EURAD School for Radioactive Waste Management (GAS & HITEC WPs) - Multiphysical couplings in geomechanics: a focus on thermal effect and gas transfer impact on the behaviour of geomaterials

January 22 - 24, 2020   Liège (BELGIUM)

The EURAD School is organized within the framework of EURAD, the European Joint Programme on Radioactive Waste Management (grant agreement No 847593). Its objectives are to develop and consolidate relevant knowledge for the safe start of operation of the first geological disposal facilities for spent fuel, HLW, and other long-lived radioactive waste, and to support optimization linked with the step-wise implementation of disposal.

This training course relates to two work packages (WPs) of EURAD, namely WP GAS and WP HITEC.

The main objectives of the GAS WP are to improve the mechanistic understanding of gas transport processes in natural and engineered clay materials, their couplings with the mechanical behaviour and their impact on the properties of these materials; to evaluate the gas transport regimes that can be active at the scale of a geological disposal system and their potential impact on barrier integrity and repository performance.

The main objectives of the HITEC WP are to evaluate whether an increase of temperature is feasible/safe by applying existing and newly produced knowledge about behaviour of clay materials at elevated temperatures; to deploy knowledge on mechanics of clay in order to better evaluate and model possible damage during the temperature transient and assess the consequence for the host rock; to deploy knowledge on mostly mechanical, but also chemical and transport changes of bentonite (buffer).

In both GAS and HITEC, geomechanics plays a significant role in the understanding of the relevant thermo-hydro-mechanical couplings taking place around the disposal. The objective of the course is therefore to provide the state-of-the-art knowledge on basic concepts related to the thermo-hydro-mechanical (multi-physical) couplings, the physical impacts of thermal loading, and the mechanistic understanding of gas migration.