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Monitoring large-scale tests for nuclear waste disposal


Two large-scale "in situ" demonstration experiments and their instrumentation are described. The first test (FEBEX Experiment) involves the hydration of a compacted bentonite barrier under the combined effect of an inner source of heat and an outer water flow from the confining saturated granite rock. In the second case, the progressive de-saturation of Opalinus clay induced by maintained ventilation of an unlined tunnel is analyzed. The paper shows the performance of different sensors (capacitive cells, psychrometers, TDR’s) and a comparison of fill behaviour with modelling results. The long term performance of some instruments could also be evaluated specially in the case of FEBEX test. Capacitive sensors provide relative humidity data during long transient periods characterised by very large variations of suction within the bentonite.

Keywords: Field record - Case history - Bentonite - Suction - Relative humidity - Capacitive sensor - TDR sensor - Psychrometer - Modelling - Reliability


Alonso, Eduardo and Springman, Sarah M. and Ng, C.W.W.

Index Terms:

Waste Disposal; nuclear waste disposal; monitoring; SoilGroup; Soil; Alonso, Eduardo; Ng, C.W.W.; Springman, Sarah M.

Further Information:

Date published: 2008