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Gas flow in Callovo-Oxfordian claystone (COx): results from laboratory and field-scale measurements

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2018

J. F. Harrington
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, UK
R. de la Vaissière
Affiliation:
Agence Nationale pour la Gestion des Déchets Radioactifs (ANDRA), Chatenay-Malabry, France
D. J. Noy
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, UK
R. J. Cuss
Affiliation:
British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham NG12 5GG, UK
J. Talandier
Affiliation:
Agence Nationale pour la Gestion des Déchets Radioactifs (ANDRA), Chatenay-Malabry, France
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

To understand the fate and impact of gas produced within a repository for radioactive waste, a series of laboratory and field scale experiments have been performed on the Callovo-Oxfordian claystone (COx), the proposed host rock for the French repository. Results show the movement of gas is through a localized network of pathways, whose properties vary temporarily and spatially within the claystone. Significant evidence exists from detailed laboratory studies for the movement of gas along highly unstable pathways, whose aperture and geometry vary as a function of local stress, gas and porewater pressures. The coupling of these parameters results in the development of significant time-dependent effects, impacting on all aspects of COx behaviour, from gas breakthrough time, to the control of deformation processes. Variations in gas entry, breakthrough and steady-state pressures are indicative of microstructural heterogeneity which exerts an important control on the movement of gas. The localization of gas flow is also evident in preliminary results from the large scale gas injection test (PGZ) where gas flow is initially focussed within the excavation damaged zone (EDZ), which acts as a preferential pathway for gas. Numerical models based on conventional two-phase flow theory are unable to adequately describe the detailed observations from laboratory tests.

Type
Research Article
Creative Commons
© [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.
Copyright
Copyright © The Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland 2012

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