Modelling an in-situ ventilation test in the Andra Underground Research Facilities
1 University of Liège, ArGEnCo Department, 9 Allée de la Découverte 4000 Liège, Belgique
2 Andra, Research and Development Division, Rue Jean Monnet 1-7, 92298 Châtenay-Malabry, France
3 Université Laval, Département de Génie Civil et de Génie des Eaux, 1065 Avenue de la Médecine, Québec, Canada
a Corresponding author: email@example.com
Wastes resulting from the nuclear electricity production have to be isolated from the biosphere for a very long period of time. For this purpose, deep underground repository in weak permeable geological layers is considered as a reliable solution for the nuclear waste storage. It is however well established that during excavation, the underground drilling process engenders cracks and eventually fractures  that deteriorate the hydro-mechanical properties of the surrounding host material in the so-called Excavation Damaged Zone (EDZ). The EDZ behaviour is a major issue because it may constitute a preferential flow path for radionuclide migration. Consequently, the characterisation of the material transport properties and of the transfer kinetics that occur around galleries still need to be investigated. The EDZ properties may be also affected by host rock-gallery air interactions. Ventilation induced drying may also provoke additional cracking, which potentially alters the transport properties of the damaged zone. Large-scale air ventilation experiments are performed in Underground Research Laboratories (URL) that have been constructed to check the feasibility of the repository. A numerical modelling of the SDZ air ventilation test (Andra URL) performed in a low permeability rock is proposed in order to both predict the development of the EDZ during excavation and study the air interaction with the host formation during maintenance phases.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.