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Evaluation of the importance of thermo-hydro-mechanical couplings on the performance assessment of a deep underground storage design.

A Rejeb

Technology roadmap for rocks mechanics, South African institute of mining and Metallurgy ISRM 2003, 08 to 12 september 2003, Gauteng South Africa.

Document type > *Congrès/colloque

Keywords > deep storage, radioactive waste

Research Unit > IRSN/DEI/SARG/BEHRIG

Authors > REJEB Amel

Publication Date > 03/09/2003

Summary

  An evaluation of the importance of the thermo-hydro-mechanical couplings (THM) on the performance assessment of a deep underground storage design has been made as part of the international DECOVALEX III project. It is a numerical study that simulates a generic repository configuration in the near field in a granite medium. The thermo-hydro-mechanical evolution of the whole configuration is simulated over a period of 100 years. The model used to represent the unsaturated behaviour of the various porous media makes allowance for moisture transfers through the effect of thermal and water gradients. The paper presents a comparison of the temperature, water pressure and stress fields obtained by TM, TH, HM and THM coupled calculations. The results demonstrate that temperature is hardly affected by the couplings. In contrast the influence of the couplings on the mechanical stresses is considerable. This is attributed to the key role that water has on bentonite swelling or shrinkage effects that are dependent on its saturation level variations.

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