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LUND, Sweden

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: Fission-2011-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 5.09M | Year: 2012

Recent safety assessments nuclear waste repositories have shown that the formation and stability of colloids may have a direct impact on the overall performance of the repository. The main aim of the BELBaR project is increase the knowledge of the processes that controls clay colloid stability, generation and ability to transport radionuclides. The overall purpose of the project will be to suggest a treatment of the issues in long-term safety assessment. The key areas of research will be: erosion of bentonite buffers, the main objective of these studies will be to understand the main mechanisms of erosion from the bentonite surface and to quantify the extent of the possible erosion under different conditions clay colloid stability studies under different geochemical conditions. The colloids formed at the near/far field interface would be stable only if favourable conditions exist and therefore their relevance for radionuclide transport will be strongly dependent on the local geochemical conditions interaction between colloids and radionuclides and the host rock, how colloid mobility may be affected be the composition of the host rock and the mechanism of sorption and de-sorption of radionuclides on the colloids In these areas substantial laboratory studies will be undertaken. The modelling studies will support the laboratory studies through development of conceptual and mathematical descriptions of the observed phenomena. The final outcome is to consider how colloids and related phenomena can be considered in the long term safety case and to make recommendations on how the safety case could pursue to address this potentially very significant issue. The project will have strong focus on cooperation and integration. This will be achieved by exchange of staff between partners and arrangement of frequent seminars. The BELBaR consortium consists of research institutes, implementers and universities from within and outside the European Union.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: Fission-2009-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 6.53M | Year: 2010

The main aim of the project PEBS (Long-term Performance of the Engineered Barrier System) is to evaluate the sealing and barrier performance of the EBS with time, through development of a comprehensive approach involving experiments, model development and consideration of the potential impacts on long-term safety functions. The experiments and models cover the full range of conditions from initial emplacement of wastes (high heat generation and EBS resaturation) through to later stage establishment of near steady-state conditions, i.e. full resaturation and thermal equilibrium with the host rock. These aspects will be integrated in a manner that will lead to a more convincing connection between the initial transient state of the EBS and its long-term state that provides the required isolation of the wastes. The work proposed within the project builds on existing knowledge and experience generated during recent years and supported by ongoing nat. and EC research programmes. The project pretends to provide a more complete description of the THM and THM-C (thermo-hydromechanical-chemical) evolution of the EBS system, a more quantitative basis for relating the evolutionary behaviour to the safety functions of the system and a further clarification of the significance of residual uncertainties for long-term performance assessment. The importance of uncertainties arising from potential disagreement between the process models and the laboratory and in situ experiments to be performed within PEBS, and their implications for extrapolation of results will be reviewed, with particular emphasis on possible impacts on safety functions. In addition to the scientific-tech. aim, the consortium will spread the essential results to the european scientific community and Canada, Japan and China, use its expertise for public information purposes, and promote knowledge and technology transfer through training. WP 5 brings together activities concerning dissemination and training.

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