A high-level radioactive waste disposal site may lead to gas generation by different physical mechanisms. As these sites are to be located in areas with low water flow, any small amount of gas can lead to relative high gas pressures, so that multiphase flow analysis becomes relevant. The movement of gas and water through the system has two important implications. Firstly, water flow takes place in unsaturated conditions, and thus travel times of the radioactive particles transported are affected; and secondly, gas can also carry radioactive particles. Therefore, one of the key points in such studies is the time when gas would break through the biosphere under a number of different flow conditions. In fractured zones, gas would flow preferentially through the most conductive features. We consider a two-dimensional system representing an isolated fracture. In each point we assign a local porosity and permeability and a local pressure-saturation relationship. A dipole (injector-producer) gas flow system is generated and the variation in water saturation is studied. A simple method is proposed for obtaining upscaled values for several parameters involved in two-phase flow. It is based on numerical simulation on a block scale assuming steady-state conditions and absence of capillary pressure gradients. The proposed method of upscaling is applied to simulate a dipole test using a coarser grid than that of the reference field. The comparison between the results in both scales shows an encouraging agreement

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Published on 01/01/2002

DOI: 10.1023/A:1015083122787
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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