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Migration Behavior of Bentonite Colloids through a Fractured Rock

  • Yoshio Kuno (a1) and Hiroshi Sasamoto (a2)

Abstract

Bentonite colloids released into groundwater from the buffer in a geological repository for high-level radioactive waste may influence the migration of radioactive elements in fractures of the host rock. In the present study, column experiments were carried out to investigate the migration behavior of bentonite colloids in artificially fractured granite. The objective of the study is to determine whether the colloids are filtered by the fracture, considering the effects of the fracture length and the ionic strength of transporting solutions. Results indicate that bentonite colloids are not filtered if the transporting solution is dilute (i.e., distilled water or 10-4 M NaCl solution). This is evidenced by the observed tendency for normalized colloid concentrations in the column effluent (C/C0 ) to rapidly approach 1. An initial increase in the breakthrough curves is also observed at early stages of migration experiments involving more concentrated solutions (10-3 M NaCl solution), but the curves later evolve to an approximate steady state with C/C0 < 1. The amount of filtered colloids tends to increase with increasing fracture length. These results suggest that bentonite colloids can be filtered by interactions between the colloids and fracture surfaces, and that these interactions are affected by the ionic strength of the transporting solution. This migration behavior is simulated by a model of colloid migration, taking into consideration the effects of colloid filtration by fracture surfaces. The information on the filtration of bentonite colloids would contribute to a more realistic assessment of colloid effects on radionuclide migration.

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Keywords

Migration Behavior of Bentonite Colloids through a Fractured Rock

  • Yoshio Kuno (a1) and Hiroshi Sasamoto (a2)

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