaceous rock on the basis of different modelling approaches. International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, In review.
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