E3S Web Conf.
Volume 205, 20202nd International Conference on Energy Geotechnics (ICEGT 2020)
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Minisymposium: Shale and Clay Behavior for Energy Production and Nuclear Waste Disposal (organized by Alessio Ferrari and Russell T. Ewy)|
|Published online||18 November 2020|
Impact of dry density, saturation, and confinement on gas permeability of clay-barrier materials
1 Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA
2 Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas USA
3 CIEMAT, Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas, Madrid, Spain
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
The safe isolation of high-level radioactive waste from the human environment is a key requisite in the nuclear fuel cycle. Deep geological repositories (i.e. >500m) in a suitable rock mass, involving both engineered and natural barriers is currently the most favoured option for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. Complex Thermal-Hydro-Mechanical and Chemical (THMC) phenomena are anticipated during the repository lifetime. The formation of gasses (e.g., as a result of oxidation processes) and their possible migration through the engineered barrier system (EBS) could jeopardise the main barrier functions. This paper focuses on the experimental study of the gas flow process through clay-barrier materials, particularly on the effect of degree of saturation, clay initial dry density, and confinement stress on gas permeability. It is shown that the initial dry density of the clay has a significant impact on gas flow, especially at low saturations. As expected, lower gas permeability values were obtained near saturation. Confinement has a minor impact on gas flow, at least for the range of stresses investigated in this paper.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2020
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