A deep geological repository for nuclear waste requires the backfilling and sealing of shafts and galleries to block any preferential path for radioactive contaminants. The paper presents the coupled hydromechanical analyses of an in situ test carried out in the HADES underground laboratory in Mol, Belgium. The test examines the effectiveness of an expansive clay seal in a horizontal borehole specifically drilled for this purpose. The analysis covers the phase of seal hydration up to saturation and subsequent pore pressure equilibration. Hydraulic and mechanical constitutive laws suited to expansive clay materials have been chosen for the analyses with all the parameters determined independently of the in situ test. A quite good agreement has been found between test observations and computed results suggesting that the numerical formulation employed is able to reproduce the main features of a real sealing system.

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Published on 01/01/2005

DOI: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2005.06.014
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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