A fully coupled formulation combining reactive transport and an existing thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) code is presented. Special attention has been given to phenomena likely to be encountered in clay barriers used as part of containment systems of nuclear waste. The types of processes considered include hydrolysis, complex formation, oxidation/reduction reactions, acid/base reactions, precipitation/dissolution of minerals and cation exchange. Both kinetically-controlled and equilibrium-controlled reactions have been incorporated. The total analytical concentrations (including precipitated minerals) are adopted as basic transport variables and chemical equilibrium is achieved by minimizing Gibbs Free Energy. The formulation has been incorporated in a general purpose computer code capable of performing numerical analysis of engineering problems. A validation exercise concerning a laboratory experiment involving the heating and hydration of an expansive compacted clay is described.

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Published on 01/01/2007

DOI: 10.1007/s11242-006-0014-z
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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